Monday, November 17, 2014

Follow through

As I sit here to write this blog my mind wanders as I try to think of something to write about. I made a promise to write something every week. So here I sit, and here I write.  

I have found that I enjoy writing. I began reading essays on Medium and became inspired to dabble in my own. So I started writing a few personal narratives and posting them on Medium. They were terrible. At least I think they were. But the point is I am writing and I feel good doing it. Writing gives me the opportunity to express my feelings and emotions. It allows me to explore the off-beat thoughts floating inside my head. It is my release and it is my creation. 

I have started a list of topics I want to write. I have found that if I don't write them down, I forget what may have been a great idea. There are about six ideas on that list right now.  It does not sound like much, but writing them is taking more time than what it took in the summer.  I plan on getting to all of them. 

In the meantime, I will continue to work on my craft through this blog and my essays, slowly for now.  Who knows, maybe one of you will inspire my next great thought and I will write about it. If that happens, I know it will be my best work yet. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

It's Been a While.....

Sometimes life gets busy.  We get caught up in the rush of everything happening around us and we end up pushing things we know we should do, but seem less important to the wayside.  I understand.  Believe me, I know exactly how it feels.  I haven't posted a blog since October 7.  I promised I would post at least once a week and I let myself get behind.  In order to correct this, I have to make it a point to sit down and write at least once a week.  I have to make it a priority.  Sure, the newest episode of The Walking Dead would be extremely fulfilling to watch at this moment, but it will still be there.  I can always catch up later.  If writing this blog is important to me, then I must put it higher on the list than Netflix (or whatever the current distraction may be). 

This requires a focus on discipline and routine.  Instead of plopping down on the couch and completing my day, I will set a goal to write one day a week.  I'll probably still do this on the couch, it does have a nice, comfy groove for me to settle in to.  But I will sit there with intent.  With purpose.  With the job of writing to you about something topical pertaining to class or whatever happens to take over my thoughts.  

This is my plan.  This is the goal I will work for each week.  My hope for you is to do the same when it comes to the assignments for class.  Be diligent and make time to complete it. We are all in this together.  

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

How the Earth Came to Be

The age old question of "how did we get here?", is a common thought that crosses everybody's mind.  To me, this represents the most interesting topic we cover in the fall.  We get to look into the past to peruse and postulate the processes performed that brought our planet to its current state.  We can even apply what we have learned to speculate our future.  Very exciting information! 

Trying to contemplate how long ago 4.6 billion years occurred blows my mind.  In my mind, I don't believe my 39 years on this Earth qualify as a long time, but my grandmother's 98 do.  Her life on Earth only amounts to 0.000002% of the entire time the planet has existed! Mind Blown.....If we just look at the time that recorded history has taken place that's still only 0.0002%! That's 10,000 years that man has been writing stuff down and it is insignificant in the amount of time that the planet and the surrounding solar system has existed!  

Does this make us insignificant?  Does what we do with our time on this rock matter?  These questions cross my mind on occasion, and I hope that they really don't cross your minds at all.  You should be focused on what college you want to attend (just remember the Eyes of Texas Are Upon You....Hookem \m/), what social gathering you should or should not attend, and completing the school year positively.  

I do contemplate these questions, though.  Personally, I believe we represent the most significant organisms to ever inhabit the Earth.  The time that we have does have meaning, no matter how small or large our impact may be.  I enjoy the opportunity I have in front of me to make an impact on students' lives.  I hope that I have an impact that benefits you.  I hope that somebody pays close enough attention to what I do to understand that everything I do is an attempt to educate and prepare you for whatever is next in your life.  Performing my job this way helps me know that I am doing something significant with my time.

To me, understanding how the world came to be is understanding how we came to be.  All the processes and events that have occurred over this time have helped the planet become a habitable place for us as well as other organisms.  Without all of the volatility and change our planet experienced before our existence, we have no existence.  

Whoa,'re getting too deep...I can hear it all as I write this.  Which leads me to ask you, what do you believe is the significance of Earth?  What makes this planet special? How has the development of Earth over the previous 4.6 billion years inspired life to evolve to our (human beings) level?  

Please respond to these questions in the comments.  Your response will be a daily grade.  

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Reviewing the Ocean Floor

I hope you have discovered that there is more to Earth than what we walk on everyday.  Under the surface of the ocean, there is a vast landscape of mountains, prairies, volcanoes, trenches, plateaus, and canyons among many other features that we continue to explore everyday.  While technology has helped us discover many different features of the ocean floor, much of the mystery of what lies beneath remains unsolved.  

