Air Canada kept e-mailing me about a North America sale, which was perfect, because I'd decided that summer trip #2 would be to Vancouver and Vancouver Island. I have a bunch of friends out west (including three fabulous blog friends!) so I decided it would be great to head out there at the end of August. I'll spend about five days in Vancouver, and the rest of my time on Vancouver Island. My friend Alison, from university, moved to Courtenay last summer, and I'm excited to spend a good deal of time with her.
I was looking through my calendar, and I've realized that between travelling, driving my cat to my parents', glamping, friends visiting me, and going to music festivals, every single weekend this summer is booked up. It's going to be a fun time.
This evening I wandered to the bookstore to look at travel books, but I'm going on a US shopping trip this weekend, so I hope that we hit a bookstore, as most of the list prices are $4 cheaper in the US.
In other stuff, I'm reading a book that I adore: Up the Down Staircase by Bel Kaufman. It was written in the late 1960s, and it's about teaching in an inner city school in NYC. It's written as a series of letters, memos, chalkboard notes, and pieces of student work. It's brilliant and I can relate to it so much. It's funny that even though a lot has changed in education since that time, so much is still the same.
My favourite line from the book comes from when the main character, a naive first year teacher, writes her department head to tell him her class average is 44 3/5 - it's supposed to be 33. He replies back "let it be a challenge to you." Best line ever. Today I found out that my environmental science course next year will be V-coded. This means that I'll have to teach two curricula to students of different ability levels at the same time (sort of like a split grade in elementary school, I suppose). Let it be a challenge to me.
Anyway, I love this book, and I highly recommend it to anyone, whether they be a teacher, or just a former student.
Today I had one of my classes dissect flowers. I really like a good flower dissection. Whenever I teach plants, I go to a cheap flower store that I know and pick up either some mini-daffodils or lilies for my classes. Mini daffodils are the best to dissect because they have big ovules, and you get a lot of flowers per plant for a low price, but they're out of season so I had to go for lilies which are more expensive and have minuscule ovules.
My grade tens were super excited about the flower dissection (I guess kids haven't been totally wrecked by technology yet) and were cute as they walked into my room and saw lilies in a giant Erlenmeyer flask. "Oh Miss, you shouldn't have!" said many a student, as if I'd bought the bouquets for them. I heard comments about "oh, they're too pretty to dissect!" to which I replied "why didn't you say that about the fish? Poor fish!"
Of course, a lesson on sexual reproduction always has its moments. Today I had to field the question of whether flowers have orgasms, and I replied with a deadpan "Do plants have nervous systems?" even though I want to laugh or scream or whatever.
It's never a dull moment when you're dissecting a flower, I tell you.