Never a Dull Moment

As I mentioned in my last blog, I am fortunate to have a great job this summer and have a lot of variety in my life. After the business conference, I spent Wednesday at my field site in Darke county just exploring. We are finally done with our scheduled sampling, so we just went out to check out the plants there and see if there is anything we hadn't seen before.

UD does not have a botany program, which is a bit disappointing, but I have managed to feed my interest in plants just through the research I have done. Dr. McEwan's lab is an ecology lab, but part of ecology is botany, so I have still learned a lot of trees, shrubs, and herbs just through the research.

After spending Wednesday in the woods botanizing, I spent Thursday working on a Rivers Institute program for Daybreak. I had never heard of Daybreak before, but it is a shelter for teenagers in the Dayton area. Some of the people there are runaways and some were placed there by the court. We had a program for the shelter clients that are 18 years old, and they were the most inspiring group of people! We wanted the program to be an eco-retreat, so we did a kayak program at Eastwood Metropark's lake in the morning and art therapy in the afternoon. I unfortunately was not able to be a part of the kayaking portion, but I was part of the art portion. Each of the participants painted a picture frame that served as a symbol of their past, present, and/or future, and they each had amazing stories. I went into the day feeling stressed about things with the engagement and whatnot, but hearing how hard their lives are and seeing how optimistic they are, I left feeling totally centered and humbled. Running a program like that really helps me remember what is important in life and motivates me as a teacher to remember the importance of taking the time to care about each child. Anyways, I could go on forever about the wonderful time I had with these beautiful people, but I think you get the point.

Have a great day!