Saturday, May 8, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Yesterday was the final day of class...WAHOO!!!!!!

My youngest and I went by the local Farm and Garden and FINALLY picked up some plants! 
 I know we're late...but late is better than never.

We bought enough tomatoes to take up one entire bed!
We are some serious tomato eaters at our house...we bought several different sizes and varieties and carefully stuck their little "signs," as they youngest called them, into the dirt next to the plants so that we could keep up with what is what.

It was 94 degrees at 3 p.m. in the afternoon Friday so I got to plant all of these by myself.  My youngest bailed on me quickly and joined her big sisters in the pool.

She did come back to help me when it was time to plant the cucumbers, squash, yellow bell peppers, watermelon and strawberries, thank goodness...bc I was pooped!!!
She cut the outside papers off of the little biodegradable pots.

Then, she tore off little bits of the bottoms so that the roots could easily find their way into the dirt.

Once the little plant was securely set in its hole, my youngest prepared to cover the plants with the dark dirt.  She knows the dark dirt is rich with nutrients and fertilizers that the plants need just like people need their healthy foods and vitamins.

She was very careful to make sure the dirt surrounded the plant...

She was also very careful not to "drown" the little plant with too much dirt.  It was fun to watch her be so careful with the little plants.

Like her oldest sister, this one is very particular with the way things are...she wants it to be right...she doesn't want it to be done half way.  Please notice the serious look of concentration on her face.

I haven't been able to find many yellow bell peppers in the grocery store I'm looking forward to these little babies growing up.

I hadn't planned on buying strawberries.
But, my youngest was determined.

Hopefully we planted them correctly enough that something will grow and she'll be able to experience seeing how her favorite berry comes into the world. :)

Again, the serious attention to detail :)

Please notice how dirty her swimming suit is getting :)

We may have planted this one a little deep...she was very concerned that the strawberry leaves were mostly under the dirt.  We'll cross our fingers and hope that the little plant will burst through the dirt as it grows.

Rest, little strawberries...and build up your strength to break through the dirt.

All three beds are planted.
We watered them...and then jumped into the swimming pool!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Classroom Visit

At the end of each semester my students each are responsible for preparing a powerpoint presentation.  I thoroughly enjoy listening to my students walk through their research process, sharing not only what they learned from their research but also what they learned (or didn't learn :) about the research process itself and the resulting paper. 

By this time in the semester the papers are all graded, some of the pressure of the semester is removed and we are all just relaxing a little bit. 

Yesterday this beautiful young lady, who I've known for several years, was presenting her research. 

As she was discussing a semester's worth of work in front of a classroom full of her peers and her teacher (me) who is grading her, something happened.

As is customary in Mississippi when the temperatures begin to rise, men, women and children begin wearing flip flops.  You can find flip flops of every variety around here: sassy flip flops, shower shoes, casual flip flops, beachy flip flops in every design imaginable and even dressy flip flops.  On this day in particular, I had on my dressy flip flops.  I just happened to sneak a peek at my toes, which are in much need of a pedicure...and I saw this...

Standing right by my left foot was a spider very similar to this one...only bigger...with longer legs and more eyes!!

Now, I am a professional woman...I pride myself in my ability to stay calm. 
I have handled everything from vomiting, a seizure, a panic attack, angry students from time to time and once even a possible gun threat in my building.
You would think I could handle a spider, right?



jumped up out of the chair I was sitting in,

and ran across the room. 

Yes, I did.
I ran across the room.

Then and only then did I return to reality and realize what I had just done. 

Of course, some of the young ladies in my class sitting on the front rows also saw Mr. (or Mrs.) Spider as soon as I jumped up, and they were also sitting in their chairs with their feet up.  One was even standing in her chair!


This wonderful young man who also sits in the front row became the HERO of the day.

As calm as you please, he got up, retrieved a magazine from one of my shelves and, amidsts squealing provided by me and my femle students, he killed the spider.
He then scooped the spider remains up and carried it to the recycling bin.
I told him he could go ahead and toss the magazine in as well.

You may be wondering what happened to the student who was presenting.
She actually stayed calmer than most of the rest of us.  She was already sitting on the side of a desk controlling the laptop.  All she had to do was lift her feet.
After we all calmed back down, and I found a completely different place in the classroom to sit, she finished her presentation.

She also received a perfect 100 A+ on her presentation.
As did my hero :):)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Research Papers

So much for not bringing my work home with me.

I'm still grading.

I did take a break last night and had a nice glass of wine...ok, ok, I had two nice glasses of wine :)
I graded like a mad woman this afternoon and had to take a nap before evening church services because my head was throbbing...not from the wine :0)

The papers have ranged from really good, I'm very proud, maybe not perfect, but I think they learned a little something along the way...
Where the hell have these people been all semester long????

At first I was going to give the "Where the hell have these people been all semester long?" papers back tomorrow and ask them to do some revisions.
By late this afternoon, I changed my mind.
We have worked on this project
If they haven't got it by now, guess what?
They ain't gonna get it.

I don't mean to sound harsh.
I'm tired.
These folks won't have F's because I'm teaching a process here...that is evaluated on more than just the final grade on the paper.
But they ain't gettin' an A either.

And then I can go on with my life.
So there.