An Adultitis Fighter is someone who rallies against rules that don’t exist and engages in ruthless, senseless acts of silliness that undermine Adultitis and its unadventurous version of adulthood. Once a month, we shine a light upon the most remarkable among us, holding them up as a dazzling example of what we should strive for in this epic battle against a formidable enemy.
This month’s worthy recipient of this prestigious honor is Shannon Babb!
In recognition of their efforts, Adultitis Fighters of the Month receive a special mini-canvas hand-painted by Jason, along with a certificate of honor, a sweet patch, and other Adultitis-Fighting tools. We asked Shannon some questions about how she fights the Big A and what advice she has for others…
What are some of your favorite ways to fight Adultitis?
I love to explore. Exploration can take many different forms. It involves turning down an unfamiliar street on a walk or checking out a book from a new (or new to me) author. Currently, one of my favorite methods of exploration is Virtual Reality. I get to explore the world and even the solar system from the comfort of my couch. The technology even allows me to meet up with friends around the world to have adventures as a group.
Who or what has been the greatest influence in your own fight against Adultitis?
Growing up I wanted to be in Miss Frizzle’s class. As an adult I am lucky that my job as Central Utah Water Conservancy District’s Instructional/Curriculum Specialist allows me to be a real-life Miss Frizzle helping communities increase their environmental stewardship and STEM curiosity.
What is something you loved doing as a child that you still do in some form today?
Rock hunting/collection was one of my first hobbies as a child. Luckily, I was one of those kids who never really grew out of their dinosaur phase and ended up getting a geology degree which gives me plenty of legitimate excuses to go rockhounding.
What is your strategy for dealing with people who are obviously infected with Adultitis?
For me, the first step is to ask questions, then develop ideas based on the answers you get. When lockdown hit last year, I reached out to community partners I had worked with in the past. When I asked what they needed, they shared that there was a special need to create programing for younger children to bring kids joy and give parents a break. Luckily, I had the skills, knowledge, and resources to put together interactive STEM Storytime via Zoom. I know my experience was unique, but I truly believe that if you ask what those around you need, you will be surprised by how you can use your unique skill and knowledge set to bring joy to the situation.
What advice do you have for someone who is feeling overwhelmed by Adultitis?
Take a moment to rekindle the spark of your curiosity. Everyone has a little bit different spark, so the actions we need to rekindle it will also look different…but if you are feeling stuck here are some easy activities to try.
- Head to your local library and check out the first 5 picture books that pique your interest.
- Visit a museum that explores one of your interests. If you love something, I guarantee that there is probably at least one museum out there that celebrates it…and one upside of the COVID-19 Pandemic is many of these museums have put together virtual field trips and exhibits that anyone can use when they need a quick curiosity pick-me-up.
- Consider purchasing yourself some toys that help you channel your inner kid. It is amazing how much fun you can have with a dollar store pack of chalk or jump rope.
- There is also a special type of joy that you get from having a few treasures tucked around your home or office…and it doesn’t matter if those treasures are an awesome rock or that model car you painstakingly painted; if a treasure is important enough to be special to you it is important enough to be displayed.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I encourage everyone to try being a scientist for a day. The type of scientist doesn’t matter. You can be a biologist and go bird watching, or an astronomer and stare at the stars. If you don’t know where to start I would suggest heading over to https://scistarter.org/, which is a site filled with citizen science projects you can complete at home.
Congrats to Shannon Babb, April 2021 Adultitis Fighter of the Month. Thank you for making the world more awesome!