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Borrego Springs, CA

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

It was back to school today for me

Even though most of the volunteers had a scheduled day off today, we all went in for some training.  It was back to school for us to learn more about presenting excellent interpretive programs.  Over my lifetime, I’ve spent many many years in school in order to advance in my working career.  That included five plus years of college for my bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and then a couple of more years for my Work Experience License in Minnesota and my Principal’s License.  Had I ever taken the time to write a dissertation, I could have had a Doctorate Degree.  

So, I bet you think I loved going to school?  Wrong!  I did it because I had to.  I would have preferred doing almost anything else!  This day of schooling was different.  I was there because I wanted to learn more about the outside world that is so dear to my heart.  Don Berryhill was our instructor, and what a wealth of knowledge he is about the Okefenokee swamp.  Don has spent a lifetime studying everything about the swamp, and the most amazing thing to me is that he remembers it all including the official Latin names for most all of the plant and animal species that we encountered today. 

IMG_1854After some brief classroom time going over the principles of the best interpretive presentations, he took us on a walk along the Canal Diggers Trail for some hands on learning.  You may remember that Emma and I hiked this trail just a few days ago.  On our wanderings, I didn’t see half of the things that Don pointed out to us this morning.  This was my kind of learning!  I absorbed more in those 90 minutes than I would have in hours of reading books about it.

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After lunch, he led us through a pond study program that we do for school groups that visit the refuge.  I wish I had 1/10 of this man’s knowledge about the circle of life in our various environments.  What a grand learning day it was.

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As most of the class walked to the Canal Diggers Trail this morning, I chose to drive my car there.  I knew I’d be able to walk the trail, but I wasn’t sure about adding all of the steps from the VC to the trailhead and back.  I didn’t want to push it with my hip since there are no benches to rest on along this trail.  As I was waiting for the group to arrive at the starting point for me, I couldn’t help but enjoy all the birds bubbling around the woods in the morning sunshine.  There were brown thrashers, Eastern towhees, yellow-rumped warblers, a white-eyed vireo, and a family of red cockaded woodpeckers (RCW’s) that moved through.  Luckily, the RCW’s hung around long enough so everyone could see them.  Alligators and RCW’s are what people come to the refuge to see.  I was wishing I had one of my bird tour groups with me.

I have all day tomorrow off, so it’s time to clean the rig and do laundry.  Not exciting, but necessary. 

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

21 comments:

  1. As a retired teacher, I know how available hands-on learning is. That plus an excellent teacher makes learning so easy. Sounds like you had both today. I am sure you are much more knowledgeable than you really think you are.

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  2. An eager student like you should be teachers pet for the day.

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  3. I wish I had 1/10 of your knowledge of how to take a picture with a camera and not get my thumb in most of it! ;c)

    You're never too young to learn!

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  4. A great blog, Judy...All of us should take every opportunity to get some extra learning...Sometimes those Bachelors, Masters, PHD's can be easily earned without learning one thing...So great for you to learn more yet at the least expected place and time...Thanks for posting...a "lesson" for all of us!!!!

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  5. Just think if you had written that dissertation we would be calling you Dr. Judy. That would be cool. You have so much knowledge, more than I will ever have on birds.

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  6. Your kind of school for sure. Betca loved every minute of it.

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  7. Volunteering (especially at National Wildlife Refuges) has some great perks. A person would pay big bucks for a day long seminar like you just had. What a great experience!

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  8. What a great day! It's so easy to learn about the things that interest you and obviously you were in the right place today for that! So glad for you! Now we can all learn from you.

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  9. What a wonderful opportunity. Glad your hip is healing so that you could participate.

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  10. I agree with you. Learning things you want to learn, especially when you are in an environment that you love makes the learning process so much more fun. Glad you enjoyed your day in the "classroom".

    Kevin and Ruth
    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

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  11. My kind of learning too! It's great to see you out and about with so little pain!

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  12. Yep.. I"m with you. I'd prefer NOT to be back in the classroom. Outdoors is where it's at. (Excuse the poor graimmmer).

    Emjay

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  13. Ahhh school has come a long way since Readin' Riten' and Rithmatik, eh?

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
    Karen and Steve
    The USA Is Our Big Backyard
    http://kareninthewoods-kareninthewoods.blogspot.com

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  14. That's great! I wish every class could be like that, outside in the woods.... Dennis and Donna, I understand what you meant, but I disagree on one point: it's difficult to believe that you could earn a PHD or a masters degree without learning anything!

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  15. Isn't it great to take classes that you choose to take, rather then have to take?

    Mark

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  16. What a wonderful day. Wish all education could be like that - when you want to know and hands on.

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  17. Hands on training and travel ... the best classroom experiences one can have.

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  18. Great day, Judy. Glad you really enjoyed it.

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  19. Hands on, my kind of learning. I'll bet it was interesting.

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  20. What a valuable day of learning. You must be a sponge.

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  21. Nice Post.Thanks for Sharing this in your Blog

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