Friday, January 26, 2007

Commitment schmamitment

I can't believe I haven't posted since Tuesday! So much for my "commitment" to myself to post everyday. Apparently it bit the dust shortly after the "eat better" commitment collided with the Girl Scouts.

I think it's because our schedule was so wacky. I've been extra-exhausted this week after only going to work on Friday last week due to the ice storms. Then, when we all got to school Monday morning, they told us that there was a water main that had broken. We had to send all the kids home! I did get several hours of work done that day, though. It's amazing what I can accomplish when I don't have to actually teach. :-)

So, this wasn't even a full week -- only FOUR days -- and I'm still ridiculously tired.

On the upside, my students did some fun labs this week. I'm in a brand-new lab that I get to stock and set up throughout this year! It's been a blast.

My biology I class is covering fungi, so we looked at various fungi, both live and preserved specimens. They'll finish the lab with preserved slides on Monday. I love subjects that make my students go, "Eeeewww!!! Moldy food!!!". I actually gave extra credit to students for bringing in specimens of moldy bread or fruit, because, the ONE time I actually NEEDED moldy bread, there was none to be found in our house. Sheesh. Of course, it was the night before I needed it... can't make it mold overnight very well (I had several students who tried to do that, too!).

My IPC (physical science) class is beginning a unit on acids and bases. We'll be doing a lab next week, and I wanted to impress on them the importance of lab safety. So, I cracked an egg into a petri dish on the overhead. The light shines through the transparent portion of the white. I explain that the white of the egg is protein, much like their eye is protein. Then I drop hydrochloric acid onto it, which fries the egg just as if it were in a pan on the stove. It turns opaque, and has a pretty big "wow" factor.

My chemistry class used the fume hood for the first time all year. I've been waiting for some ventilation errors to be fixed. They did a neat limiting reactants lab with magnesium and hydrochloric acid. The reaction fizzes and fumes and generates a lot of heat (I think I know some people who could be described that way). They love being in the lab. I'm getting ready to order materials for us to tie-dye t-shirts. I remember doing that in my high school chemistry class. I wore that shirt until it actually fell apart.

As I read back over the list of labs I wrote, taught, prepared, supervised, and cleaned up after, I'm beginning to think that I have a reason to be tired this Friday evening. Especially considering that I also gave and graded several tests and quizzes, oh, and that pesky job of managing a classroom, and did it all in FOUR days.

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