Friday, March 31, 2017

Sometimes, It Works

When I finished teaching yesterday, I felt really good.  I'd prepped the heck out of my classes, especially for the novel, and both classes went really well.

I usually feel pretty good, like I've taught say, a B+ class.  But today, I felt way better, and that's sort of rare.  But oh so good!

On the other hand, I played less well than I'd hoped at my violin lesson.  But I got a new exercise, got some encouragement and tips, and will practice to improve. 

After several weeks of practice, I'm able to get a slight variation in sound when I use the bow while doing slow vibrato.  That's a huge improvement, but it's going to take a lot more practice!


On Tuesday this week, I spent pretty much the whole session in my senior seminar doing brainstorming type work for their seminar papers.  I think it worked.  They all seem to have come up with at least basic ideas for things they want to look at.  If it helps their papers, it's time well spent.


I bought a new toy this week.  I'd been thinking about it off and on for a few years.  Over the weekend, I went birding up to this amazing pond, filled with geese, swans, ducks.  But while I could pretty much tell the Canada Geese from the others, I couldn't tell whether the smaller white geese were Ross's Geese or Snow Geese.  It's hard to tell size at a distance, and the other big field mark is beak marking, with the Snow Goose having what my Sibley's calls an "obvious black 'grin patch'" (79).  Let me say, the patch isn't at all obvious at a great distance through my binoculars, much less in my pictures (taken with a 400 mm lens).  I was so frustrated!

So I got a spotting scope.  My 400 mm camera lens basically does 8x magnification.  My binocs are 10x.  My spotting scope is 27-60x.

It's utterly amazing.

I need to get a new tripod before I can take pictures with it (there's an adaptor to fit on my camera), but when I do, it should be pretty darned exciting!  I can't wait to go look at those geese again!  (I can hold 10x binocs okay; in good light, so the shutter speed is fast, I can hand hold the camera with lens.  But it's way easier with a tripod.  But there's no way I can hand hold this huge spotting scope and actually see anything!)

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