As I mentioned previously, I have been involved in a fifth grade science project. It has been quite the experience in many ways.
One of the best results of this endeavor has been an increase in closeness with our neighbors. We have been “good neighbors” for quite some time. The husband works at the barrel factory and he often brings home kiln dried oak which was destined for the waste fire. This is absolutely the best kindling ever. When I have extra fruit and veggies, I share with them. But helping the daughter with this project has really cemented good relations. I am starting to really bond with the mother, who I am sure will start helping Jim and me with our Spanish project. We feel that since we are destined to travel to Costa Rica fairly often for the foreseeable future, acquiring a certain basic facility in that language is a good idea.
So, great excitement all week as we collaborated on the final product of our little study of cherry seedlings. I am sorry to report that I neglected to take a picture of the awesome display board that my young neighbor and her older sister produced, complete with home made lettering for the title, which was illuminated with hand produced construction paper cherries. My role consisted of making sure that the project was more or less grammatically correct with as few mis-spellings as possible. This was complicated by the young lady’s slight dyslexia, but we worked to minimize that.
I also spent considerable time discussing the results of the experiment with her, helping her interpret the numbers we came up with. That was one of the learning curves I observed with my young student. She quickly learned that when you are writing the measurements down, it behooves you to produce something legible enough that you can read it later when you are calculating your averages. We also ascertained that when you are making calculations, if you leave out decimal points when you do your data entry on the calculator, it can really skew your results. (!)
Anyway, we got the project done, and done well, and it was turned in ahead of time, which must have shocked the heck out of the teacher given the complete lack of anything at all being done a few short days ago. And it was obviously her own work (with evident knowledgeable guidance) too.
So yesterday, with great excitement, my young student revealed the grade we received on our project to me.
I feel bad about the reduction in score on the “Procedure” section. I realize in retrospect that I never really read that section over very closely. I was a lot more concerned with our conclusions and guiding the thought processes about the numbers. The young lady is smart as a whip, and I discovered very quickly that with her reading/writing challenge, she has a learning pattern that works best when she “hears” information and then discusses it.
Anyway, I couldn’t be prouder of the results of this activity. Jim commented to me as we were getting ready for bed last night that I may have created an on-going job for myself. I told him that I was certainly aware of the risk, and had indicated to the neighbors that I am available any time to be a teaching resource. I suspect that I may be called on in the future, and I hope so. I really had quite a lot of fun helping out and exercising my teaching skills.
In other news, there have been developments out in the robin’s nest.
A lot can happen in five days. Those young-uns will be ready to fledge in a couple of days.
Also, the irises are being spectacular right now.
All I did with the above shot was crop it. That is the rising sun refracted in that drop, and if I could have just moved one micron to the left that would have been red rather than yellow.
Finally, last but not least, we have been working crazily to get the yard whipped into shape for the upcoming nuptials. Jim has been working on fixing the privacy fence, which suffered quite a bit from the heavy snows this winter and the strong winds this spring. I have been working on the flower gardens, which at this point mostly involves weeding and cheerleading the existing beds.
Somehow, the clematis vine on the fence seems to have gotten wind of what is coming up, and has arranged itself appropriate for the occasion.
To my imaginative and romantic eye, this looks like the rough outline of a heart, and I wish I had the bride and groom here so I could pose them in front of it. Maybe it will still be here in a couple of weeks when they are here.
Actually, my devious little mind has already applied itself to the problem of how to prune, nudge, and encourage this particular shape to develop more fully.
The sun has finally moved around to the north far enough that the dragon on the sauna wall casts a shadow.
I’ll be keeping an eye on this installation as the season progresses.
Now, I really MUST produce something for breakfast before my blood sugar crashes even further.