Monday, February 11, 2008

Update from Liberty Mo

Hello my friends.
I realize it has been quite a long time since I have posted to our blog (thanks again SS for such a wonderful idea), though I have been sneaking in to read it.

I had a realization the other day - our cell phones are defunct and have not been replaced. So if you have tried calling on my cell phone and I have not responded, I am sorry.

So what is new here. I am still enjoying my job, though I have been much busier this semester, teaching Plant Biology, Biological Diversity and Design (awful name, we know), and the Ecology of Food (a non-majors course). All are new preps for me. My biggest issue currently is that I never feel fully prepared for any of the classes. Luckily I am team teaching two of the classes to different degrees, and after today I am "off" for two of the classes for about a week.

Last Tuesday was an exciting, though stressful day. We had Chris Mooney (author of Storm World and The Republican War on Science) visit our campus yesterday. He was the speaker for a lecture series they hold each year called the COPE lecture on Science, Technology, and the Human Experience. Chris is not a scientist, but journalist and free-lance writer who writes about the intersection between science and politics. From speaking with him, and what I have read of his work, I highly recommend it. He also has a blog called The Intersection, and is part of an intiative ScienceDebate2008. They are trying to organize a presidential debate on science policy, which they have scheduled for April 18th. Hopefully the candidates will come. Chris was with us all day - he attended a class at 9 am, he spoke on Up-To-Date on KCUR, he had lunch with students, he was part of a panel discussion on science, we had a special dinner in which he said a few words, and then he gave his lecture on Storm world.

My role in is visit was actually pretty substantial - I was to take him from the college (pick up at 10:10) to KCUR (show started at 11:00). Then bring him back from the show and join him and the students for lunch. I also introduced him both a dinner and for the COPE lecture.

And I messed it up.

We got lost on the way to the radio station. I had directions, but I had never driven the route from WJ to KUCR. The road signs downtown got confusing, which was not helped by the pouring rain and very low visibility. We had to backtrack a bit, and over compensated (I should have listened to myself and stopped at the first gas station to ask for directions, but I did not). We were about 7 minutes late. Not really a big deal, but stressful and not really the way to make a good impression. The show did go well though.

Then after I introduced him at the COPE lecture, I picked up his notes with mine. Not a big deal, but he had to ask me for them and on top of the fiasco in the morning, it was embarrassing.


Sparkling Squirrel said...

Wow, that sounds so very grown-up!

Irene said...

Hey Jennifer, glad to hear things are (mostly) going well. That's exciting to host a biology celebrity of sorts - I bet he doesn't even remember the little things that went wrong, so don't dwell on them too much.

Cathy said...

So good to hear from you, Jennifer! You know, getting lost in on a rainy day in KC will only make that guy's memory of KC that much sweeter (who doesn't love a little adventure?). Sorry it had to be stressful, though.

Hope to see you soon!

Beth said...


It sounds like it went well even if it was personally stressful.