Thursday, December 2, 2010

This could change everything...

 Scientists have discovered a bacterium that can convert arsenic to phosphorus.  All of life on Earth uses phosphorus as its DNA backbone... except this bacterium.  Wow.

In other, more relevant news, I'll be photographing the Winter Ball this Saturday!  For those of you ladies that read this blog, don't overdo it on the foundation make-up!  It shows up really well with flash photography, and not in a good way!

Also, how are you going to get photos?  As you know, I have a Facebook, so I'll post the photos there.  I can't tag you, but you can see them all and make your favorite your profile pic.  You might be able to tag yourself and others, but I don't know for sure!  My page is for future reference.

What if you want to buy prints?  Most likely, this will be through Shutterfly!  Stay tuned...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Expect an exam...

We've been flying through cells in biology, and covering lots of stuff about bones in anatomy and this of course means that I have to test you on it.

But not to fear young ones, I am also a super pretentious grad student!  One of the classes I'm taking, as you may know, is "Educational Assessment."  In other words, "testing your learning!"  My final project in this class is to create an assessment that covers a unit of instruction (i.e. "cells" or "bones").  It has to have 50 multiple choice questions, a table that shows the "level of learning" for each question and a project or essay or the like that has a rubric for grading. 

I haven't decided which class I will choose to do this for... biology or anatomy... but that class should consider themselves very lucky to be tested so thoroughly.  Teachers that take the time to do this for every unit are likely to have students that perform very well.  I think I will be able to write up a really good study guide for the exam, too.  Doing a project like this will enable me to analyze the types of multiple choice questions I'm asking, and to take a step back from the assessment in question and say "what is the outcome I want from this unit?"  I have already asked myself, "what do I want my students to walk away knowing about [unit]?"  And I also thought about what a "good grade" looks like on the next exams.

The averages on the last exam were pretty good, right around 76-82.  I want to bring that up this time... let's aim for 83-86 in all the biology classes.

That's all for now... time to start making those exams and writing up my project outline!

Thursday, November 4, 2010


We just started the skeletal system.  I have to say, aside from the Nervous System & the brain, this is my favorite system to study!

Here are a few pics from the lab we're doing:
Chicken leg bone in vinegar.

Chicken leg bone in bleach.

What's going to happen?!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mars Hill!

We did it!  Shadow & I trekked the 1 mile up to the Mars Hill wind turbines!  Here's a breakdown of the trip in a few key phrases:

- 1st 30 feet:  OHHHHH MYYYYYYY GAWWWWWWDDDD my shins BURRRRRNNNNNNNNN.  Shadowwwww slow down... I can't go this fast!!! [We're traveling about 1mi/hr.]

- ~halfway up: *pant pant* [that's me panting] We're gonna do this Shadow! 

- Standing next to a massive wind turbine: WHOA.  Shadow even got to be off-leash!  He was so well behaved, not going out of my sight, checking out the scenery... I was SO happy (see Facebook/Tumblr photos).

- We walked up an ATV trail for a bit, but when it got too steep, we turned around.  Kinda bummed we didn't get to see Mt. Katahdin.  I guess that leaves us with a reason to go back up again!

- On the way down, I let Shadow be off-leash for most of it, considering I would step on a loose rock, stumble, yell "I'm gonna diiiiiiieeeeeeee," and repeat until the bottom...

- My shins, along with most of my body, will probably be hating me very much tomorrow.

The view from the top was totally worth it, though!!!
Who wants to go with me next weekend?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Getting busy!!!

It's actually been a very fun weekend so far!  Shadow got to hang out with his buddy Minnie - the Connors' doggie.  They both did an AWESOME job walking on leash around the town...!  I was very proud of both of them.  I'm glad we all got to walk so much yesterday and today, but it has set me behind a little.  I'm late in turning in a bunch of grad school assignments... and I want to have more stuff graded for bio than I do... but I have Sunday, right!?

Back to work!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

How was harvest break?

Feels good to be back... sort of!  I slept too much, so I'm having a rough time adjusting to teacher schedule.

I found a couple of FREE APPS for iPhone/iPod, and I want someone to check them out for me!
General Ed Apps:

Speed Anatomy Lite

I will probably use a couple of these!

Other Science-y Apps:
Periodic Table
Science Glossary (FREE!)
Idea Sketch (like OmniGraffle)

Friday, October 1, 2010


This is the first video I took... DON'T MOCK ME FOR IT, I WAS SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!



I was picking my car from York's and THIS HAPPENED!!!!!

Happy Harvest Break!

Well... we made it to harvest break.  Horray for us!

75% of my chicklets are PASSING too!  That's so exciting.  I'll have to step up my game since so many of you are doing so well!  I guess you need something a bit more challenging!

What's everyone doing over break?  I'm going to spend the majority of my break doing grad school homework.  My exam is Oct 6th... it's 3 parts: 1 part is multiple choice (3 hours), 1 part is short answer (2 hours), and the third part is an extended essay (he's giving us a week to do it).  YUCK. 

FUN TIMES.  I've got some ideas for stuff after break... nothing solid, but it's early yet.

Have a lovely break from school!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Remember these?

HHS Prom 2010

I found a bunch of unedited photos too... I'll get to those soon, I had forgotten all about them!

An apology to my lovely writers...

My dearest students,
I have to let you know that I have started reading your essays, but was very quickly sidetracked by something... GLEE.  This has to be one of my most favorite shows on TV right now, and I discovered accidentally that the fall premier was on this week. 

