On The Graduate Version of Spring Break

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I never took a real spring break in undergrad, so I suppose it makes sense that I spent this past spring break visiting friends and family in Minnesota. I think I actually traded warm Chicago weather for what ended up being cloudy days in the 50’s. But it was a much needed and very well deserved trip. It gave me some time to reflect on the past few months and catch up on all of my April projects. So spring break Minnesota… here we come!

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My first priority was, of course, to check out the Science Museum of Minnesota. I’m currently taking a Science Methods course, and we’ve got a lesson plan due next week. I’ve been finding myself somewhat stumped on the subject matter, so I figured the museum would help me get inspired. I went there many times as a child, but my memories mostly stuck on the sections with experiments. I simply couldn’t remember what other sections existed in the museum. That’s because (I found) the entire museum is one giant immersion experience. Every section includes multiple sensory experiments that help you delve further into the subject matter. The coolest area was focused on human biology. Microscopes were set up everywhere to look at DNA, blood, hair and skin. It’s amazing how child centered the museum is. Another area focused on the science and mathematics of shadows (looking at motion, ratios, and light perspective). It helped me get a clearer focus for my lesson plan, which I’ll share on the blog once it’s complete.

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Other than the museum, I hadn’t made any other real concrete plans. I knew that I wanted to spend time outdoors, but this became the focus of my trip (even with the cold weather). Even though I’m fiercely urban, I love spending time in green spaces. Everyday I took the opportunity to enjoy being outside. I walked Lake Harriet, hiked Minnehaha Falls, and walked the Mississippi via the Stone Arch Bridge. It helped me clear my head and also inspired me to come back to Chicago and immediately take my bike out to the lakefront path!

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The rest of my trip was spent in good company. I visited with aunts and cousins (and their adorable children). I saw an excellent production of Hay Fever at the Guthrie and toured the Mill City Museum (all the while thinking of potential social studies content tie-ins). I basked in all the people that knew me pre grad school and silently reflected on how much has changed. Mostly, it’s exciting to know what I want and I feel fulfilled to be on this path.

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Have a good week everybody!