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Growing Up With My Biology Teacher Mom!

I am very pleased to have a guest blogger today.  It is my very own daughter!  Hope has just turned 18 and is graduating from high school this week.  Among many numerous accomplishments, she is a National Merit Finalist, Presidential Scholar Semi-Finalist, All-State French Horn player, and daughter extraordinaire.  Please forgive my bragging.  This week is a milestone in the life of our family, and I want to preserve a bit of it by posting it on my blog.  

Hiking to a waterfall on the island of Kauai 
I asked Hope to write a few words about growing up with a biology teacher mom.  Here is what she had to say:

Hi.  My name is Hope.  I am a graduating senior at the high school at which my mom teaches.  My mom has asked me to write an article regarding a childhood guided by a biologically minded mother.  Here you go, Mom! 

I learned to identify wildflowers at an early age.  The Indian Paintbrush will always be one of my favorites.
There were no easy answers to questions I asked as a child.  The question, “Why is the sky blue?” did not garner the usual parental response, “Because God made it that way.”  Instead, my mom attempted to explain to me that light reflects differently off everything in the whole wide world and that for the air particles in the atmosphere, that color sometimes appeared to be blue.  As you can imagine, such responses were often met with blank stares.  However, this veritable encyclopedia of chemical, physical, and biological knowledge found in my mother often proved extremely helpful.  

Hiking through the mountains of
northern Georgia.
This was one big tree!
When I was little, I played with Barbie dolls, but I also played with science kits.  While my little sister took naps, my mom and I would learn about the buoyancy and viscosity of different liquids or play with ladybug homes, caterpillar enclosures, or ant farms. 
Yes, Mom, I know they are lichens!

On our trips to Michigan in the summer, I learned that the orange color on the rocks was actually something called a lichen.  When we finally studied algae and fungi in school, I was the only child in my class who knew what a lichen was.   We looked for pitcher plants in bogs, made plaster casts of deer tracks, looked for crabs with flashlights on beaches, and snorkeled on coral reefs.

Crab hunting

I will never forget what "allelopathy" is!

My science fair projects always actually investigated something.  We did not do “cutesy” projects like “Which gets you cleaner, a shower or a bath?”  Instead, I learned about allelopathy and spent a month squirting magnolia tree juice on poor little bean shoots.  I didn’t always win the science fair, but I always learned a great deal about science. 

Overnight spelunking trip

Hiking in Grand Teton National Park
Yellowstone National Park
My mom also served as a science tutor.  Where my textbook or teacher left off, she picked up.  In high school, she helped me understand electron configurations and light and dark reactions.  She worked me half to death when I took her AP Biology class, but I proudly earned a “5” on the AP Biology exam.  

While I do not plan to major in chemistry or biology, she has inspired my to pursue a career in science.  In the fall, I will be attending college to study computer engineering with a focus in robotics.  My dream is to become an Imagineer at Disney World.  I know that I will always have a proud scientific mamma and I’m sure she’ll love poking around in my lab as I loved poking around in hers as a child.
Mom in Yellowstone

My childhood was the greatest!  Thanks for all the adventures, Mom!


  1. This sounds like my kids growing up. Since their father teaches science, their science projects were aswesome. We still love to have him take us on hikes because he can identify trees, plants, and recognize birds just by their calls. Now it's our grandchildren's turn!

  2. Such a great post! Congratulations to your daughter on all her accomplishments - you have earned the right to be a proud mom. My oldest daughter is quite the little scientist - she's only seven now, but we foster her interest every day. She's currently counting down the days until "science camp" this summer!