Thursday, March 27, 2008

Dissection

Thomas arrived home on Thursday and told us about his experiences in his second semester Biology class. He's been doing dissections! He'd done a fetal pig and when I told him that I had a preserved one that Matthew and I were going to dissect, he offered to help Matthew with it. I am not one to turn down such an offer. So, on Friday afternoon, Matthew and Thomas set up on the back porch with dissecting tray, scalpels, scissors, and probes and got to know the insides of the fetal pig, which they named Walter. If you are the faint of heart or squeamish type, this will be enough for you. But if you enjoy such things, as I do, head on over here for a picture...

There are a couple of reasons I was delighted about Thomas' offer. One is that it is very gratifying to see your son really get excited about a subject and begin to think seriously about pursuing it in his studies. It is confirmation that somewhere along the way, a love of learning kicked in and a bent toward a particular subject matter began to flourish. This is particularly delightful for me because I was a Biology major in college and love the more macro side of biology ecology, anatomy and physiology, botany and more. Thomas seems to be tending in this direction as he considers an Environmental Studies major. And this, even as he struggles along with a less than stellar professor this semester. He's not crazy about the professor and the way he presents the material, but he's loving the subject matter and gets excited in discussions about the material and labs with classmates.

The second reason I was pleased with his offer is that I got to stand back and watch two of my boys working together - one leading and explaining, the other following instructions. Those of you who know Thomas may see a happy-go-lucky, fun-loving, rambunctious, sometimes loud kind of guy. Not a serious bone in his body, you might think. But I know better. And I was encouraged to see him guiding Matthew through the dissection with confidence.

This was one of those treasured moments for a homeschool mom who, like all homeschool moms, wonders if what she is doing is enough or right or making any kind of lasting impression.

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