Tuesday, September 17, 2013

a foray into the public arena

ander loves youtube.

really loves it.  for so many reasons.

there seems to be no limit to what he can find there: lego reviews, space vehicle launches, lego stop-motion construction, men's cliff diving, diy models of all sorts, model rocket launches, random science, womens' 10m platform synchronized diving, more lego reviews, wall-e movie segments, hello dolly movie dance routines, other kids working on legos and science, disney cars toy reviews, lego movies, sesame street's murray has a little lamb segments . . .

he knows how to use his browser bookmarks, thank goodness, because i don't know how else i would keep track of what he's talking about.  i've been working with him to have him locate and read to me the titles of his favorites, because most often he'll just hum the music that accompanies the video, if it has music, and i have to ask diana to help me decipher which video he's referring to.  of course, if i still can't figure it out, he knows how to backtrack through his related links to find just the video he's looking for.  i trust him to get me out of a maze more than i'd trust myself.

at first glance, one might get the impression that there's not much going on with him but simply watching over and over and over.  but he doesn't just watch them.  he studies them.  absorbs them.  learns them inside and out.  he imitates every nuance of every voice, memorizes every accent and phrasing and gesture (which is especially frustrating when a word is mumbled or pronounced incorrectly, because we have to spend a lot of time fixing the inaccuracy in his speech).

he acts them out.  he directs us and everyone else around him to act with him, and he's a stern taskmaster when it comes to his direction: do it like this!  if we don't succeed, he'll include us in rehearsing again and again, tweaking our performance until we have mastered it to his satisfaction.  beyond mere replication, though, which is impressive enough as it is (performance artists, scientists, experts in any field recognize the importance of replication in skill-building), he uses these videos as a springboard for his own creative output.

via youtube, he has access to instructions for whatever he wants to know more about, whether it's launching a model rocket, testing rocket fuel, or building a paper rocket.  consistent, clear-spoken, enthusiastic, engaging, thoughtful, and thorough descriptions and explanations appeal to him most and keep him coming back again and again.

he is inspired to try new things, his eyes open to possibilities of what he might want to participate in or try for himself, feeling a sense of self-confidence, community, and connection when he sees others sharing similar interests.

what you are about to see is a collaborative project of ours.  ander loves watching videos about making slime, actually making slime on his own, showing others how to make it.  i love documenting what he does and want to build my skills in using youtube for video editing.  i realize am stretching him a bit by creating this video; this was not his idea to do so, but when i showed it to him and told him about sharing this video with others, he got excited about making slime for and with other people, even wanting to bring his materials to school to teach his class how to make it.

we hope you like it.

the ingredients we used in our video:

mixture one
1 small bottle of elmer's non-toxic school glue (5 oz clear or 4 oz white)
1/2 cup water
liquid food coloring - enough drops to make the color of your heart's desire

mixture two
1/2 tsp borax
1 cup warmish water - remember, temperature makes a difference when dissolving solids into liquids


  1. Nice editing! Really enjoyed this so much. Your guy <3
    Was like being in your kitchen : )

  2. I love it that when dad walks in, he repeats your question, "How much borax did you put in Ander?" Right on dad!

    Lisa :-)