Soil science

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

So … how many gardening conversations have you had in the last few days? I love it. I can see and feel the Earth taking a big stretch—like the stretch you take when you awaken in the morning before glancing over at the alarm clock and realizing there’s an hour before you have to slide out of those nice, warm sheets.

I’ve got daffodils, hyacinth and tulips poking their little green fingers from my gardens. My friends and I are already talking about exchanging garden-preparation hours at each other’s houses and which plants we’re going to take cuttings from. And March 8 (the beginning of daylight saving time) is only 13 days away! I’m going to make it through another winter. I can’t wait to see what blooms this spring. I planted some shrubs and grasses in the fall that I’ve never seen look alive. I planted some other seeds that are already showing some fecundity.

Anyway, I don’t want to encourage or jinx an early spring by writing about it too much. But you know me, my fingers type where my mind takes me, and when I wake up to rain, my mind goes to the garden.

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Along other lines, Hunter and I recently completed the annual School Science Project. I always feel a little weird with the amount of help parents are required to provide for these. But he’s only 11, and I’ll be darned if I’m going to turn him loose with the power tools. Still, he came up with the project, did all the research, took all the observations, wrote the paper, made the display board. I helped him construct a plywood box with a window in it. I also fixed a few commas.

But since nothing in my life is what it is—“It is what it is” is my favorite phrase to avoid these days—I’ve got to examine what this collaboration really means: Does it occur to anyone else that the vast majority of children’s learning used to come from the parent? Along those lines, do other non-scientists feel like they really know very little about the real workings of science?