By Ashley Lodato
It’s the time of year when those of us who live in fields begin to examine the damage done to our yards by pocket gophers, and the men start to get all Caddy Shack on us.
Strategies for battling these little pests range from the classic trap, to flooding tunnels, to stakeouts with BB guns, to annihilation by fire, which, as one neighbor proposed, would involve filling the tunnels with propane and then lighting a match. The guys have, thus far, resisted the scorched earth tactic, but all other methods are fair game in this seemingly endless quest to protect the integrity of our gardens and lawns.
I actually wouldn’t mind sharing space with the pesky critters if they simply ate a few potatoes or carrots, but when they take small nibbles of every item of a crop instead of eating just a few things entirely, I lose any shred of compassion for them.
My whole family had to get fingerprinted on Sunday. It was hardly a traumatic affair, though, since it was a sixth-grader taking the dabs for her Science Fair project at school. My whorls, loops, or arches will be compared to those of my family members and those of unrelated friends, and some sort of tri-fold scientific report will be the result.
To learn about this and hundreds of other scientific experiments and observations, go to the Science Fair at the elementary school on Thursday evening (April 2). Even if you don’t have a kid at the school, the Science Fair is a fun way to see what has changed — and what hasn’t — in the Science Fair world since you were in school.
Students are accustomed to having occasional substitute teachers when their regular teachers attend professional development workshops throughout the region and state. When I ask my kids where their teachers have been, they usually say things like “She was taking a class on how to be a better math teacher.” But last week one of my daughters mentioned that she had had a sub that day and when I asked what training her teacher had gone to she answered “She was taking a class on how to retire.”
Does that sound fun or what?! Although I suspect the training was fairly bureaucratic and focused more on logistics and paperwork and not on things like “Sleep, travel, read good books, spend time with friends. You’ve worked hard for 30 years — you deserve it!”