I spent my day on the banks of the mighty Columbia River yesterday with 22 fifth graders; the one in the curls giggling with her friends was mine.
We tested the river's ph and wrote hypotheses and conclusions - well, they did, I made sure they came home intact, and handed out the goggles - and tried our hands at being scientists.
And there I was, in the sand, approaching 38 thinking: Why didn't I become a science teacher? Followed by: This must be a taste of mid-life lunancy, the questioning of lost possibilities that never occurred to me before.
My husband? He could be a muckety-muck in Scienceland, he who chooses documentaries about black holes over perfectly good new House episodes.
But besides that Biology student of the year thing in 9th grade, earned by my goody-good nature over anything seriously academic, I've always been an artsy girl. Chasing after the wind.
Chasing a ministry degree, in a program for men only
I'm a dreamer in the worst sort of way.
But I liked the feel of wet mud in my hands, the freckles on the nose of a boy paying attention to the thermometer in the earth. There was something solid to be found in those scattered leaves, collecting data and listening to a 11 year old boy recount his first breakup.
(I did not let on to my opinion of such drama. My eyes did not roll even once.)
So, I plan to turn to what I know best, and I will wrap up these memories for safe keeping, to be savored in the words I will write, captured in stories I will tell, and stories I will keep, when my field trip days are through.