I am up at 11 o’clock at night streaming April the Giraffe on my TV. I’m doing this with about 70,000 or 80,000 other people around the world. On past nights, it’s been about 35,000 people doing the same but tonight is different because her vets have said there’s indicators that she’s significantly closer to giving birth. (Like I just saw a contraction or her calf is having quite the party in utero.)
Why, you might wonder, am I up watching when I have never really paid attention to giraffe cams, or other animal cams for that matter, ever in my life? It is the Monday after time change I certainly should be getting some rest. But instead I’m streaming a giraffe from New York. Why indeed.
Well, because I can. I have high speed internet and the zoo has a sponsor providing the streaming. (For real, if I ever needed exotic animal food I would buy it from a company called Mazuri.) There is no one else awake to tell me how boring it is to watch an animal walk around. I’m enthralled and I’m not the only one.
This is the world we have. We connect over animal cams while waiting for a calf to be born. We read Facebook posts about how watching this giraffe helps people in time of grief or depression just by seeing and sharing the animal’s life as well as the promise of new life. All the while we’re learning about giraffes. I know more about giraffes now than I did three weeks ago and no one made me learn it.
Where is this in the classroom? Are we following students’ interests and helping them connect with others? Because that cause is as much my reason for watching April. It reminds me THIS is what learning learning looks like: 16 feet tall and beautiful.
Good luck, April. And good night. I’ll check on you in the morning with your 80,000 other fans.