GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS
Ms. Frizzle shares a high point from a recent professional development day at New York's American Museum of Natural History:
The highlight of the morning and perhaps the whole day was when astronomer Neil DeGrasse Tyson came out to say hello to all of us. He is everything I need my children to know about: an African-American scientist, a product of the NYC public schools, charming, a good speaker, a populizer of science, funny. I think I may invite him to be a science expo judge. He will probably say no, but maybe he will know of other people who are less famous and, therefore, have more time to spend visiting schools. Then again, you never know. The one thing I have learned is that people find it hard to say no to helping teachers, if you just ask them the right way.
Of course, after describing this highly validating moment, Ms. Frizzle goes on to explain what she learned next: an asteriod that will pass very near the Earth in 2029 could very well pulverize the Pacific Ocean the next time its orbit brings it our way. Kind of puts the professional development thing into perspective, doesn't it?