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03/01/2017

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Jennifer Shriver

Sam, I feel like your grandmother.

That is, I was the one who strolled my kids through Denver's Museum of Nature and Science, and played the touch-screen bug evolution game. Did you ever do that one? And walked with them over and over through the Museum's 3-story exhibit of evolution, making them watch the movie at the beginning that covered the first 3 billion years, up to the astonishing microbial mats, when the fun really began.

Yes, how do we convey our world views to someone who will abstain or, at best, practice reticence?

I have a distinct memory of being 8 years old in a tiny New England town, Sandwich, Massachusetts. My parents and I had moved there about a year before from New York City, which I loved. I was an unwilling mover but had few rights at the time. But we continued to visit friends and do things in NYC, as well as Boston (the New England Aquarium!)

So the memory is, one day in class, a fellow 3rd grade student said to me, as I was being dismissed early to go to NYC for the weekend, "I've never been across the bridge." Note, Cape Cod, where Sandwich resides, is a peninsula, divided from the mainland by a canal (army corps of engineers) linked to the mainland by two bridges.

Never been across the bridge? The bridge to the rest of the world, the 10-minutes away bridge? I was speechless, in part because I heard a kind of pride in her voice, and a judgement of us, the bridge crossers, who see more, pursue more, want to know.

Would I be able to connect with Paula today? I can small talk and find common ground here and there, but I still find it hard to talk across that big divide, 1/10 of a mile across the canal.

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