Friday, February 29, 2008

Ribbet, ribbet - Happy Leap Day

It isn't everyday one gets to blog on the 29th of February and on scanning my blog yesterday I see that I made a measly two posts this month (and that after beginning the year with such gusto). But, my friends, February was a busy, busy month. I, like the leaping amphibians that are being celebrated worldwide today, was leaping here and there, too.

As mentioned, I did make it to Make Way for Ducklings Land (aka Boston) and here's the proof. Yes, okay, okay, so it's a touristy photo -- everyone must sit on poor momma duck -- but I was not going to let this moment pass after walking almost every inch of Boston Common searching for this sculpture. (Tip to Boston tourism types: Put "Make Way for Ducklings" sculpture on your sign post markers!) (Oh, and a big smooch to my brother-in-law who said that I looked like Diana Krall in this photo! I left the slinky gown and 4-inch stilettos back at the hotel, but, after all, it was hovering around zero, which was hard on this west coast girl.) I was in this fabulous city to attend the AAAS annual meeting, which was a whirlwind of symposia, press breakfasts, impromptu meetings with scientists, other media types, and a few old friends. Lots of very interesting, and very sobering, talks, particularly those on the health (or lack thereof) of our oceans. I am humbled and inspired.

One of the things I loved about Boston, aside from its wonderful walkability, the great coffee and treats at Caffe Vittoria in the North End, and the pulsing brain power in this town with 50 (!) colleges and universities, was its public art. Check out this mosaic set into the sidewalk at the site of the city's first school public school, founded in 1635. (Sorry, I tried to rotate this image, but it wouldn't save this way.)

After Boston I was off to Maple Ridge for a week of school visits. A big shout out and thank you to the schools I visited -- Yennandon, Whonnock, Eric Langton, Riverside, Hammond, Laityview, and Alexander Robinson -- and to the fabulous whirlwind of a district librarian, Suzanne Hall. It was a great, but very busy, week. I met hundreds of children enthusiastic about science and writing and reading, with lots of great questions and, of course, wonderful stories of their own. (I forsee great things from you, Mr. Creator of super hero, Toast Man!) It was also a blast hanging out with The Science Lady, too. (Thanks, especially, for the low-down on Lost.)

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