Hey everybody!

Well, I’m smack dab in the middle of training right now. I’ve got a new very temporary (six weeks only) job for the summer before I move onto something a touch more long term (a year or so), and of course… training. Twelve hours a day, every day, for over a week.

So I picked a crappy time to go ahead and start a blog, didn’t I?



In return, I’m going to toss a quick goofy story at you. This is an excerpt from a “camp journal” I made for my job a year or so ago. I’m not going to edit it really because well… It’s 11:32PM on this coast and I’m pretty sure I have to be up a 5AM tomorrow.


So… cheers.



Background: We did a lot of Pond Studies, which amounted to bringing the kids to the pond, giving them nets, telling them to catch as much cool stuff as they could, and then Mr. Chris teaching about everything on the fly. A lot of info to go through, but also my absolute favorite program we did because I liked insects. And we caught a lot of insects.

Today I had one of those classic “welcome to my life” moments. I started out the Pond like I always do, talking about what makes up a pond and what lives in a pond. So of course the first thing I always do is ask what the kids know about ponds. And lo and behold, I got the answer of the day, “It starts with the letter ‘P’”. I took it all in stride and said “yes! Yes, that is important! If you didn’t have the ‘P’, you’d just have an ‘ond’ and that’s just ridiculous” as I wrote it on the board. I carried on and another joker said “Oh, it ends in ‘D’!” I wrote that one too and followed it with, “And whoever says ‘O’ and ‘N’ are in the middle is going into the pond today, alright?” I overheard someone say it later but it was just quiet enough for me to not know who it came from. Because they would have been in the pond.

Although honestly, it was alright. When we walked to the pond and got to the pond they behaved wonderfully. They were friendly, talkative, laughed a lot and it was great. They just weren’t the ‘classroom setting’ type of learning style. And I realized that so I adapted my strategy accordingly. Any other group I wouldn’t have written “The first letter is ‘P’” and I wouldn’t have played into it when I had the following exchange:

“Give me anything about the pond, random things!”


“You have pizza in your pond? I want to go wherever you live!”

“Yeah, it does. After I threw it in there.”

Any other group I might not have played into that. But I know how little these guys cared about the indoor bit because well… I don’t like it really either. It’s so much better to get there, get them in the field, and then talk about things. So I kind of took it really fast and silly with them and it worked out just fine.

OH, and I forgot. A word or two about my favorite group of ladies while they were at the Pond Study. I started talking about the fact that our pond was built to water cows at some point and the following exchange occurred:

“… they built it so their cows wouldn’t fall in the water and drown. That’s a lot of wasted hamburgers.”

*parents laugh*

“What, don’t you guys like hamburgers?”


“Well, guess what’s for lunch?”


“Yeah, Hamburgers! Lets hear it for hamburgers!”

*Quick Cheer*

“One more time! Hooray, Hamburgers!”

“Hooray, hamburgers!” and one voice “Hotdogs!”


“Yeah, I like hotdogs.”

“Well everybody knows hotdogs come from a tree.”


“What? You don’t believe me? I’ve got one back home, I just pick a hotdog off every night and I’m good.”

“Can I have a hotdog?”


“What about ketchup and mustard?”

“Those grow on bushes…”


Yep… I loved that group of gals. They were all crowded around me the entire time, trying to get as close as possible and stay right up front with me. It was kind of adorable. Okay, it was very adorable:

“Hey, hey Mr. Chris?”

“Yes, M’am?”

“You look like Zac Efron.”

“Oh, I do? Is that a good thing or a bad thing?”

“A good thing, just ask Jenny.” *laughter* “she’s the one in the pink jacket right behind you”.

And I discovered today (Wednesday) that she wasn’t the only one who thought I looked like Zac Efron. And frankly I have no idea who that is, so I googled it an I look absolutely nothing like Zac Efron aside from the face that we are both indeed males and far older than these fifth graders.


I mean, seriously guys. Does this picture look like Zac Efron?



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