Sunday, March 20, 2016

Week Ending 20 March 2016

It's been a fairly underwhelming week, with the academics being overshadowed in my thoughts by various family issues including another health problem for my mother. Hoping an appointment she has next month will shed some light on her problems and what can be done about them.

Miss 15 received the final feedback from her online essay course, all very positive which is great. But I'm left with very mixed feeling about the course. There was a lot of emphasis on brainstorming, planning and organizing all of which had to be done in a certain way before you could move on to the next assignment. Miss 15 railed against it, found it tedious and counter to the way she prefers to write. There may or may not have been some benefit in going through the process but I'm certain she won't utilize it in the future. Where I was hoping she would get a lot of feedback was after submitting the draft - comments about one section being good, asking for an expansion here, suggesting a stronger word choice there etc. And there was  none of that. Apparently she is such a strong writer there wasn't the need for many comments. I've now looked at her final essay (I deliberately had nothing to do with it until the course was over) and I would have made comments - not that the esaay is bad but there is always room for improvement. Perhaps I expect too much from Miss 15? Or perhaps this wasn't the right course for us? I really wanted her voice to be developed but I think this course focused more on process, technical form and accuracy. Something to ponder before I decide our next move.

She's still enjoying her university ecology course. This week there was a lecture on bird conservation, so a topic of particular interest to her. While she's at  lectures I occupy myself by walking and enjoying the rural ambience, working out on some nearby outdoor exercise equipment or sitting in the car reading.

Ornithology didn't go so smoothly this week. We'd planned on covering some material from the CK-12 site but when we started to use it we weren't impressed. The content was too basic and in some cases bordered on the inaccurate. We managed to salvage a couple of things but that was all. This is a buffet style course and just like an actual buffet you don't always like everything you try. We'll be giving something else a go next week!

Over the weekend we did take a big ornithology field trip which was fun, albeit too hot for my tastes. Our main destination was a lagoon about two hours away. A couple of harder to find species had recently been reported there. We managed to spot five Black-fronted Dotterels (which flew off just as we were getting the camera on them!) but not the Marsh Crake. We also tracked down another species on our wish list on the drive there.  On our way home we stopped at our favourite estuary where Miss 15 got her first view of a Black Stilt for the year. The horrendous wind put paid to our plans to hunt for another elusive species. All in all a success rate of about 50%. Not as good as we'd have liked but better than it could have been.

While this wasn't a bad week I'm hoping next week will be better. Mind you it will involve hot cross buns and chocolate so it should be!

Linking to Kris's Weekly Wrap-Up

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