Academic Leigh Speaking

A professor, four kids, and a crash course in work/life balance

Taking Children to University Lecture April 7, 2017

Filed under: Academic,Family Life,Growing up — leighj @ 1:58 pm

I took Seamus and Gilbert to a lecture on veganism, animal research, and Christian beliefs. It started at 7, and I figured it would be over by 8. It wasn’t. However, the boys were engaged, interested, and eager for tasting the vegan food promised in the reception afterward. I felt a little funny having them there when I realized how much concentration would be required. They really got it, though, and enjoyed the ways in which the presenter brought together Michael Vick (dogfighting), factory farming, experimentation on primate brains, and verses from the bible.

Afterwards, they tried the spring rolls, potstickers, veggies, and vegan cake. They asked how you would make a cake without milk (and I explained about soy milk “Oh yeah” they said as they remember that we’ve bought that before). Gilbert and Seamus loved the cake and asked if they could be vegans. Maybe they thought vegans only eat cake?

Seamus, who had paid a lot of attention to the lecture, was just dying to ask a question at the end. He finally turned to me and said, “I thought of a question, ‘Why can’t Christians just be vegetarian? Why do they need to be vegan?'” and I discouraged him from asking. The very next question came from another professor, and was essentially the same question Seamus asked. Afterward, I was really upset with myself for stifling his innate curiosity. He loves to ask questions, but people don’t always respond well to him asking constantly so he’s learning to stop asking. I wish I weren’t one of the people who had stopped him.

Anyway, I think it will only get to be more fun taking them to lectures, events, and performances on campus. They go for the food and stay for the love of learning.


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