Sunday, April 22, 2007

a nice and tired weekend for the planet

The weather is gorgeous, but I've been so exhausted the last couple days.

I slept and vegged a really long time yesterday, so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that this morning, I couldn't sleep past 8. Ah well, more time to lay in bed and catch up on recorded television. Yes, I am very lamely inside today, another beautiful spring day. Eh.

Friday's 20/20 Planet Earth special was fascinating and educational, but they failed to elaborate on some of the interesting tidbits. One segment featured a rich dude who's built a $92,000 sports car that runs entirely on lithium batteries, and another interviewed a couple who has a few windmills that generate more than the power they consume, electronics and appliances and all. I would have loved to see each of these shown as a story in their own rights. Another thing I loved was the lights they turned off--the Arc de Triomphe, the Empire State Building, and the ABC studios in Times Square.

Did you know that a Virgin Atlantic guy is holding a contest, well, offering a huge prize, for creating a device that eliminates carbon dioxide from the air? They showed a couple filters that are already being built, and it's exciting to think about the ramifications this could have. Also, I'm really curious about wind and solar energy, and the possibilities of installing those systems in big buildings. Are there any incentives for apartment and office buildings to wire for that? New York isn't an ideal climate for either sun or wind, but it seems like we get a decent amount of both, and surely that could at least supplement 'traditional' energy sources. I know the mayor and governor have just proposed initiatives for a greener future, but I don't know the specifics. Does anyone know if this, or any other, city is working on retrofitting the existing skyscrapers to be cleaner?

Back on 20/20, between segments and commercial breaks they ran tips/ideas for people who want to do their part. Those included using less water (duh), and changing to compact fluorescent lamps, as well as not using so many plastic bags. Hurrah--finally others are seeing the light! They merely suggested using a cloth bag, they did not mention having to refuse plastic everywhere you go. You, readers, may remember my difficult experience and also had some great tips for recycling those bags.

I started thinking about holding a big plastic-bag drive in my classes or at the whole school--creating some awareness and perhaps influencing future decisions of our future leaders. Then I would bring them all to the Wal-Mart (I know, don't tell me) where they have bins for recycling plastic bags. Or, as one of you suggested on that other post, finding a local shelter to donate to.

I told myself that the environmental stuff in my classroom would just be last week, but I keep finding more that I'd love to share with the kids. And I do wish we'd put together something for Earth Day, but I've never been good at following through on big plans like that. I'll keep thinking and hoping to work on it and get better.

I also told myself that this week I would finally begin a poetry unit, seeing as how it's the official Poetry Month. But I'm feeling really meh about planning and seeing it through. Poetry writing doesn't take long enough, so it's tough to figure out how to configure classwork and behavior.

I'm thinking about beginning with acrostics, except that I despise acrostics, because the kids really take zero effort with them, just scribbling out single words, not even phrases. When I assign homework to write a poem, I have to specify "NO ACROSTICS!" because of the crap they'll turn in. And even then, one or two will still turn in a very lame acrostic. Grr. So maybe I will continue my crusade to ignore that form.

See, now I've wasted another two hours, by playing with flickr (I'm obsessed, but I hope it's in a good way?) (my photography has improved a little, I think) (go take a look and leave comments!) and pretending to watch television, and patently NOT doing anything about the coming week's lessons! Ack!

Earlier, however, I *did* do my work for the big overnight field trip, calling for hotels and the students who are behind on their deposits. And I also did the dishes, which I've been slacking on for a couple days. So there, I haven't been totally unproductive.

1 comment:

17 more years said...

That silly Virgin Atlantic guy- device to remove carbon dioxide from air = trees (sorry, couldn't resist, lol).

Is this fatigue thing spring fever? I swear, I am completely and utterly unmotivated this weekend.