Field of Science

TGIF, GF & Earth Day

Yesterday was a queer day, queer in the sense of not-quite-right, which is what my Mother taught me the word meant (pronounced "choir"; she was southern). It was a Friday, always a suspect day on college campuses because everyone wanted the week to end the day before. And yesterday was Good Friday, which sort of caught me by surprise; stock market was closed so Mrs. Phactor had the day off, but for most students that was a good excuse to skip out and go home early. The Phactor finds this particularly strange because as an undergrad only a school closing would get me to go home. Colleges had lots of things going on, lots of people, and everything on campus was more interesting than anything back home. But large numbers of our students still go home on weekends; still don't get it. Next Friday is the last day of the semester, so maybe this was a last hurrah. It was also Earth Day, which was more or less a no show this year, not to mention that the weather was horrible what with end-of-the-Earth thunder storms. So the usual busy halls of our building were vacant, empty, a virtual ghost town. All of this didn't affect my plant diversity class much; 70% attended, maybe 10% lower than normal, and the whining was up about 30%. All typical enough for this point in the semester and given their lousy exam performance last week. Plant diversity has a way of sneaking up on students who study for exams rather than studying to learn. It's a very cumulative subject matter, so if earlier ideas and organisms didn't get mastered, they suddenly find themselves sinking fast. And to top it all off, a manuscript gets returned for "major revision" and you have to put the thing down and walk away for a week to keep from just screaming at the editor who agreed with the dummies who did the reviews. Maybe the Phactor will go home for the weekend.

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