January 2 – Back to School

My classes started on Tuesday, and it wasn’t an auspicious beginning.  First, I figured out that I had been assigned an awful classroom.  I steamed about it for awhile before I decided there wasn’t much I could do about it.  Then I had computer problems.  I started my new marine biology class, which is kind of fun.  Thursday night Stacey and I went to a hearing about the expansion of our fire district.  I learned a lot.  In particular, there are people who would apparently rather go without fire protection than pay taxes.  I think that’s a failed intelligence test. 

Friday I just had one meeting.  I had one crazed moment and elected myself chair of the committee.  At least it’s a worthy cause–trying to solve North Campus problems.  I drove the truck in so I could pick up some free barrels that the recycling center was giving away. 

We had a chemical spill over the weekend that turned into an overhyped event.  Less than 20 ml of harmless material was spilled by a custodian, and security called the haz-mat crew.  It made all the local news.  Then they had taken a bottle of gunpowder out of the chem lab and had it taken away by the ATF.  Now our chemist will have to go buy another bottle of gunpowder to teach his lab.

I got in touch with the curator for the Canton Area Arts Council.  Our Camera Club will be able to present a show in June in the art gallery.  Pretty exciting. 

Saturday was a Discovery Day.  I talked to a couple of students, but they weren’t interested in my area in particular, just areas in my Division that I don’t know as well.  At least our Math prof got a live one, which is rare.  It was probably the best time just talking to other faculty that I seldom see.  I had the free lunch and went home.

Sunday I went out to Lowell’s.  I delivered the barrels I had gotten at the recycling place.  We went for a walk on mucky soil.  We saw the pileated woodpecker twice.  It flew right over our heads at one point.  We’ve been trying to create nesting habitat for them, but without success so far.  I also saw an eagle fly low across the lake.  The ice was too melted for fishing.

In the afternoon I watched the Colts/Jets game.  It’s the first and only football game I’ve watched all season.  Monday morning I woke with a horrible neck ache.  I guess while watching the football game my neck was bent too far forward–I was lying on the bed with about three pillows propping me up.  Ouch.  I got through my classes OK.  In Bio II lab everybody repotted a plant and took it home.  I had all the sotol plants from Arizona that we rooted last fall.  I made sure everyone got their hands dirty.  I have to find ways to make these kids feel closer to the earth.

We’ve had solid overcast for days, so when the sun came out on Tuesday I tried to get home early and get down to the river for some eagle photos.  I took Gretchen with me.  She was cooperative, but the eagles were not.  Since I didn’t have any pics of wildlife this week, I did some portraits of Gretchen.  She’s a little large (14 lb now)  for the insect studio, but we made do.  She’s a very cooperative model.  Click through to the Picasa web album for more images of my favorite dog.

From Winter 2010

She looks pretty harmless, even adorable, here.  That’s very deceptive on her part.

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