Field of Science

Back in the saddle again

The "spring" semester has started, last Monday to be precise.  Let's be honest for a moment; this is actually the "winter" semester.  Eight of the 15 weeks are before mid-March when the first hints of spring begin to appear.  It's tough to teach plant based courses, especially those that use native plants, on this academic calendar.  No one seems to care if they make life hard for us. Fortunately the glasshouse will provide quite a few specimens, and at least at the beginning, students take quite awhile to figure out what they have. In advanced botany classes, your students are dedicated and interested, so that's a big plus. It's plant taxonomy and plant ID, so TPP will try to impress upon them all the positive things about Latin and scientific names, and how familiar they actually are (Petunia, Asparagus, etc.).  Of course getting them to approximate a correct pronunciation is difficult after all what do you think when you read Julius Caesar?  YOO-lee-us CHAY-sar, or YOO-lee-us KAY-sar, or JOO-lee-us SEE-zer?  If you get that one, try Clematis. Everyone needs a challenge.  What a coincidence!  Just as this was typed, the young fellow in the next office just stopped in to borrow a Latin dictionary, but TPP only has one for botanical Latin, and my colleague is an entomologist.  Close enough. My colleague is quite an active taxonomist although he retired at least 25 years ago. Such an inspiration.

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