Web Cam Safari

ImageS.  This summer, I led a group of science teacher writers at Rice University in a classroom with no windows, so I showed a different web cam every day to spark imaginations, and keep the mood.

A.  We were tasked with creating the first ever teacher-produced material aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards, on a famous campus and infamous Baker Hall.  Such creation required hours of training, professional development, team building, consensus and argumentation practice, and just darn effective on-the-spot curriculum writing.  We needed to bring magic from teachers to teachers using these new standards.  So, we watched the panda cam at the Houston Zoo, aquarium cams, Japan’s traffic, Mt. St. Helens, even the beaches of Rio De Janeiro, to help keep us productive in a classroom with no windows.

F.  Once, while watching the Animal Planet puppy cam, a cute puppy relieved himself in the center of view before retreating to the edge of view for a nap…

A.  The infamous summer was intense and all of my faculties were used, but the cams were a daily, if momentary, candid treat.  A real window into another world we could all experience together…  One day, I pulled up the Cornell Ornithology bird cams and saw the osprey cam from Dunrovin Ranch in Lolo, Montana and was struck with surprise.  Seeing the crisp mountain view, the birds, brought me there.

R.  I was there!  I was an event coordinator there, at that very ranch with those very birds in the Last Best Place, before I moved to the Lone Star State.  I was involved with those birds as Education Coordinator for the International Wildlife Film Festival, with conservation efforts and industry leaders that inevitably led me to be a curriculum coordinator.  Four years of life-changing struggles and opportunities popped up on that cam screen with one simple message for me to get through that very hard day.  ”Continue”.

I.  In spite of the non-conducive and ironic nature of the room to create the magic we were tasked to perform, we had a daily norm we adhered to that could only end in a beverage of choice.  ”When life gives you lemons…”

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