Friday, August 22, 2008
I am well aware of my increase in enthusiasm these past days. Last year I taught physics (2nd time) and human anatomy (1st time). Physics was a breeze in high school then in college it knocked me for a loop for which I will for ever be recovering. And how exactly did I get a degree in Biology without a class on humans? I had way more BIO credits than needed but I was attracted to ecology.
One benefit of teaching where I work is I get questions like, "What science do you want to teach this year?" I wanted to teach biology. But I also added geology. Yes, make life more difficult by teaching something new.
Another benefit... text book choices. I decided to turn away from traditional texts that make eyes go foggy. So I searched on-line. Then in libraries. Then in bookstores (three this past weekend) including this survivor of the big chains in Doylestown, PA. Yesterday I covered our bed with books and went back on the computer trying to make final decisions.
I struggled with this decision more than I do with most. Maybe it was I had an idea of what I wanted to find and kept looking, but a decision had to be made and I did it.
Each class will have a book to cover the basics. But I also wanted the students to read from those who write well about science. The geology students will read John McPhee's Annals of the Former World which combines four of his books of traveling with geologists, including a look at the Delaware Water Gap which could be a long but cool field trip since we could stop at the Boulder Field at Hickory Run ... Here is a photo by Mr. Biggs called "mom goat" at his FLICKR photostream.
( "mom goat" a found photo by Mr Biggs at his FLICKR photostream)
For Biology I chose Anatomy of a Rose by Sharman Apt Russell which is a great book about the life of flowers, not just roses.
Anyway, I am being drawn into these classes. Yesterday I began reading the book sent to me by Loyola Press, A Well Built Faith. In an early chapter, Joe Paprocki compares folk who force relationships with God with those folk who are called by God. Things go better if not perfectly for the latter group. Something is happening here in my heart as I prepare with enthusiasm. I hope that it is arising from a call to teach on subjects for which I have passion and a desire that this will help me to become a better teacher. Speaking of which, I plan to introduce the biology students to birds. Flowers, birds, the land of Pennsylvania they are blessings that deserve my enthusiasm.