Dr. Geiger and I arrived home at the tail end of the spring break. We had four days to reacquaint ourselves with our families, and then on Monday I was at school standing in front of my classes, and Dr. Geiger was in her office back at work. It was great to be back at Hartford High School with my students and colleagues, sharing my experiences on my expedition to the SEDNA / APLIS Ice Camp.
My students were unfocused after 3 weeks with a substitute teacher and it took sometime to round them up, gather the strays and get them headed in the right direction. (I guess you can take me out of the west, but it is hard to take the west out of me.) We had fun as we headed into the final weeks of the school year. I was constantly mentioning things that had happened in Fairbanks, Fort Yukon, or at the SEDNA Ice Camp in my classes. I was also able to go back to the middle and three elementary schools in my district and revisit the classes I had presented to before my trip. It was fun to tell them about my experience and answer their questions. I talked with the teachers and hope I am invited back this year.
Dr. Geiger talked with her daughter’s class in one of the elementary schools. She also spent a day speaking at Hartford High School with students in our Astronomy and Geology, and Physics classes. Our local newspaper did a wonderful feature article on the ice camp. They interviewed Dr. Geiger and other scientists that had participated in the ice camp and included me. As a result Dr. Geiger and I were invited to speak to the "Inventers net” a group of retired engineers and high school students in Springfield, VT (Home of Homer Simpson). Our talks were taped and ended up on local public access T.V...
As spring moved into summer Dr. Geiger went to Svalbard (Spitzbergen) Norway to study sea ice dynamics with some professors there and then spent sometime in Germany. I finished the New Hampshire Baseball Umpires (www.nhbua.org) course, passed my field evaluation and written test, and became a patched umpire. My summer consisted of painting on the school district paint crew and umpiring in the evenings.
Now that school has started again I have introduced my new students to my Polartrec expedition and we closely followed Ms Sarah Anderson and the SIMBA Antarctic Sea Ice expedition. I also discussed my expedition at a faculty meeting and presented the Polartrec website. At a meeting with Montshire museum employees I tried to inform them about the Polartrec program, the International Polar Year, and Polar Palooza. I tried to brainstorm, exploring how they might get involved and incorporate these programs into their offerings. Here in the Upper Connecticut River Valley the fall foliage this year was dramatic as it often is in New England. We had a good apple crop and many of the wild apple trees were over loaded. However, the acorns seemed to be scarce. So I don’t know what this will mean to animals as they go through the winter. We have had both deer and turkeys come through our yard. The deer herd seems to be in good shape judging from the numbers taken during bow and muzzle loader season. We are currently in rifle season until Dec 2. Last night after several days of light rain we got our first sprinkling of snow.
I would also like to congratulate Coach Mike Stone and the Hartford High Football team for winning the 2007 Vermont Division I Football Championship! This is Hartford’s first championship in four tries; since moving up a division and playing against the big schools. Way to go guys! Things are good in the Upper Valley.