Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Blossom time--for students and wildflowers

All Scholars' Day brings out the best in our students--their best suits and ties or dresses and heels, their best presentation skills, creative ideas, and enthusiasm for learning. This morning I heard students describe results of research into fruit fly development, learning disorders, and the impact of romantic fiction on attitudes toward domestic violence, and I heard artists describe the impetus behind their painting, photography, or graphic design projects. I learned about tendencies toward depression among migrant farm workers and I marvelled that students I knew as raw freshmen are doing research on topics that can make a real difference in the world.

Then I went home and stomped around in the mud to see how our long, bleak winter affected the wildflower population, and I'm pleased to report that things are booming on the wildflower front. I saw trout lilies, trilliums, wide swaths of blooming bloodroot, dutchman's breeches, squirrel corn, coltsfoot, and even some perfoliate bellwort blooming where I've never seen it before. I saw a few delicate fronds of Solomon's seal sprouting from the wet hillside, and I enjoyed once again the delicate pinks and greens of buckeye buds popping open. 

It's hard to believe in trilliums in the dead of winter, but here they come again just when I need them. Likewise, the chill wind blowing through academe may fill me with gloom, but here comes a whole crop of talented students to prove that what we're doing still matters. 

So I'm going to try to stop griping and bloom where I'm planted--even if I'll never be as adorable as a clump of perfoliate bellwort.   

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