We began this unit by examining the history of ocean exploration. Through this we learned how early depth soundings were recorded by using rope and a weight to take plumb line readings.  This method of recording ocean depth continued until the 1930s!  Around that time, SONAR (Sound Navigation Ranging) was created and put into use.  After spending some time taking depth measurements across the Pacific, we looked at the seafloor features that occur throughout the ocean.  Once we completed this journey, we discussed who owns the ocean and Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ). 

Sounds simple, right?  It should be, if you have kept up with your assignments and go over the class notes every now and then.  Please use all the resources I provide for all of you to be successful.  Lets make sure we blow the doors off this test!

The Review 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

My Thoughts Thus Far

On the eve of your sea floor feature quiz, I have a little time to reflect upon the path we've taken after a month of school. As we get to know how each of us work together and what to expect from each other, we should also evaluate whether this relationship works or not.  

The main point we need to determine is whether or not the class promotes learning. We have the fortune of not being bound to perform for any district or state mandated tests, but we still must learn.  Remember, you chose my class for a reason. 

I like the way the class works.  So far I think we have done a decent job of adjusting to the myriad of online assignments.  I know not everything has worked perfectly, but it does work.  Stay patient when things don't go exactly right and I will be patient with you.  

We still have more to come.  More to accomplish and achieve.  I want to get the tanks put together as much as you, but we have to be patient.  In the meantime, make sure we stay caught up on all of our assignments.  I look forward to when we finally get to "percent time".  Having the opportunity to pursue your own interests and ideas is not one to be taken lightly.  I really want to see what each of you will produce.  I believe you all can do amazing work!

Good luck in your preparation for your quiz tomorrow.  I want everybody to perform at their highest level.  Thank you for a good start and for your effort so far. 

Please comment below if there is anything you like or dislike about how the class or I work. I look forward to hearing from you!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Now That I've Got It, What Do I Do With It?

I witnessed many different reactions yesterday as I doled out your aquarium group's fate for the future of this class.  Some were excited to discover they received the tank they desired, others showed complacence, bewilderment, and even frustration.  I even received an email stating that my methods of aquarium assignment are unfair and I have ruined their plans of aquatic grandeur.  


The size of the tank does not determine your ability to create a magical underwater fantasyland.  You have received a blank canvas, what you do to fill it relies on your creativity.  I have heard and read many that would make for outstanding aquariums.  Now you have to follow through.  

Don't be like the dog that finally catches the car and has no clue what to do now.  Go through with your plans and make it extraordinary! Recreate the tank from Finding Nemo! Make a new Bikini Bottom! I would love to see somebody actually bring in a shark (tank size appropriate, of course) instead of just talk about it!  

Your life will be full of making plans and either doing them or not.  Be somebody that completes their plans.

Now that you've got it, what will do with it?

Monday, September 15, 2014

A Brief History of Ocean Exploration

Imagine the very first person to go into the water.  Much like a child jumping into a pool for the first time, this ancient explorer stands at the edge where land meets the ocean and nervously wanders what is under the surface? Will I come back up?  What will I see?  Maybe they threw a rock in first, or took a stick and poked around to feel the bottom.  Curiosity brought them to this point, and a sense of adventure will help them plunge into the deep, dark liquid mystery that will open up a whole new world to them. 

You and your partner will create a timeline of ocean exploration using Dipity and the information from SeaSky.  You will need to find the five most important events from each era of exploration and create interactive entries on your timeline.  Please include the event title, date, brief description, picture, and either a link (not Wikipedia) or a video to enhance each entry.  This is due Wednesday September 17.  

We have come a long way in our 7000 years of ocean exploration. Beginning with that first dive, to holding a bucket over our head, to reaching the deepest point on Earth, our improvement in technology has helped us continue our curious ways and explore the ocean to find what lies beneath.  

Monday, September 8, 2014

Where We Have Gone....

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your adventures across the globe.  I can tell that you not only recognize the continents and the oceans of the world, but you have very creative minds that are capable of great things!  If you learn nothing else this year, my hope for each of you is that you learn to use your mind to create something original and to be adventurous!

