2006-2007 School Year

I have just completed my first week of the 2006-2007 school year, and am rather tired. But it was a good week. It is wonderful to see my students again, and great to be in the classroom. Please pray:

  • That the ministry of Bucharest Christian Academy would have a broad and deep impact in the lives of the students, pointing them always to Jesus Christ.
  • For wisdom for me in lesson planning and in my interactions with students.

A little about our school:

BCA exists to provide a Christ-centered quality education primarily serving missionary and Christian expatriate families. BCA prepares students spiritually, academically, and socially, through a Biblical worldview, to face the challenges of living in today’s world. As a primary outcome of our mission, BCA students will be equipped to influence the world through Biblical thought, character, and action.

This year, we have 75 (K-12) students, and they are from: The United States, Canada, Brazil, Nigeria, Romania, Italy, China, South Korea, and Japan.

My classes this year are:

  • 7th/8th grade — Physical Science
  • 9th/10th grade — Biology
  • 11th grade — Chemistry
  • 12th grade — Physics

Grace and Peace

Election Day

Today is election day at the general assembly of the International Astronomical Union. It looks like the 12+ planet proposal could be defeated. Right now, we don’t know if the day will end with an 8, 9, or 12-planet solar system.

I’m rooting for eight planets.

International Astronomical Union

Yahoo news story

I’m pleased to see that they have dropped the term “pluton.” From the Yahoo story:

Among the scientists who torpedoed “pluton” were geologists, who pointed out — somewhat embarrassingly to astronomers — that it’s already a prominent term in volcano science for deep igneous rock formations.

“What were they thinking? The reaction in the geologic community was rolling of eyes,” said Allen F. Glazner, a geologist at the University of North Carolina. “It would be like botanists trying to distinguish between trees and shrubs and coming up with the term ‘animal.'”

Grace and Peace

eNature — Online Field Guide

A good online field guide—with images and information about 5500 different species—is at eNature.com, which is produced by the National Wildlife Federation. With sections on birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects, spiders, seashells, wildflowers, and more; eNature is a good site for those of us who don’t have a complete shelf of field guides (I have almost worn out some of my Roger Tory Peterson guides).

One shortcoming: There are no range maps, showing the distributions of the species. Despite this, eNature is a fun and useful resource for identification of North American organisms.

Grace and Peace

Personal Responsibility in a Hurricane

I don’t know if anyone who reads this blog lives in hurricane country, but the advice given at World Magazine Blog makes a whole lot of sense. Ed Wilson writes, “For at least 72 hours after a hurricane we, as individuals, are our own first responders,” and then he has recommendations for how to be prepared. Read the recommendations at www.worldmagblog.com.

I don’t deny that government has responsibilities in the event of disasters, but I’m sure the amount of suffering and death that we saw with Hurricane Katrina would have been considerably lower if people would have been thinking like this.

Grace and Peace

Ceres — Planet #5?

Today’s Astronomy Picture of the Day is about Ceres, which will become the fifth planet from the sun (between Mars and Jupiter) if the International Astronomical Union goes ahead with its proposed definition of “planet.” As you can see from the picture at APOD, we don’t know much about Ceres, but that will change when/if NASA’s Dawn mission orbits the asteroid/planet in 2015.

The reason Ceres would be a planet, according to the proposal, and that the next largest asteroid, Vesta, would not has to do with shape. Ceres, with a diameter of 466 km, is massive enought to be spherical. On the other hand, Vesta has a diameter of 265 km and is somewhat nonspherical, as can be seen on yesterday’s APOD, and is therefore at the borderline of what would be classified as a planet.

Grace and Peace