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February 24, 2010

Stages of Grief

Found in my internet wanderings, a selection of letters from grade school aged kids expressing their anxiety, grief, and eventual acceptance of the fact that Pluto is no longer classified as a planet. They have been compiled together as part of a new book, The Pluto Files.

The kids are rather adamant and articulate about the whole Pluto situation.

And they go through the seven stages of grief:

Shock and Denial - Will says, "You are missing planet Pluto. Please make a model of it." Then follows up with an illustration in case the scientists don't remember what it looks like.

Bargaining - John took a poll of eleven people, all of whom thought Pluto is a planet. "I had a half day off from school yesterday so my mom brought me to the Museum of Natural History and the Hayden Planetarium. I wanted to see you so I could tell you this in person."

Guilt - Madeline works the guilt aspect well...."What do you call Pluto if its not a planet anymore? If you make it a planet again all the science books will be right...Some people like Pluto."

Anger - Emerson says, "I do not like your answer!!! Pluto is my favorite planet!!! You are going to have to take all of the books away and change them."

Depression - Taylor is starting to feel the loss. "We're sorry about giving you mean letters saying we love Pluto but not you."

Acceptance - Finally, Siddiq brings it all together. "I know how you feel...we just have to get over it - that's science."

See images of the letters here.

By the by, our Fair New Mexico has already passed legislation recognizing Pluto's full planet status. Where I come from, we do "do" lesser galactic structures. Planet or nuthin' baybee! Mr. Clyde Tombaugh, a kind gentle man (yes, I once met him) would be pleased.

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All content of Oh Fair New Mexico by Karen Fayeth is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.