The Roots of a New Start

The Roots of a New Start

My most vivid memory from kindergarten is when the entire grade gathered in one classroom to hear a local dairy producer talk about her family’s farm. Then we all went outside to pet a beautiful Guernsey heifer calf. (I think we ate ice cream later, too.)

The best day in first grade was the last day of school when we visited several classrooms for various activities. My favorite was the science station, where the teacher stood in front of the class with various objects, and we were to predict whether that object would float or sink. We recorded our predictions, and then she lowered the item into a glass bowl of water.

My second grade teacher was from Louisiana. In math, she taught us to remember how to write “greater than” and “less than” signs by thinking about them as alligators that would eat the bigger number. This picture fascinated me.

In third grade, my mind changed every day regarding a future career. I would say to my friend one day, “I’m going to be a writer!” The next day, I would say, “I’m going to be a vet!” Then the day after that, I’d say, “I’m going to be a writer!” Continue reading “The Roots of a New Start”

Updates, Many of Which Happily Deal with Writing and Communications

Just thought I’d take this opportunity of a two-hour delay (a result of heavy fog) to write down some tidbits from teaching lately.

The most recent happenings were district leadership Career Development Events, competitions where FFA members give speeches or demonstrations, participate in a job interview, write a persuasive essay and more. Five of my students competed, and one won in essay! So he will be competing at state. When I read the essay the next morning before heading to work, I about cried because it was such beautiful writing.

Probably the neatest moment of that was when he was congratulated on stage, one of his best friends was standing there as a district officer, and the look on their faces as they shook hands was priceless. Continue reading “Updates, Many of Which Happily Deal with Writing and Communications”

Fish Sticks and Concrete: An Update from the Ag Shop

I’ve discovered that even though I can stay engaged at an all-day seminar full of talking and presentations as long as I have a notebook and pen, I hate teaching like that. I just don’t like talking all day. I’ve had a few days where I talk in all four of my morning classes, and I’m zapped by noon. So I’ve started planning better so I do less of that.

This morning, after presentations given by the high school students, I was asking how things went for them. As they were discussing, I gathered they did not enjoy presenting. One student asked, “How do you teach? How do you stand up there all the time?”

I appreciated the question and was, in a way, touched the student asked me. I thought, “I have no idea some days.”  Continue reading “Fish Sticks and Concrete: An Update from the Ag Shop”

Shorts for the New Year

Happy 2016! Here, it has been warm with a couple of days of extreme cold and slick conditions. There’s been only one two-hour delay, and I’ve only had to break the ice on the cattle water tanks once. The first day all winter I had to pull out my Carhartt coveralls was January 11. Weatherbug shows temperatures hovering around freezing this next week with a bit of snow on Wednesday.


Thursday’s class. Special note: All students in the following convo are male.

Student A: “Why do you still play VHS?”
Student B: “Because most of the videos she has are still VHS.”
Student C: “I still have a VHS.”
Student A: “Wow, do you use it?”
Student C: “Yeah, I watch Winnie the Pooh.”


Our baritone players were unavailable during the high school homecoming game last night, so I filled in.


It was a lot of fun, and I sounded a lot better than I did last year when I played for Alumni and Friends Night. That was encouraging. Continue reading “Shorts for the New Year”