A few years ago I finally figured out how to incorporate a variation of one of my favorite types of journals into what I teach. I’ll admit that I had a couple of missteps before making it a final project instead of a year-long project. It’s the assignment I look most forward to grading from most of my seniors.

Now they want examples from me…

I loved science in high school so much I took it for four years. In biology classes I learned about life cycles, dissected animals, and read Origin of The Species since my fellow teen Christians didn’t want their psyches destroyed by the “theory of evolution”. Chemistry should have taken me to bigger and better places, but instead it took me to a “work my butt off for barely a C” which is probably the hardest I worked in any class my first three years of high school. Ultimately, what I learned about and from high school science fed my curiosity about how the natural world works and a conviction that if the universe has so many set rules it can’t have come from accident or chaos. [As the kids say, “Don’t @ me.”] I love science even though I’m an English teacher. Science is puzzles and fun and figuring out the order underneath the randomness. I love that scientists publish books to explain the things they love to people who may or may not be able at attend college. I love that kids today have new theories to learn about and participate in variations on the same labs I did. I guess what I really learned from all those science classes that I use constantly is the theory of micro-evolution: we all evolve and change as does our species; if we aren’t changing we are just dying slowly.

This one’s for you Jaiden Lemberger and your fellow seniors.


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