Three new students signed up for the Bloomfield High School Sidewalk Astronomers Club yesterday.
Last night they joined me outside. I grumbled (as I will) about the clouds, about the finderscope being misaligned, about none of the regular members showing up. (To be fair, the North Jersey Astronomy Group was meeting, and my more reliable charges were hanging out with the hardcore Essex County astronomers.)
I fixed the finderscope, aligning it with a street lamp, the clouds parted, and there was Saturn, glorious Saturn. Despite the light pollution, Saturn shone through, as it will.
Did you ever watch ecstatic adolescents? They shout, they dance, they lose all self consciousness, and they remind me why teaching matters.
Last night on the corner of an urban block three young men jumped and whooped around a mirror, celebrating Saturn.
In a few decades they will not remember adenosine triphosphate or quadratic equations or (even) me.
But they will not forget Saturn.
I stole the pic from Silver City's Sidewalk Astronomy Solar System.