Nearly a month went by without any new posts, despite my recent statements about blogging in earnest. I found that teaching writing classes not only involved lots of time grading papers but also focused my interest on writing. I'm actually writing a lot in various journals and notebooks, but was not focusing in the short run on material I wanted to post here. Finally, in the month of July, I managed to resume my average of one post per day for the month. I plan to surpass that volume from here on out. What I post here, combined with my daily writing in journals, is mostly fine-tuning what I hope to publish in a memoir about my experiences in education as student, parent, teacher, supporter and critic.
Meanwhile, I am still available for guiding local nature hikes. Contact me at email@example.com to inquire about rates and parameters of time, distance, and personal needs regarding matters of health and fitness.
I have been teaching since 1965 and have recently joined the English Department as an Associate Faculty member at Feather River College. Recently taught Nature Literature in America and am currently teaching Interpersonal Communication and Basic Reading and Writing.
I got hooked on staring into a saucepan again this morning. As usual, I saw something new. Or, perhaps something old seen in a new way. I was cooking oatmeal when I notice bubbles on the rim of the pan above the oatmeal. While the heat coming from below was sufficient to boil the water, then keep boiling once the oatmeal was added, apparently the rim of the pan remained cold enough (not difficult in my inadequately heated house) to cause the vapor to condense before it left the scene. This brought to mind the idea of micro-habitats, something I've discussed and photographed often on this blog. When nature's little habitats are examined closely, on a scale smaller than human, we often discover radically different conditions of light, temperature and moisture in places only inches apart. I assume that microorganisms split hairs even further and detect "climate variations" only microns apart. Besides the evaporation and condensation apparent here, I also enjoyed how the foam around the edges of the pan resembled the foam associated with waves breaking at the seas shore. That thought led to my looking deeper into the oatmeal itself at which point I was visualizing
what is often called "primordial ooze" or "primordial soup," the sort of habitat where life might have originated on Earth or elsewhere. As I stared at the oatmeal I remember algae-laden hot springs seen in Yellowstone and Lassen Parks, among other places, and imagined the famous Miller-Urey experiment being done in nature rather than in the lab. If I could control these stove-top experiences better, it seems like they'd have lots of potential for high school lab simulations. I hope this doesn't cause anyone to lose interest in eating their oatmeal. It's really good for you!