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> Donie's Visit, Donie Visits Concord High School
post May 12 2006, 05:29 PM
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TREC Teacher

Group: TREC Team
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Joined: 27-April 05
Member No.: 9

12 May 2006

After a year of monthly conversations I was nervous waiting at the Manchester airport for Donie to arrive. I was perfectly happy to go out and see her work but I was worried that a trip all the way to Concord would not be worth her time. I had planned all kinds of activities and she was going to meet with tons of students and teachers but I still felt unworthy of her spending 2 days travelling all the way to see us. It was too late for planning anything else though so I decided that I would just have to be satisfied with what I had planned and hope that Donie had a good visit. Now all I had to do was find her.

It was 5:30 and her plane had arrived at 5:19--where was she? There is only one gate at the Manchester airport so how could I miss her? Well, I missed her because there are actually 2 gates at the Manchester airport. I had never used the other one so I assumed that it did not exist. So after a couple calls with Donie asking, "Where are you? Baggage claim? I'm at baggage claim!" We met up and her arrival in NH was complete.

Donie had begun her travels at 1:3O AM Alaska time so after a quick dinner she was ready for a break before her big day at the high school.

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The first thing we did was listen to some presentations given by 9th graders. I can say with confidence that Donie was a little surprised to learn that 9th graders are still pretty young kids. As 50 of the small ones walked past I surmise that she was asking, "How did I get into this?" These kids were great though and presented their papers on fishing as it relates to environmental changes. They had focused in on fishing and had learned about the economics and the realities of what fishing does to the environment. And they knew their stuff. When Donie asked them about the merits of fish farms in ocean nets several of them spoke up immediately on the positives and negatives of such a program.

After the 9th graders Donie gave her talk to a group of juniors and seniors. I think this is a little more like what she was expecting and her talk was excellent. She covered all of the issues related to her work in and hour and then answered questions. At one point she was asked about the movie, "The Day After Tomorrow." She spoke about the Mid Atlantic conveyer belt and really helped the students understand the real possibilities of that movie.

The last class of the day she met with my Anatomy and Physiology students. While we had not studied climate change in this class I had asked this intelligent bunch if they wanted to meet Donie and they resoundingly said yes. We had a roundtable discussion where the students asked Donie about her work. Questions about oil predictably came up and the students really learned a lot about what is happening with oil exploration in Alaska.

For dinner we went to a great local place called the Common Man. Five teachers joined us and we had fun talking about changes in Alaska and what it is like to teach high school. Donie had been amazed during the day that everyone was carrying an iPod and a cell phone. After dinner I took Donie back to her hotel so she could rest up for an even more packed second day.
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