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EDU-Garden Weathers Hurricane Matthew

Everyone knows the old saying, “necessity is the mother of invention.” I think perhaps we should add a corollary to that; “complacency is the mother of disaster.”

Complacency is defined as a quiet confidence; a calm and self-reassuring view of what surrounds us, in spite of evidence to the contrary. No hurricane here for 11 years, what is the big deal? There is that “complacency” taking over our thought patterns. Last week our governor warned us on those round-the-clock weather channels not to be “complacent” about the potential loss of life a major hurricane like Matthew could impose. Together with the governor of South Carolina, they urged the evacuation of over a million coastal residents. Lives were spared! For us here in South Florida, it was (fortunately!) Mellow Matthew and not Mighty Matthew, but it could have gone otherwise- and did in other areas. Some of us, on the other hand, are on the “what if” side of impending disasters and begin a whirlwind of filling up bathtubs, sitting in gas station lines, buying canned food, (who eats canned food?), stocking up on batteries, taking our important papers to the safety deposit box (should have done that years ago), and finally, worrying about how we are going to survive without electricity and no way to charge up all our “stuff”! Goes back to what I tell the kids “put all you can into your brain, because it does not require a power cord to access information!” Start with memorizing a few phone important phone numbers. Ask yourself if the electricity were out for days, or you could not return to your home, or worse yet lost it, what would be important to you? Thank goodness we were not complacent in the EDU-Garden® and we never really are. We have animals to concern ourselves with and their safety plans are well rehearsed. After all, there are predators on a daily basis and the kids train themselves to be on the lookout. Last week, the kids were all asking “what if the hurricane hits here in the garden?” Much discussion ensued regarding the chicken tractor. “Can we put the chickens inside the classroom in the chicken tractor? After all the bunnies are in there.” Nature and animal instincts are fascinating to learn so we decided that the chickens were better staying in their roost with the ability to escape if the need should arise. They can fly, and sable palms have good protection in their fronds and crown, we reasoned. “Will they come back?” they asked.

“Of course,” I assured them, “chickens always come home to roost.” It is in our nature as well, and at some point we all long to return to our roost – ahem, roots; it is evolutionary biology and easily observed in migration as well. So you see, our students are learning about life through the observation of life, not because they read about it somewhere, or someone told them about it. It is such the better way! Oh, almost forgot, now that the storm has passed, and complacency is starting to creep back in, build a box of things that you can grab and go within minutes, because the next time, it may be all the time you have.

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