Friday, October 14, 2011

2 weeks school done and How we give back.

I did my lesson plans, sometimes the morning of classes but I did them. I put them into the computer made them assignments and guess what happened? Things went smoother. I am so very glad I did because we started a new level of the Barton Reading and Spelling program and new levels are always a challenge. New things get added and The Boy does not like change.

Something I love about my boy is that although he is change adverse his self talk is that he loves to try new things. I work hard to accept the self talk and encourage the actual behavior. I know what it's like to want to try new things and be too anxious to actually try them. It isn't fun for anyone at that point.

So reading was a challenge and he has taken 3 hours plus likely another 15 minutes on Monday to finish one lesson, I know it will get better once he is used to the procedures and we have done them for awhile he will settle in and do well. I really like that there isn't a lot of repetition in this, or maybe that the repetition is hidden well enough that he doesn't see it as such. She also works on introducing small enough bites that he can be successful with it about 95% of the time.

Now to the fun thing we did, the really fun thing. We have been members of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science since 1988 when DH gave me a membership as my Christmas present the first year we dated (I knew we were meant to be together forever). Over the years we have increased our membership level when we can and it is one of the 'untouchable' expenses in our budget. It is a place I have taken The Boy since he was born, a place that is as comfortable to him as home. Last night the museum had a behind the scenes event for curator level members. They offered a Halloween themed buffet, and we got to see behind the scenes of Expedition Health where they do testing on the genetics of taste. I found out anytime the lab is open you can go back and participate in their testing, they are looking at if you can taste bitter flavors. Here go to their website and Dr. Nicole can explain it much better. It was so cool and I didn't think to ask if I could take pictures there, we were able to touch a goat brain, and a cow eye. Observe some differences between a goat brain and the pictures of brains we have looked at for my sister's surgery.

Then we went to the big bone room which is some of the old halls of life that are now filled with shelves housing all of their bones. Including some from the Snowmastodon dig they are doing in Snowmass where they have found over 4500 fossils. Here go to that site as well. They also had a T-Rex leg bone and a Triceratops leg bone out to look at and the scientist brought out a T-rex tooth and let us touch the serrations on it. This was the actual fossil not a cast of it that they usually have out for the public to touch. Again no pictures because I didn't think to ask and well really I was loving seeing all of this stuff. If The Boy had been a bit older when they found the Snowmass site I would totally have volunteered us to go to the dig. We talked to one of the women who was on the dig and her eyes just lit up when she talked about what they were discovering, and finding a mastadon femur and carrying it over your shoulder to the examination area. There was plenty of talk about how we can become involved as volunteers and citizen scientists at the museum.

Then we went to the zoology department. The museum has 1.5 million specimens and about 1 million of those belong to the zoology department. They have the largest dung beetle collection in the US. I finally remembered to ask if I can take photos when I saw something that reminded me of the Bloggess and HAD too get a picture of it.
I will get you, No I will get you!
It made me laugh so much and also I now have some pictures of the last of our night and I will let the pictures tell that story, you know so you don't have to hear another 3,000 words from me.

Look it's Perry, no he did not make noise
although that would have been kinda funny.

Scorpions in jars, there are 2 Rowland heads looking intently at them.
The third felt it was better to just take a picture

Beetles, just below writing on the board that said
"Dead Beetle Society, Meets at Midnight"
I did not get a picture of the next area, it was the room where they prep the specimens and clean the bones with flesh eating beetles and was warned that it stinks. As soon as the curator said "flesh eating beetle" The Boy lunged forward and said "Where!" So he and his father went into the room and saw the beetles crawling all over the bones. Of course his father had done some volunteer work back in the 80's cleaning specimens and getting them ready for the flesh eating beetles so had already seen this. 

As we left I made sure to let the woman who organized it know that we had a wonderful time and she said they plan to do something like this every year opening different back rooms to viewing. I said that if it could be the gem & mineral area next year I would be ever so grateful. She at least acted like she would remember it. Heh. 

I love our museum and I will always support it but it was really nice to get to enjoy more of it last night. I know this was a value added experience to try to get new members at the curator's level and to encourage them to stay at that level. I know the economy is hard right now and it is a tough time to be in a sector that depends on the good graces of the public to support it. I am glad that my husband 23 years ago started us down a path that shows our son now that giving to support the community is just something we do. We support our local public radio station, we support our local science museum and our local zoo, we support efforts to help people in other areas that are in need through Doctor's without Borders. We don't belong to a church, we don't give in that way, but we do have a tradition of giving and helping others. I hadn't thought about it but we really are teaching our boy that we help where and how we can.

The boy is saving some of his money to give to The Cat Care Society, and I'll probably encourage him to give it soon during their fall pledge drive. Also this week we were listening to CPR and they are doing their fall pledge drive and on this morning if they could get 1,000 pledges they would receive $10,000. They boy was encouraging me to call in to help. I would have too, with a pledge of $25 or so just to help if they needed it. He was so happy to hear they made their goal and would get the extra money. I'm glad it has become just something we do.

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