Posted by: jwhiff | December 10, 2010

Rainy Days and Class Visits

Well…the bad news is that we were rained out of another field trip.  But…the good news is that the kids and I finally met Rob Butler.

Rob is an ornithologist and an artist.  I could go on about the wealth of experience and expertise he has, but I can’t help but focus in on the obvious love for what he does.  And like Ruth and Rod, his connection with the natural world was fostered before the age of ten.   I wonder if this is true for Rod Ydenberg and Leigh Scatchard, both of whom also radiated an enthusiasm for what they do (or have done)?

I am sure the kids notice this as well, if even implicitly.  You should have seen them when they were interviewing Rob!  Their questions were so good and they actively listened to the responses, which of course fuelled more questions.  The enthusiasm our scientists display is contagious, I am certain of that.

It is my sincere hope that I am providing even a small fraction of the experiences needed for my students form the kind of connections that started for Ruth, Rod, and Rob when they were children.   Mentorship and time to explore, notice, reflect, question…when they are present for real, those moments shine like flecks of gold amongst the sand.  Yes, at those times I recognize myself for what I am: a gold panner.  Thing is, I know that the gold is out there.  And I am definitely after it.

Anyway, back to earth, Jen!  Even though our field trip was cancelled due to weather once again, I haven’t given up.  I am trying one last time to get out there before the holidays.  Thursday is our day, I can just feel it!  I really want to set the kids up for a little productive bird watching this Christmas.

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