Monday, November 17, 2008

Opposite Ends.

You know what turns a good walk in the woods into great walk in the woods? Getting paid to do it! I held my first Edible Wild Plant class down at the Houston Arboretum this last Saturday and it went very well. People learned, peopled laughed, and most importantly, everyone survived. Okay, I wasn't worried about that last one, it just sounded funny to me.

edible wild plants.jpg
Food disguised as weeds in my yard. Many more were found at the arboretum.

Nine people showed up for the class and it lasted five hours. We covered about half the Arboretum trails and I pointed out edible plants everywhere. Of course, I also taught them about the poisonous plants they needed to avoid. Turns out there was almost as many of them as safe plants. One of the class members had recently been poisoned by a plant she had thought was edible and was thankful I spent as much time as I did warning them about nature's bad guys.

I forgot how tiring teach is, especially when you are doing it while walking for miles. I got home just in time to make supper for the family (mmmm, tenderloin!) and then CRASHED at 7pm. I slept until 4:30am Sunday morning, then fell asleep again until 6am. I think that long sleep saved me, though. Everyone in my research group is out with the flu, I seem to be the only one left standing. That's a good thing as I have to teach advanced chemistry topics to a room full of engineers all this week. They were a little excited today when I was able to work Damkohler Numbers into class today, but they all went to sleep while I talked about the fascinating aspects of zwitterionic surfactants. *Sigh* engineers and chemists find beauty in such different ways. The engineers wax almost erogenously about equations they have known and find beauty only in the abstract perfection of a mathmatical model. A chemist, looking upon the same object, will exclaim "meh" and switch back to covetous study of the molecules flowing through the engineer's equations. Our eyes lustfully trace the sensuous curve of an aromatic ring or the long, languid movement of an eight-carbon chain. A glimpse of a nitrogen peaking out from between to oxygens keeps us going for days. A hydrogen stripped of it's single electron, leaving it standing alone but highly reactive as a naked proton...

Um. If you want me I'll be in my bunk.


p.s. To learn more about edible wild plants check out my Wild Edibles Blog


Jim said...

Cool stuff! Too bad you're not out this way. :)

BDTX said...

Makes me wanna cry that I missed the class, especially since I'm doing a lot better this week.. here's to hoping I'm actually getting better and the last two days aren't a fluke. There's always next time.