Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mama's Got A Brand New Bag

... except the bag is actually a textbook which is much less fun.  (But more useful, let's be honest)

Sorry 'bout the glare, I am bad at Photo Booth.
So.  Actually starting this path towards the degree in Landscape Horticulture and Design, and the first step is MATH.  Which is in capitals because it is intimidating, like another class I have to take called CHEMISTRY. (dun-dun-dunnnnnnnnn).  What were my worst two subjects in high school?  You know, math and science.  Strangely I am enjoying math this time around, and figuring out I am not "bad at math" just "super lazy and unmotivated".  I also am thanking the baby Jesus for YouTube, because there are awesome tutorials on there for everything I'm getting stuck on.  Also super thankful that I work at a university and walked over to meet with a prof. in the Math department and told her I was studying ahead of my math class in the fall, and she straight up just handed me a $100 textbook to borrow for the summer, complete with a tutorial DVD.  And French Post Doc, aside from being annoying because he speaks French and I don't, is a math genius and happens to sit right in my crosshairs hallway, and will be SUPER happy to help.  Won't you, FPD??

When I'm not studying and finally wrapping my brain around prime numbers (oh, OHHHHHHHH) I'm reading the most beautiful and simply inspiring book I've read in a long time, Seeing Trees, by Robert Llewellyn and Nancy R. Hugo.  I randomly grabbed this off the new arrivals shelf at the library and could not put it down.  It's so simple - genetic traits and characteristics of everyday trees - maple, oak, sweet gum, beech, gingko, pine - photographed and described in vivid, simplistic terms.  She (Hugo) describes the fertilization process of these trees, bark characteristics, budding stages, root maturation processes, etc.  You will never be able to walk or take a run again without noticing these things you take for granted, whether Osage orange balls or dropped willow whips.  In fact, several early-morning runs have been delayed because I find horse chestnut buds or early sweet gum balls and have to stop and study them.  And sometimes this happens -
... where I am staring intently up at a bud on a branch, trying to determine if it is white oak or red oak (it was red), after a 4 mile run and do not see the slight rise in the sidewalk and trip and fall and bruise myself.  Read at your own risk, you guys.

1 comment:

  1. School is so exciting. I'm totally jealous, though I admittedly also hate math. I've always wanted to learn more about physics, but people keep expecting me to know math first. Ack!

    That book sounds awesome. I used to know all about trees and stuff, but law crap kinda pushed it out. Might have to look into it again.


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