So the apology is thus: I will not have very many essays grade tomorrow, and for that, I am very sorry it's taken me even this long to get to them!  It is my promise to all of you (including the ones that don't read this) that I will have all of the essays graded by Friday morning.  Yes, in time for progress reports.  For some of you, that may not be the happiest news.  But for me, I want to hold myself accountable for grading your stuff in a timely manner.  I hate waiting around for my grad teachers to tell me how I'm doing... I wrote my papers last Wednesday for Ed Assessment, and a week later have not heard back!  It would be nice to know, right?  I have another paper due in a week, and if I did crappy on the previous one, I would like to know so I don't mess up the next one and the next one...!

Also, I had said that I posted grades on Edline, but apparently I wasn't doing it right.  You should be able to see some semblance of a grade tomorrow afternoon/evening.  I'm not sure how they want us to send them for progress reports, but regardless, you can check your status tomorrow sometime.

As for those of you that may be worried about your grade, remember to turn in the extra credit by Friday morning (+5 points each)!

Monday, September 20, 2010


I've already started thinking about Halloween.

If anyone can think of something fun/science-y that we can do on the Friday before, let me know!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Tonight's Walk

Although I was not feeling well today, I knew I had to walk.  Exercise (as long as I stay bundled up) felt really good and made me feel a little better.  Sleeping most of the day probably helped too.  I use this little app on my phone called "RunKeeper," and it tracks the coolest data!  I took a screenshot:

The little graph at the bottom tracked my pace (the low points being places where I stopped) and my elevation (unfortunately it doesn't say what units).

I'm sorry I was out today, kiddos!  Wednesday & Thursday classes will be NWEAs, so be sure to bring a book to read if you're finished early.

I plan on quizzing you over the reading from the weekend (Lesson 1.1)... just a special note to those of you who actually read this.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Bob Marley!

I love this guy.  I got lucky this weekend: Devon is working the show in Presque Isle for the MSFFF (Maine State Federation of Firefighters) thing this weekend.  I got to see him last night, and I get to watch the show (the benefit of having a "sound guy" for a husband).

Here's a quick snap of the set-up:

Probably not the best use of my free time, watching comedy, but I think it's a good use of my "sane time."  I need to keep myself laughing and having a good time whenever possible... It's hard living four hours apart! 

For those of you that care to know, tomorrow I'm driving down to Bangor to pick up a friend, then we're going to hike the Orono Bogwalk!  Then, I'm going to drive back up to Houlton and spend the rest of the evening chained to my desk/computer working on GRAD CLASS PAPERS!!!

Friday, September 10, 2010


I have it... at my house!  I am so very excited, as it's a pretty good connection.  It is not good enough to watch all of my grad class videos, however.  That is a major bummer, as that means I'll still have to stay late when I have video lectures to watch.

You win some, you lose some, I guess.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Plugging Along...

Desperate for some "anti-procrastination" medicine.  I have been waiting and waiting and waiting for internet to show up at my apartment... Fairpoint is KILLING ME!!!

And because I have to wait for internet, I have to wait to watch my favorite shows... I have to wait to watch my online lectures for grad classes... I even have to wait to check my FACEBOOK!!!  Ugh.

Waiting is one thing of course, procrastinating is another.  I could definitely be staying at school late (like I did last night and will tonight), but what would my poor kitties do without me?  They somehow need me to facilitate playtime... I bought them little catnip balls and they went nuts for them!

I can't wait until I get a doggie... then maybe they'll all stay entertained without me constantly there with a mouse toy or string.

On an unrelated note, my grad classes look like they'll be fun... fun with a whole lot of work mixed in!  Wowee.  My first couple weeks have about 100 pages of reading... a couple hours of research... and a few more hours of writing papers... NOT easy to do without internet!!!

How is everyone else doing?  Lots of work?  School or job-wise?  How are fall sports going?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

First days...

It's all going pretty well so far.  I'm writing this as I watch a group of biology students write about their science "attitudes."  I'm curious to find out what the general population of kids thinks!  Love it? Hate it? Can live without it? Need it?

It should be interesting...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Preview your textbook!

Part 1 - Chapters 1-9 are for Biology classes.

Part 2 - Chapters 10-19 concentrate on Anatomy & Physiology material!

 Holy crap!  It's all digital!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Crazy is as crazy does.

The first step in my planning was to realize that I have a lot of darned (not knitting) planning to do.

The second step in planning was to get pumped up:
    - Tell yourself you're AWESOME!
    - Remind yourself how AWESOME the kids are gonna be.
    - Recognize the utter coolness of science.
    - Think about the WICKED COOL ways I'm going to be awesome.

Okay, pumping up complete.

Step three, go to the public library for some peace and quiet.

Step four is to create a schedule for myself.
This is as far as I've gotten:

Yup, I haven't even added "BREAKFAST" in there yet.

I have been using this template for my semester schedule for years!  It gives me joy and brings me calm all in one.  Once I finish it and it's in color, I will post it.

You have no idea how crazy I feel that I am mapping out to the hour when I will have dinner, study, and walk.  But despite the impending "Whoa, Mrs. M!  You are kind of OCD, huh?", I feel at ease with myself.

See you in a few weeks.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Alright, here goes...

You'll be seeing these very soon:

I have started planning for the school year.  Be excited.  Be stoked even.

Creative Tech... Biology... A&P...