JOHN EIDAM and I share a bond: We are adults who play with Legos.
Eidam, an elementary science teacher, justifies his Legomania by using the click-together bricks to teach his kids. I justify my habit by … um … knowing kids.
In Eidam’s Wyoming Seminary Lower School classes, students learn robotics and mechanics through Lego competitions. They concoct colorful contraptions designed to accomplish specific tasks — program a vehicle to maneuver in a miniature city, say.
In our house I clutter the place with bricks just because I marvel at the ingenuity of Lego Master Builders (a real job) and the kits they invent. Once a year I make a large layout under our Christmas tree (This year: Lord of the Rings).
Eidam’s classroom is fringed with fully-assembled Lego kits, from cop car to space shuttle..
I’ve got an attic room with a mix of loose bricks sorted by size and type, and a growing stack of boxes storing assembled kits from Hogwart’s Castle to the girl-pleasing “Friends” (my hyperactive niece plays quietly for hours during visits).
A corner of my study is cluttered with a Saturn V rocket, a Lunar Excursion Module and a massive Star Wars Imperial Star Destroyer (3,096 pieces, the largest kit ever when released in 2002).
Yes, I get a little jealous when I see how the always amiable Eidam has parlayed his job and hobby into one amalgam. It must be nice to be able to say “Why, I don’t play with Legos, I teach with Legos.”
Fine. I admit it. I just play with Legos.
But in a recent, work-related visit I managed to trump Eidam. As his students giggled, puzzled and gloated while designing rubber band cars, I pulled out the fully functional digital Lego Camera (Sales line: “Looks like a toy, shoots like a camera,” though frankly, it shoots like a toy).
They flocked around, insisting I take their pictures. Learning and competition came to a halt. You would have thought I pulled Brad Pitt out of my pocket.
I noted that, with three megapixels and a tiny, cheap lens, it wasn’t likely to produce good pics. Nodding to photographer Clark Van Orden, I said: “He has the better camera.”
Clark didn’t miss a beat.
“Not in this room.”
Contact Mark Guydish at 829-7161.