A plug for environmental ed
Some of us at The Gradebook can only hope that one day, if it isn't too late, environmental education will be as much a part of school as the three R's, the FCAT and Friday night football. Heck, some of us wouldn't even mind an environmental FCAT if it meant more lessons about the real world, and maybe just maybe, more public schools like Learning Gate in Lutz.
In the meantime, we'd like to humbly suggest some new reading material for those who somehow do find time for environmental ed in their schools or lesson plans. It's a self-published book called Heaven on Earth, written by Crawford Solomon, a North Florida man who was profiled by St. Petersburg Times reporter Jeff Klinkenberg in Sunday's Floridian section (see story here.) (Full disclosure: Gradebook contributor Ron Matus wrote about Solomon during a previous life at the Gainesville Sun; considers Solomon a friend; and helped Solomon put his book on line.)
The first half of the book is essentially the autobiography of a modern-day Thoreau. Solomon details how he drops out of the modern world; overcomes a slew of challenges in the marshy fringes between Gainesville and Ocala; and ultimately stumbles on a cornucopia of natural delights. Here's a sampling from the chapter on building a hut out of palm fronds: "When a rain shower approaches, hold one of the great fronds above your head. Listen to the sound, the soft pelting sound of raindrops on leaves of palm. This is the music that you will hear for as long as your roof endures." To read more, go to www.crawfordsolomon.com.