2011-02-09 22:14:47.000 – Franklin Sames,  Lincoln Middle School Grade 8 Physical Science Tea

Franklin Sleeping in Awesome Chair

Having spent the last five minutes looking for the other glove liner, I think I now have everything together for the trip down today. I’ve been up here before but it’s at least six years ago. A few things look different, communication technology is definitely different, and the shower system is much improved. But, the most amazing thing about this place is the people who work, sleep, work, and play up here. I know I wrote work twice. These people work. When I went to bed at 1:00am, there were three observers awake trying to solve freezing issues in the gear. The other observer had just gone to bed to wake up at 4:30am to get back to work. These people had been at it all day. Going in and out in weather conditions that are inconceivable to most of us.

Even that dedication doesn’t get at what makes Mt. Washington observers so incredible. Along with there extensive weather knowledge, each one has at least one super-power that when put together is like a Justice League of meteorology. Rebecca, the intern, can weld and evidence of her ability is all over the observation tower. Ryan can sift through the data, put together a picture of conditions, patterns, and trends that allow you to understand the big picture. See his observer post from two days ago, I’m showing my students. Mike supposedly is great with IT stuff, but if you get the chance, play guitar while he plays harmonica. He can instantly play along with ‘You Are My Sunshine’ and moments later ‘Skulls’ by the Misfits. And Brian is a doer of things. (somewhere around here: cable save) It’s possible much of the first day’s filming work would not have made it down without Brian’s mid-Superbowl pronouncement ‘I can make an adaptor, what do you need?’ It seems like he could make, fix, explain anything, and teach students from elementary to high school. Listening to these guys working out how to solve measuring wind at 1:00am in below freezing temperatures and hurricane force winds is impressive. AND, they are nice to us wandering around, wide-eyed visitors with all of our questions.

I’m heading home today to be with my wife and two little monkey boys. I can’t imagine better role models than the crew that work in the Mt Washington Observatory. As a teacher I want my boys to pay attention in school, find what they love to learn and pursue it but not to forget that a full life is not just one subject. Learn welding, learn electrical, look at the data and what’s behind it, and never forget that music can happen anywhere. Oh, and learn to cook. Thank you volunteers Jim and John for feeding us, cleaning up after us, and telling us about the incredible lives you have lived.

Mt. Washington is a big, cold, pile of rocks, that sticks up into the wind. Thank you to all the people who work up here collecting the data that informs us directly and indirectly more than we down the mountain can imagine. It’s been really amazing being up here with you and finally, thank you for letting me play rock band with you, it is fun.


Franklin Sames,  Lincoln Middle School Grade 8 Physical Science Tea

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