That being said, we do have a test this week over our first unit.  The focus of this unit has been the oceans, continents, and mapping.  I have shared with each of you the notes we have been using in class.  Use this resource, don't abuse it.  I share them so you have full access to the information presented in class, but I want you to still take notes from our talks so you know what I believe is the most important information.  There is also a review available for you to use to help focus your studies for the test.  

Now that the boring stuff is done, how did you enjoy the Google Earth assignment?  I love Google Earth because it provides me the opportunity to "visit" places that I desire to travel to at some point in my life. Many of the places to find in the assignment have significance to me as places I have been or want to visit.  The Eiffel Tower and Paris may have been the most amazing vacation I have ever taken.  To spend time in a world class city with such a vivid history and amazing sights is an opportunity I hope you all have in your lifetime.  I included Mount Everest because I love the mountains and will live in the mountains someday, and Mount Everest is the biggest, most majestic mountain in the world to me. And Bora I need to explain that at all?

I hope you have dreams and aspirations to get out and experience the world.  Our planet has so much beauty and wonder to experience, it would be a shame, nay, a crime to stay tucked away in the bubble of your hometown.  

So where do you want to go?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Its a Great Big World!

What an amazing world we live on! Earth is the only planet in our solar system that supports life.  As far as we know, Earth is the only planet in the universe that supports life! (That's bait for those of you that believe there are other planets out there with life on it) 

At 4.5 BILLION years old, the planet has moved and changed over time to the current geographic arrangement we know and love. All this movement helped create the seven continents and 5 oceans that we will study over the next few days.  

The earth has over 7 BILLION people living on only 1/3 of the planet.  And we still haven't filled up the planet! We have done some amazing things on our planet and we need to make sure we are doing right by the planet in order to conserve the resources the earth provides.  Here are some amazing facts about Earth. 

And hopefully this song will be stuck in your head at least until the unit test.

Remember to check your email for the class notes and make sure to send me your score on today's activity.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Week in Review

What an outstanding first week of school! I enjoyed meeting all of my new students and reuniting with students I have taught previously.  I believe we will have an amazing adventure this year and I look forward to seeing what you are all capable of accomplishing.  

This week consisted mostly of classroom administration.  We have only just begun our journey and we have to make the proper preparations for the long haul.  I have a couple reminders that will help us get on our way.  First, please make sure you have printed and signed the class syllabus sheet as well as the safety contract.  I must have the safety contract in order for you to participate in any and all labs, including the aquariums.  Second, please bring your $15 lab fee to me by Friday September 5 so we can expedite the order of the equipment and supplies needed to make your aquarium experience top notch.  

This week we will start by learning about all of the oceans and continents.  You will need to recall your World Geography skills from freshman year.  We will also break out into preliminary aquarium groups and start planning your tanks.  

Enjoy your holiday!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Syllabus and Signature Sheet

Here is a copy of the classroom syllabus and signature sheet.  Please take time to go over the syllabus with your parents.  Please print the signature sheet, sign it, and turn it into me by Friday August 29th.  

Please understand that there is an out-of-pocket expense involved in this class.  Students are responsible for providing their own fish and the food required to feed them.  In order to help reduce cost, there is also a lab fee of $15 that will go towards aquarium maintenance supplies. If you have any questions regarding the aquariums or the class, please feel free to contact me.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

New Beginnings

Here We Go!

Welcome to the 2014-2015 school year in Aquatic Science! I am excited to have each of you as members of my family here at Ridge Point over the course of this year and maybe for the rest of our lives.  Together we will accomplish great things in class and experience the many wondrous things that the ocean provides for us.

I will use this blog as my class website.  Here I will post the documents and links to assignments that you will use throughout the school year.  I will also post weekly summaries of what we covered in class.  Sometimes I may even use this blog as my method of expressing my thoughts to you about different topics covered in class.  My goal is to be interactive with you so that you become a fully engaged, participating member in my class and I hope to release you to the world with tools that will help you be engaged with life.  

In order to accomplish my goal, I need you to interact with me as much as possible.  Please feel free to respond to my posts with comments, follow me on Twitter @coachfisher_rp, and be active in person, in class.  

The picture shows a set of railroad tracks heading off into the distance.  I wish I could tell you where exactly this path leads, but then again, that's what makes this fun! Every school year is different.  Every person in class is different.  We all start down these tracks together, but the different methods used to travel to the last station is the part I enjoy the most.  

I hope I see the best of you this school year, and I hope you see the best in me.  I cannot wait to meet new people and be reunited with others.  Lets make the 2014-2015 school year our best yet!