Lux et umbra vicissum…

light and shadow by turn…

Lux et umbra vicissum… header image 2

Fear Factor, Elementary School style

June 13th, 2008 · No Comments

As a reward for reaching their “advanced reading” goals, the kids at my daughters’ school were allowed to take part in a “Fear Factor” event that the staff set up out in back of the school. Now, this is an elementary school. They couldn’t do anything too traumatic or dangerous. So it was mostly stuff like sticking your hand into a jar of meal worms to get a prize at the bottom and retrieving rocks with your toes in ice cold water. There were two cool stations, though, and I got to be at one of them. The one I didn’t get to actually facilitate, but it was right next to mine so I at least got to have some fun with it, involved a guy much like this one:

Boa Constrictor

He was pretty, and did great with all of the petting he got. Near the end of the day he got a little agitated and started trying to get away so he had to be put back in his bag where he rests.

Here was what my friend for the day looked like:

Rose Haired Tarantula

She was a rose haired tarantula named Rosy. 🙂 Apparently we got her on loan from a local aquarium/small pet store. She was a good little spider. I petted her several times. The kids were supposedly going to hold her as their fear factor thing, but we were informed that there could be liability issues there (rose hairs are known for their mild manner, but you never know what might happen), so we had to do things a little more creatively. We had a large box on the table with the back cut off and with a circle cut out of the front. I had to take the spider’s cage into it because, as we told the kids, the aquarium people said we should take her out in a dark, quiet place so she didn’t get upset. I would then take the lid off the cage as the child stuck their hand through the circle hole, take a little time to “get the spider out” since it was often down in a man-made burrow, and then I’d pull out a pipe cleaner spider which would climb on their hands. 🙂 I felt vaguely guilty about it, but the whole thing was about the experience, not about learning about spiders. (How’s that for justification?) But we really played it up. The guy who helped me acted as my front man, really talking up the whole “Keep your palm flat, try not to shake! Don’t move suddenly!!”kinds of things. It was awesome. There were a few times that kids managed to peak around the box, but I saw them coming and made sure to have my hand in the cage before telling them they had to go around the other side so as not to agitate the spider. A couple of the kids didn’t even wait for the pipe cleaners to touch their hand. As soon as they felt my hand bump theirs (for the spider to crawl onto their hand from mine) they jerked their hand back out of the hole. 🙂 A couple of them even screamed! One child insisted the spider had bitten him. 🙂 It really was great fun for all. Really, it was.

Ok, and for any of you reading this who know me personally, DO NOT TELL ALEXIS THAT IT WAS A FAKE!!! She’s not good at keeping secrets yet.

Tags: Drivel