Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Field Trips, kindles, and libraries

Hey kids. I've almost kicked this cold. However, a day in the sun collecting and identifying bugs with teenagers has left me exhausted. I just passed out for about 2 hrs in front of my TV. I started watching Jeopardy, and dammit, now I don't know who won. Hee-hee. Luckily, my parents never miss an episode, so I could call them... if I cared.

So yah, my field trip was amazing. It was a great opportunity that I scored with an environmental education organization where all of the supplies and some expertise were provided for my class for free! We were able to access a portion of a local river by public transit, and the kids went in (wearing hip waders) and collected bugs from the bottom of the stream. It was a really nice sunny day; there were lots of people fishing in the river because it is salmon spawning season. I've never been to this particular park in Toronto before; it's nice to know you can kind of get outdoors within the city.

Based on our analysis of the bugs we collected, it turns out the river is unimpaired! How nice! The neat thing about this study is that the procedure and analysis that we used is the same as those that government and environmental organizations use to determine stream/river quality, so that was cool.

After a long day in the field, I headed home (well, to Starbucks) and finished reading my first book on my Kindle. I have to say that I really like the Kindle. It's not like staring at a screen at all. Whenever I've showed it to people, they are surprised how much the screen looks like a real book. As a friend said "it's like they somehow stuck a page of a real book in there". It's very cool. And you can change the font size and things like that too. Also, it's so light and small that it makes my bag noticeably lighter. It's very portable. I kind of miss turning pages, and the physical realization of how much I read (although there's a percentage on the bottom of the screen), but I think as I read more on the Kindle, the less I'll miss that. Anyhow, I think that it's a great toy to have if you read a lot, carry books around a lot, and/or travel a lot.

The book I finished, "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks", was rather interesting, but I found the first half more fascinating then the second. It was definitely an interesting piece of non-fiction, and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who likes biology.

I got a call from the library today, because the brand new Richard B. Wright book had come in, and I'm the first person to get it! Yay! I don't think I've been the first person to read a new library book since I was a kid, and the Stratford librarians used to save the new dinosaur books for me to read first (my nerdiness was well known at the library... I was so Lisa Simpson). Anyway, my new book is called "Mr. Shakespeare's Bastard", and I'm really looking forward to it. Wright is the author of one of my favourite books (Clara Callan), so I have high hopes!

Anyway, I should start it, then sleep. I did not do any marking tonight, so I must get to school early enough so I can finish a grade 9 set of quizzes before they declare mutiny.


jason said...

Woot for HeLa cells! The nerd in me is impressed with your selection. I was so fascinated when I first heard about where this immortal cell line came from. Unfortunately I never got a chance to work with them, but I know the lab down the hall used them to test monoclonal antibodies for cancer research, being a pretty popular cell line.

Word Verif: rep it

galapogos said...

When you are reading on the Kindle, can you swipe your fingers across the screen to change the page?? Because that would be cool. And are the prices of the books for Kindle cheaper than the paper versions??

wigsf said...

So, these bugs you collected. What did you do with them? Classroom Fear Factor for students with late assignments?

That Immortal book. Is that the book about the woman who although she's been dead for years, her cancer cells have continued to live in test tubes and such for years now?

Princess Pessimism said... still Lisa Simpson. (although, i hate the lady at the library - shes a total bitch. AND when i was there day before yesterday picking up a book on criminal profiling, there was a man looking up porn - WITH KIDS AROUND - and it was some naked chick doggie stlye with her huge fake tits. I seriously pointed went over to him and said "You're fucking disgusting, there are kids here!!!" and left. Pervs.

Jabba said...

I second galapagos' question - can you turn the pages like that?! Now I'm SUPER intrigued about the Kindle.
If I got one, I would still read Austen, Dickens and Hardy old skool style though.....there is just something about them that has to be on paper.
Did you really get girly-girl teenagers out in the river picking up bugs?! That is AWESOME!!!!!!!

I almost laughed out loud when you said you were the first to read the dinosaur books....what is it about dinosaurs and kids?!

yrautca said...

I will buy the kindle when you are able to check out books on it from a virtual library. As it is now, digital books are way too expensive.