Field of Science

Monday morning matters?

Monday is off to a slow start.  TPP has a mid-morning appointment right across the street, so going for coffee or going to the office would just be a waste of time.  Better to waste time blogging.
Item 1: Graded exams.  Quite a bit of time was spent this weekend reading the first exam in my economic botany class.  These are upper class students who obviously find botany interesting, and economic botany does a good job of convincing people of that.  The results were pretty good in fact the best class TPP has had in years (10 of 24 aced the exam).  Had to work hard, almost to the point of quibbling, to deduct 1 point from one exam, in two half-point increments to demonstrate that a perfect paper is a theoretical construct.  You should know that TPP grades one question at a time and has no idea who wrote what and no idea how a particular student or exam is doing.  Two other students will be surprised to find they did not get the highest grade.
Item 2: International Blasphemy Rights Day - Sept. 30.  TPP has never had the urge to hurt anyone's feeling about their particular religious beliefs, but in places with blasphemy laws and a state-supported religion, sometimes just being an evolution-teaching biologist is enough to break such a law because science causes some religious people discomfort.  Boo-hoo.  Glad the people who want the USA to be a Christian nation remain a minority, although it would be a grand fight over which flavor would get top billing.
Item 3: Barely some rain event.  TPP was completely correct. The recent rain totaled a scant 1/4 inch.  Some bulbs needed planting and beneath the mulch is was just dry.  Terrible. 
Item 4: Garden work.  Planted some yellow-flowered trout lily in the woodland garden.  Transplanted some Japanese peony 2-year old plants from a seed bed to the woodland garden.  Decided where to plant the Persian ironwood (look back a blog - too lazy to link it).  Did some weeding. How do they grow so well when it's so dry?  Removed tropical floating fern from the lily pond to transport to the university glasshouse for the winter.  Harvested some very fine oak-leafed lettuce and had a dynamite BLT. 
Item 5:  Mrs. Phactor tried a new recipe, a tian.  A baked casserole of slices of tomato, zucchini, salami (rustic Italian), and mozzarella cheese, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with mixed herbs.  Wonderful.
Item 6: Shopping.  TPP needed some clothes so he went shopping which he does religiously, about twice a year. A more interesting sale was at the local garden shop, which  had an end of season, "under construction" sale, but there wasn't much that we needed.  Mrs. Phactor bought decorative gourds and a couple of colorful mums.  TPP was called on to be the resident expert.  They like me at this establishment.
Item 7: Summer continues.  Highs in the low 80s for the next few days!  It's the end of September and it's still summer.  Tropical plants get to extend their summer outdoor sojourn another few days. 

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