Tuesday, November 2, 2004

A Mr. Marvin Assignment

A somewhat botanical discussion on my hiking list conjured up this little gem of a memory ...

Mr. Marvin was my science teacher in seventh grade. He was very creative. For example, the day before we dissected frogs, he passed out crayons and markers and paper lunch bags and had us decorate them. They were to be "barf bags." We hung them all over the classroom.

That's a gem of a memory, but it's not the gem I was planning to write about. So read on, dear ones.

At some point, we were learning about flower parts, and he had us each write a poem, song, or story about what we had learned.

I don't remember what I wrote. I was so shy that I probably hid in the bathroom for this assignment.

Tricia Nugent wrote this (sung to the tune of "I'm a Little Teapot"):

I'm a little flower, tall and slim

Here are my leaves, and here is my stem

When you pluck my sepals, I will fall

Then I'll be slim, but certainly not tall.

Don't ask me how I remember that ... I told you, my brain is utterly constipated with trivial knowledge from 20 years ago.

But if you ask me how I remember what "sepals" are, and what role they play in a flower's posture ... well, now you know.

Mr. Marvin was a really good teacher, in more ways than one. Most of my seventh-grade memories, vivid as they are, are not particularly happy. I was a severely depressed and miserable 13-year-old (of course, who isn't miserable and depressed at 13, I wonder?). But, I have to admit, his 5th-hour science classes are definitely a bright spot in my otherwise not-so-sunny memory of that time.

I wonder what he's up to now. Guess I'll google him and see.

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