Showing posts from August, 2013

2013 July Summary! (And Mars).

I got A's in both Geology and 'Environment and Society', which, in addition to my 3 A's from the beginning of summer, give me a 4.0 semester for five classes! I was exempted from my Environment Final (because I got 102% on the first midterm, 110% on the second, and 100% on both my papers). I didn't know they could do that, but I'm certainly happy about it!

EDIT UPDATE : I got a letter from the university telling me I earned President's Honor List for my 4.0! WOOHOO!

I'm registered for Fall, and that will be the end of my curriculum. I'll graduate when I finish the 6-Month independent teaching in Spring!

I'm currently studying for my last teaching certification, the Biology 6-12. I took the pretest and got a 70% on it (pre-studying) and 70% is the lowest passing percentage. I take the exam in a couple weeks and plan to knock it out of the park.

Future plans:
Study and pass the GRE during Fall. Apply to Master's program at end of Curriculum (Fa…

Review: The Man Who Planted Trees: Lost Groves, Champion Trees, and an Urgent Plan to Save the Planet

The Man Who Planted Trees: Lost Groves, Champion Trees, and an Urgent Plan to Save the Planet by Jim Robbins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've never read a book that made me so desire to become either a forester or a druid. There's a bit of mystic woo in the book, I'll admit, between a near-death-experience and tree spirits, but the project itself is sound. Between chapters about the project and the trees being cloned are chapters with research and information on everything from climate change to the role of trees in history. People who are curious or enraptured by the research can find the sources in the appendix! I borrowed this from the library but will be getting a copy for my home/school library as well. Just, wonderful book.

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20130228 Gulf Specimen Marine Lab - Panacea Florida

The Gulf Specimen Marine Lab is tucked in among really nice seaside residences. A small front building contains the gift shop and a small office, while the aquariums are pretty much all outdoor or in open air tents.  They have several touch tanks with various  shell-life and horseshoe crabs (mating, I  might add), but some tanks were strictly  "no touch".  The marine lab is a working lab  and human interference in the experiments  means trying to account for the errors you introduce or injury you cause (via the  chemicals on your hands) or starting the entire experiment over from scratch. It was a really cool place.

They had a nurse shark pair and their calf. I think I had to take ten photos just to get one with one adult and the calf in the same shot. The parents swam in circles in the small-diameter of the tank (maybe ten feet). One stayed near the calf  nearly all the time, and following it when it swam off.

Allie is a Loggerhead Sea Turtle. They're endangered and are…

Review: Mercy Thompson: Moon Called, Volume 1

Mercy Thompson: Moon Called, Volume 1 by Patricia Briggs

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The graphical novel felt only half-completed. Not the story; I'm aware it's Volume 1. I mean that the characters and line felt half written. As if it's the idea for a story arc that wasn't really fleshed out well. I've just finished the prequel Homecoming, and I think nothing came between the two, but it feels like there's a gap that isn't explained. You know how some backstory is brushed through so you have an idea about who the character is and what they're doing there etc, well I don't find that in this one. A few lines here and there that seem poorly connected.

Still don't like the art. Feels like rotoscoped SIMS models. I'll finish Volume 2, since I have it, but plan on reading the first novel anyway. I'm hoping that whatever feels incomplete here is present in the novel. Homecoming peaked my interest in the character; I hope the book Moon Cal…

Review: The Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

At first the book is an eloquent textbook on architecture. The author practically paints Paris and the history of it's architecture, and it's beautiful. I listened to the audiobook version and the orator's dancing tone made it all the more beautiful.

It takes a while to get to the story itself, and then there are bits of history or art dappled throughout. It really is beautifully eclectic. The story is dark, sad, and where appropriate emotionally disgusting. I giggled, I cringed, I deflated. It was wonderful. If you have a hard time getting through it on paper (due to length or verbage or something) I do highly recommend the Blackstone audiobook. It will draw you through Paris, the story, and the irony, the tragedy, and you will enjoy it.

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