Monday, March 5, 2012

The virtual classroom trip I've dreamed of . . .

Last month Jake and I decided that one of us needed to head to Nebraska to the feed yard.  Usually he makes the trip, but with me not teaching and 1400 cows calving - I volunteered.  I instantly started looking for a traveling partner and stumbled upon a former student who was on spring break from college.

I called Tiffanie who is an Animal Science Major from the University of Findlay.  She immediately said she would.  I was excited to have a traveling partner but equally humbled by the fact that she didn't mind spending her spring break in Nebraska.  Tiffanie had never been west of Indiana and when she was in Indiana it was with me for a Livestock Judging trip that she had earned with her team.

When I was teaching I had a large United States of America map that I would often show students where different crops were grown, where irrigation occured and the lay of the land.  I always wished and often told them I wanted to just load them up and take them west to see the things I was trying to explain.  So, when Tiffanie said she would come I knew that this idea would finally become a reality (at least for one student). 

We left Saturday morning at 4AM sharp.  We had wonderful traveling weather and even the wind that was promised was not near as bad as anticipated.  I drove the whole way - just to see if I could.  We broke a previous record set my Jake, I and the girls on a Sunday of 15 hours and 20 minutes.  The new record is now 15 hours and 2 minutes.  If you have ever been in a car that long the 18 minutes does count.  That evening we ate dinner at the local steak house and were able to meet up with some of my former students. 

Then on Sunday I got up and attended Mass and surprised Sister Mary Ann. We met with the manager of 4+ Feeders and toured around the feed yard.  I also was able to stop and see some of our old neighbors. I gave her a tour of the high school where I taught last year.  We ate dinner with the Gydesen Family where we are staying and turned in early.

Today we got to the feed yard early where the guys said some bulls had gotten out and they spent a couple hours trying to retrieve and return them to their pen.  We went to lunch, visited a quilt store, and then thanks to Austin a former student landed an awesome tour of Tyson the local Beef Processing Plant.  It was awesome and I will post pictures in a later blog. 

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