There is a knock on my bedroom door. It is 5:30pm.
Me: yes? Come in..
Squirt: Mom, what are you doing?
Me: lying in bed
Squirt: I can see that. Are you going to cook dinner?
Me: no
Squirt: When are you going to run?
Me: run? Run? I can barely get up, how am I supposed to run?
Squirt: if you don't get up I'm going to have to drag you.
(He takes my iPhone off my lap and says...)
Squirt: you can't have this back until you run.
(He walks out of my room)
I get up, put on my sweats and walk downstairs. He is at the kitchen table putting on his running shoes.
Me: What are you doing?
Squirt: Taking you running.
We ran together around the block twice.

I love my son.



Dan hung some pictures today because we had to rearrange pictures in our house. Here are the two that are now in my office. It's nice to not stare at a blank wall. Nice view! I've had a really rough weekend and hope things get better soon.


Tonight I ran/organized a Family Science Night for over 100 kids and their families at a local elementary school. I had 15 student helpers and a couple graduate students and even my colleague Miss March helped out. It was a complete success. I wish I could post pictures of it here, but I really can't. But I did take this picture of a structural challenge kids had.


Today we officially became the new Dept. of STEM Education!



Met a former student at work today who is going to teach my curriculum to her elementary students. I lent her everything I had. It was good to be passing on this curriculum, and I plan to watch her teach it this week or next. Little kids saving penguins should be really fun to watch! Worked on the Science Family Night some more, chatted with colleagues, came home and found Dan in the back yard raking up THESE. Millions and billions of ginko seeds. I helped him for about an hour and then we went grocery shopping and out to eat. We filled three huge lawn/leaf bags with these seeds and have only harvested them from about 10th of the area where they are. Anybody want to grow some ginkos? We have seeds. You can start a forest with them. Seriously.



Transcribed more video, worked on masters redesign, worked on my syllabus, and got happy that Dan was coming home. He came home with a gift. Isn't it beautiful? Painted by a friend of ours in Charlottesville. It's called Mountain View Farm. It was very good to have him home. Oh, and he also brought Bodo's Bagels. Aza came by to enjoy one after work. Also a treat, as usual.

Called my mom this evening to wish her a happy birthday. She turned 77 today.



Got up, made brownies, tea, and lemonade, cleaned the house, and got ready for students to come over for a poster making event. We made about 12 posters and then I finished up the remaining 6 after they left. These are for an event we are doing at a local school on Thursday. Transcribed video, and then watched Waiting for Superman again. What a very compelling movie.




Where is home? From the comfort of my ergonomic desk chair I can watch a live webcam of my "hometown" Auburn, Alabama, a place to which I moved at age 13 and then proceeded to grow up, marry, graduate, and leave. I watch from afar and grieve for the trees, but also for my loss of place. I am not there. I have not lived there in 25 years. But I can close my eyes, and get in my old yellow '75 VW Rabbit and drive around town with the windows down and smell the warm red-clay-magnolia air, hear the shrill of the cicadas, and navigate as if there is a compass in my head. I can feel myself go up and over the railroad tracks on College Street. I can wind down Chewakla Drive. I can pass Glenn Dean and decide whether to take Dean over to the OA Highway, or shortcut across from Kroger. I can be there. I can be "home" in my head when I close my eyes.

Then, from the comfort of my ergonomic desk chair, I can get on Googlemaps and using street view, drive down my street where I live. I can see people, cars, trees that have been cut down, and the house where I live before I lived in it. I've lived here almost 2 years. The GoogleMap truck must have came before that, because the ginko tree out front was never that small when we moved in.

Which is home? What am I doing here? Why does my heart physically ache when I type those words? I am lost.

On an entirely different, but perhaps related thought, I watched Waiting for Superman tonight and afterwards I got to thinking about how I'm getting my students when they're seniors in college. They have not had the best educational backgrounds. They come to me with such deficiencies in math and science. I think, what can I do? These students are graduating. And then the small voice tells me, no. They are just beginning. I'm reaching down to the very very beginning to make a difference. I get to change the teachers, if they let me, before they even have the opportunity to teach the small children. I can catalizye. I have a lot to learn, and a big job to do, if I'm to do it well.

And then, we still have that problem of not feeling "home" and "grounded" and somehow that crazy poison man has poisoned me too.

Dan, I know you told me to go to bed, that I was too tired to be up any more, but I just had to get this in writing. I'm going to sleep now. Come home soon, I miss you. I am only home when you are with me. You are "home" to me.



My heart is breaking for the Toomer's Corner live oak trees. They were poisoned by a crazed criminal. I'm watching the university try to save them via live video feed.



So, the other day I made treats for my students and forgot to take a picture of them. We had worm babies in our worm habitats so we had a worm baby shower and I made dirt pudding cups with gummy worms for everyone in class. This is a used one ready for the dishwasher... but isn't my sticker cute?!?!


So my snowdrops are finally being flowery and I think crocuses are planning to erupt soon.

