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> May 5, 2006 - Babe Ruth, Iím not talking about the candy bar!
post May 9 2006, 05:48 PM
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Group: TREC Team
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Member No.: 23

Date: Friday, May 5, 2006
Location: The Grand Aleutian – a hotel in Dutch Harbor

I am meeting lots of new people on my journey. Since, I will be spending a whole month with most of them, I would like to take a little writing time to introduce you to them. They will be the main characters in my Arctic Adventure.

Hey, Fifth Graders! This one is for you!

Meet…Ruth Cooper
At first, I thought that Patty and I were “very special guests” (an A goes to the person that knows that TV show quote), but as it turns out, there’s another guest that tops the VIP list. Her name is Ruth Cooper.

Who is Ruth Cooper?
Ruth is 11 years old and a 5th grader at St. John Newman, a catholic school. Sometimes, people call her Ruthie, but she really just prefers Ruth. Ruth is the daughter of Lee Cooper and Jackie Grebmeier, the scientists that I will be helping on the Healy. Lee and Jackie have gone on research cruises every year for the past 20+ years and this time, they let Ruth tag along. Ruth’s presence is kind of an experiment on this research cruise. The captain of the ship, Dan Oliver, invited her this time to see how well it works out to take a child on this kind of ship. This is not a common practice. If it works out well to have a child guest on board, then perhaps Ruth will be paving the way for other young students to accompany scientists on the Healy in the future.

Ruth and I are both missing about 4 weeks of school. I had to leave lesson plans behind for my students and Ruth’s teachers assigned her homework while she is gone. Ruth also has a few jobs to do while she is on the ship. She will be taking pictures and making pod casts for her classmates back home. She also has to keep a journal and a log of her experience. (Sounds a lot like what Patty and I are going to be doing!) Once again, just like me and Patty, Ruth will be helping her scientist parents as much as she can. Normally, Ruth would stay with her babysitter or go to camp while her parents are gone, so this is a very special trip for Ruth – it is her first time on a research cruise.

I asked Ruth for an interview this dreary morning in Dutch Harbor and she was happy to oblige. After she got done asking me a whole bunch of riddles and trick questions, she let me ask a few questions and even let me take a picture – see below.

Ruth Cooper
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Ruth Cooper, youngest VIP on the ship.

Ruth is a very active and outgoing young lady. I ate dinner with her last night and saw how lively and fun she can be. She quickly involved the adults at the table in games like Chopsticks and I Spy while we waited for our food. Sports, however, seem to top Ruth’s list of favorite things to do. In fact, her favorite subjects in school are recess and PE and she wants to try out for every sport her school offers next year. Her favorite colors are light blue and pink / black combined. She has a kitty named Emily who is still alive, thankfully, and is staying with a friend while she is gone. It seems she hasn’t had much luck with other pets – a mutant tadpole that just wouldn’t change into a frog, some fish, and sea monkeys – all of which are no longer with us. =( She really wants a dog though.

Career Possibilities – Ruth says she wants to become a lawyer and then become first female president of the United States, but she says it is ok if she’s the second female president.

Since this is Ruth’s first research cruise, I asked her how she felt and what was the best thing she has done so far. Ruth said she felt kind of nervous, especially about getting seasick. We’ve heard reports from the ship that several of the graduate students, who boarded in Seattle and are now in transit to Dutch Harbor, have had some serious sea sickness in the rough open waters of the Pacific between Seattle and here. She says that the best thing so far has been the first class airplane ride to get here where the flight attendants passed out portable DVD players and she got to watch television and DVD’s during the flight.

Ruth - WWII Bunker
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That’s Ruth looking through a window in the bunker at the WWII memorial.

Ruth will be posting to a web journal just like Patty and me. I am inviting you to read her journal and experience our Arctic Adventure through the eyes of a 5th grader! So keep checking for her picture, email address, and journal to appear on our ARCUS/TREC website soon.
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