Cultivating enthusiasm

W- turned to J- and asked, “So, why don’t you want to go to summer camp?”

“The first reason is that I want to spend my time more wisely,” said the 11-year-old. I cheered.

“The second reason is that it’s just like daycare. If I go to daycare during school and camp during summer, then it’s the same all year round.”

“Variety!” I said, nodding.

“The third reason is that there are all these young kids running around,” she continued.

“So you’ve outgrown camp,” said W-.

J- nodded.

“Well, if you can take the responsibility for spending that time wisely, sure!” I said.

Kudos to her for knowing what she wants and going for it.

So we’re going to build photography experiments into our summer schedule.

We played lacrosse catch in a nearby park, and then we took pictures. J- was delighted with her silhouette experiments and her flower photography. She likes taking macro shots.

As the light faded, we switched to panning shots, catching cyclists and cars. Even when we were walking back home, she’d sometimes run ahead to take a picture of a passing car.

When we got home, she skipped ice cream time to play on the piano instead. She has figured out how to play both hands for “A Whole New World”, and she’s been learning “Part of Your World” and the introduction of “Fur Elise” almost entirely on her own. She asked me how to play parts of Fur Elise, so I showed her that the notes she wrote down were correct.

“This isn’t the real song, is it?” She asked.

I laughed. “Play the demo again, and look at the notes.” I traced them with my finger, like the bouncing ball of karaoke lyrics. “See, you haven’t been playing with training wheels. You’ve been learning the real thing.”

“Ooh! Cool!”

“Terrific! And what would let you enjoy piano even more?”

“Well… What about the Star Wars music?”

“Dum-dum-dum-dum-dah-dum-dum-dah-dum…?”

“No, the one at the beginning.”

“Oh! Okay, let’s go look for that…”

And now she’s off teaching herself the Star Wars Theme. =)

I tell this story because it’s a wonderful thing to help cultivate enthusiasm. We were watching J- chase cars with her camera, and W- said, “That’s the kind of enthusiasm I was thinking about.” I smiled and said that it takes only one interest. Once she knows what it’s like to be passionate about something, she’ll discover other things as well.

Ah, Mondays. =D

  • christophe

    Cool and refreshing ;-)