My online class went so well tonight. I had a guest speaker from NC State and all my students showed up and we had a fantastic class discussing and asking questions and laughing. Here is a photo of the screen at one point. Major success!!!





It was a regular day at work- teaching, meetings, etc. until I came home.
Dan: I got us a reservation for dinner.
Me: Really? Where?
Dan: Do you want it to be a surprise?
Me: Sure!
And as we drove around downtown I kept guessing and then ruling out places based on where we were headed. Then I guessed it! Stella's Deli must have a Valentine's Special!
Dan: Yes!
They normally only serve lunch, but tonight was different. We had a 5 course meal including (filet mignon)and it was just divine. An evening to remember. Plus, when we got home, not that I had room for one more wafer, but Dan gave me a box of Kentucky Chocolates. Happy Valentine's Day!
Posted by Picasa


Dan and I started the day celebrating the end of an era. We successfully raised three children into and out of teenage-hood. Today we start a new phase in our lives- no teenagers! Squirt is 20!


Happy Birthday Squirt! Aza came over and we all went out to dinner at our favorite, Bella Notte. They fed us wonderfully, even gave Squirt a birthday cake to take home. A very small one. We drove there in Aza's new car- very roomy and comfy.





Saturday. Made out my too-do list then started trying to cross things off. Got some grading done and some reviewing for a conference, and attempted a pizza for dinner. The thing just wouldn't slide off the peel onto the stone very well. Oh, it tasted good, so I can't complain.


Fever and headache, lying in bed. Photo of bedside table.



I ordered this book and it came today. It's SO good, I wish I could use it as a textbook in a special class. So today I had a really good class. My students seem to really like it, and they "get it" this semester. We had some exciting stuff to witness in class. Students are doing a project with earthworms, and two of the worm habitats produced baby worms. That was cool. They are also observing mealworms life cycles, and today we got to actually witness one shedding its skin and turning from creepy crawly mealworm to pupae. I love my job on days like this.



It snowed AGAIN. This time it was light and fluffy, and I took the bus home in it. Here is a photo of my building from the bus stop. It was actually nice walking home in the stuff. Maybe I'll miss the snow. I stayed at work really late so it was dark by the time I got home. Decided today not to get my paper written for NARST by the deadline for the proceedings CD. I'll just get it done in time for the conference in April. March will be a good month for writing. It's a relief, but also an excuse to let up and be more lackadaisical.



I love when Aza comes over to hang out. Here she and Squirt are on the couch watching TV. They love it when I take photos of them like this.

Today was a really long day. Coffee meeting with Miss March and Miss January at my favorite coffee haunt, 3rd Street Stuff (but the service is sooo slow). Taught a class. Ah, the ultra-fun college faculty meeting. Then my night class. I got home pretty exhausted by 7:30 or so.



Monday. It snowed big flakes that were wet and fell like feathers. I had planned to go to work, but when this stuff started piling up, decided to work from home. I really don't have an optimal place to get anything done anymore. When I'm at school I'm interrupted and can only focus on certain tasks. At home, I'm easily distracted and just hate sitting here im my little office staring at a computer screen. It was a pretty snow, but really. When will it end?



I am consumed with a new project even though I'm trying not to be consumed by it, and even though I'm not sure it's even a good idea for me to be involved with it. But somehow I'm drawn to the idea of it. I'm sure Dr. Heim would be able to give me some insight into why. Ready? I'm (choking just to say it) spearheading my (cough cough) high school 30-year reunion. Oh lord, why????? I didn't even LIKE high school. However, I've become fond of some of my childhood friends lately through Facebook and now there are 71 former Class of '81 alum in a Facebook group I organized, waiting for me to set a date. Yikes.




Saturday. It snowed a crazy snow today- blowing sideways little balls of ice- and then it stopped. I tried to photograph it before it all melted away. I worked today, all day really, to get myself caught up. Graded, organized, planned, transcribed. Made a chicken etouffee for dinner that was fabulous, the highlight of my day. Frisbee has taken to Aza's bed and even though it's pretty high up, he can jump into it. With toys in tow.


I worked at home all morning, had a meeting at school around noon, ran errands after that and then met with an elementary school science teacher at 3:00 pm. I loved seeing her classroom and hearing about all the stuff she does with the kids. But guess how often a student at that school has science? For one hour every SIX days. That's it. She is the only science teacher for grades K-5. She showed me how she scrounges for supplies. She gets these pencil sharpeners from Oriental Trading to use for teaching the seasons. Great idea!



Jupiter in the night sky. 10 second exposure with 4.5 f-stop.

Aza came over for dinner tonight and we did some astrophototography together. We took a series of photos at different shutter speeds- fun stuff. I had a good day. Taught two classes and felt really productive and helpful. I love days like this.


Groundhog Day, 2011. This is on my walk home. While the rest of the country is buried in snow we just have flurries. I felt tired today and really only woke up late afternoon on my way home from work. Dark winter is dragging on.