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Semester begins

On Monday, the spring semester began and today was my first class. I'm teaching writing again and, as in the past, I did an exercise where I give students a small organism and ask them to observe it. In the past, I've used "mousies" -- handsome little maggots that have a long tail. They didn't have mousies this year, so I used "spikes" -- less handsome maggots with no tails. The students made good observations and I was able to make the points that I wanted to, so the exercise was a reasonable success. (As an aside, I've realized that what I really need for the exercise is to get velvet worms. Unfortunately, they look expensive and hard-to-acquire in the US. Velvet worms are cool.)

After class, I brought home the maggots and gave them to the boys. "What are these for?" asked Daniel. I explained that he could look at them or give them names or play with them -- or feed them to Rascal (Daniel's leopard gecko). He took out a maggot and said, "I'll name *this* one 'George Bush' and feed him to Rascal right now!" No question where my boys stand on politics.