Well that last post was cheerful, wasn't it? Thank you to everyone who commented or e-mailed with words of support. You all helped me tremendously. I'm feeling a bit better now. I made sure to take some "me" time this weekend, and I fit a run in this morning, even though I felt more like I was swimming, thanks to the fog.
Now if we can go a week without anyone having to have neck surgery, throw up or get pinkeye, I might just make it.
And now for something completely different . . .
The girls' school has an annual science fair, which Ella has never done a project for. Last year her class did a group project, but we didn't do anything solo. This year, the principal tried to cancel the fair, hoping no one would notice. We've had some issues with the principal, who really just needs to retire, and the science fair was, for many, the final straw. The PTA pitched a fit and got permission to hold the fair provided the PTA did all the work. Since I was one of the parents who signed the petition to have the fair, when Ella asked if she could do a project I figured I'd better say yes.
I have bad memories of science projects and science fairs from my school days. Nothing I did for them, except for the potato-powered clock, was ever successful. And the clock only worked because my dad did most of the work.
The town I grew up in hosted the annual county fair, and in conjunction with the fair and 4H, there was always a radish-growing contest. Each year, we'd be sent home from school with radish seeds and instructions for growing them. Part of our grade was based on our green thumbs. Each year, I'd follow the instructions faithfully, and I'd end up with these scrawny, scraggly things that in no way resembled radishes. They'd be put on display along with all of my classmates' radishes - fat, red radishes with big leaves. It was horrifying. I was so glad when I got to middle school and no longer had to grow radishes.
I did another big science project in high school for marine biology class. To study tides and currents, I floated two dozen packets with a pre-stamped postcard asking the finder to send the postcard with information on where and when the packet was found. How many did I get back? Exactly zero. So I had to put together my big display board with my theory and hypothesis and method and no results. Sigh.
So when Ella came home asking about doing a science project, I wasn't exactly enthusiastic. Fortunately, she wanted to do a joint project with a classmate, a classmate whose mother offered to spearhead the project. Score!
The girls decided to grow three kinds of crystals - salt, Epsom salt, and sugar - and observe which kind grew faster. I thought it was a cool project because I had always wanted to grow sugar crystals.
Unfortunately, Ella seems to be cursed with my bad luck with science fair projects. We've only grown salt crystals successfully. We've done two batches of Epsom salt and have gotten nothing but salt water. We did two batches of sugar crystals and have gotten mold. Sigh.
B was adamant that the girls had done the sugar solution incorrectly, so he mixed up a batch last night with Ella and Lily, separate from the science fair stuff, and so far his hasn't worked either. I'm taking an unfair amount of joy from that, given that I've listen to him tell me for two weeks that we had done it wrong the first two times.
Tomorrow Ella and her project partner will be putting together their display boards and getting ready for Wednesday's submission and Thursday's judging. I'm guessing they'll get a participation ribbon.
Next year, I think we'll take advantage of the option to make a model of something rather than do an experiment.