Saturday, December 13, 2008

Why I (Don't) Love...

Fun museums.
Apparently if you're over the age of 7 you're not allowed to take part in awesome interactive stuff. Since when is fun and learning only limited to small children?

Granted, at 19 I still enjoy children shows (a problem I hope never gets fixed), but that's beside the point. It seems that all these awesome interactive museums meant for learning have been constructed on the idea that adults will only go with children in tow. Why sirs, you are incorrect. And the people who suffer? So called adults looking for some good clean fun!

Take my latest venture to a fun museum. The Museum of Science in Boston was having an exhibit about mythical creatures. Since my friends and I have a strange obsession with people who loves mythical creatures (you know, the kind that where wolf shirts and jean jackets), we decided that shelling out the 19 dollars for the museum would be fine and dandy.

We go, we pay, we enter. So far everything was pretty cool. They have a lot of "learn by doing things" even a sheep eye dissection you can watch. Since I had already experienced such a dissection in middle school, I was not very impressed. Then there were the monkeys, and the wall o' mirrors that looked like Vanna White's letter turning board. Unfortunately the mirrors were covered by glass, so we could not find out if they, in fact, turned like a game show letter. It was near this wall o' mirrors that we experienced our first sad kick in the ass from children.

In the super duper interactive part of the museum on the second floor, across from the math section (which i truly enjoyed, especially the probability curve demonstration. I'm a dork.), and perpendicular to the wall o' mirrors, there are a myriad of cool things to do. There is a small excavation site where you can brush some dirt and find some shells. The oldest among us was dying for a picture in the site. So, she got in the dirt, brushed some dirt for the camera, and not two seconds after the picture was taken, a little boy in a red shirt turned to her and said defiantly "NO GROWN UPS!" Of course, like all American parents, his mom just seemed to smile at him and let him be. (Don't get me started on American parenting. Maybe another post.) Pretty much, the kid was a discriminating little prick. Okay, prick is a little harsh, but you get what I'm saying. Just because my friend was in the dirt pit for a few seconds, he felt it was inappropriate and vocalized it. We laughed it off and went on to other things.

I wanted to try the spinning wheel activity. This is where you spin a bike wheel really fast then hold it while you stand on a free-moving platform. Depending on the angle of the wheel (either horizontal or vertical) the platform would turn in a certain direction due to the force of the spinning wheel. It sounded awesome. When we got to it, there was a little kid just spinning himself manually on the platform. Cool, i understand the fun in that, but as I stood there patiently waiting for the kid to stop, his male chaperon just stood there once again. I was in a position where it was clear I wanted to try the thing. I even read the little directions sign as an indication that "Sir, I am not creepily staring at your child. I just want to learn some physics." In a matter of seconds, I realized I was not going be given a turn, unlike what kindergarten taught us, and so we moved on to the seesaw.

The final kick in the balls was this seesaw. It was a seesaw built to show how distribution of weight affects balance. You could scoot up closer to the center and back to the edge. There were kids on it already, so we stood beside it and watched. We verbalized how excited my friends were to try the seesaw. We waited. We figured if any of these cool demonstrations were worth it, it was this one. Soon the mother told them it was time to move on, and our chance had arrived. And a millisecond after these kids got off, these other kids rushed in front of us and got on. My friends didn't even have a chance to take a step closer to the seesaw. The kids' parent said nothing just laughed. We were deflated and instead of seeming like pedophiles for the third time in a row, we decided to go to the how cats jump exhibit. Needless to say, there was no line because all you did was jump and read the measurement of how much pressure you put on the ground. It did not make up for missing out on the seesaw.

We eventually moved on to the Mythical Creatures exhibit (which was, surprisingly, the lamest of the exhibits) and the Fear exhibit (which was pretty sweet), both of which gave some sort of compensation for being adults. We even got to sit in a command module replica. In the end, the experience was fun and worth it. But I still am sad that we were denied the full appreciation of the museum because of our age. It may sound dumb, it may sound petty, it may sound like I refuse to grow up (I do, mind you) but I think a special adult night would be cool. No kids, late night, and adults get
a to run wild like the kids we really are. It won't happen, but my only other option is having kids and letting them rule the museum.

Looks like I'll have to stick with watching Yo Gabba Gabba! instead.

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