About Me

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Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Fun Monday -- Time Travel to the Kentucky State Fair '05

The Fun Monday assignment for August 23rd is a piece of cake--or more aptly in this instance a pork chop sandwich. Mariposa , our host for August, asks us to describe where we were on August 23, 2005. I didn't really even need to check my old calendar because if it's mid-August I would have been manning a children's exhibit in the education wing of the Kentucky State Fair. That's 11 long days of fair goers--the good, bad, and ugly.

In 2005 I was working for Kentucky Farm Bureau, one of the largest agricultural organizations in the state. Part of my job responsibilities was agricultural education for students and teachers. Put simply, we tried to help children make the connection between the foods they ate and the farmers who grew the food. So every year at the state fair we designed activities that would help children understand that the food they bought in the grocery store was grown on a farm and then processed into popular foods like pizza, french fries, or cereal.

If you've been to a state fair you understand that it's a madhouse of people out for a day of looking at the farm animals on show, going through exhibits picking up all kinds of junk that never makes it out of the fair tote bag. There's the midway games, the amusement rides, concerts and food that you wouldn't eat any other time of the year like this year's donut cheeseburger with two Krispy Creme glazed donuts as the bun (I can hardly type this it's so wrong. . .).

My smart young sidekick Susie and I tried to design an exhibit booth where kids could slow down for a few minutes, play a game and learn about agriculture. We also gave them really cool junk like tattoos and comic books. Teachers got lesson plans. Each year it was a challenge to come up with fun activities. The smiling little guy in this photo has successfully matched food models with the correct farm product. Example: milk and cheese with the dairy cow, drumstick and scrambled eggs with the chicken. One year we played Assembly Line Antics to help kids understand how food is processed and marketed. Each kid got to go through several stations with pans of trail mix goodies like gold fish crackers, raisins, pretzels, and M & Ms. They scooped up their personal favorites in a baggie and then at the end of the line used crayons and colored markers to design a label for their own bag of trail mix, giving it an original name like "Kelly's Moonrocks and Asteroids". It was nice to see them scamper off with their original bag of trail mix. They were so proud, even the little ones.

The year of the giant pizza puzzle was a favorite exhibit. We had a huge 42 in. wooden pizza cut with a jigsaw, painted and then cut again in pieces the size of a sheet of paper. We used metal pizza pans to mount photos of different pizza ingredients like peppers, tomatoes, cheese, pepperoni on the wall exhibits.

Kids were drawn to the size of this puzzle and enjoyed spending a few minutes working the puzzle. Sometimes whole families would work on the puzzle together, giving us a chance to teach them a bit about agriculture.

The fair is in full swing right now. I won't be going though. After all these years of working at the fair I'm glad to stay home. But in 2005 it was not a bad work assignment to be around kids for a week or so helping them have fun and learn something new.


Gattina said...

You really have a very good memory ! But it also was something nice to do ! My 2005 year is wiped out I was very sick with depressions and got out of this black hole only in November of that year. Fortunately ever since I am feeling like a purring old cat !
What happens to Mariposa ? I send her an email but I got no answer so far. She hasn't posted anything and only the link thing on August 16.
What do you think of my new meme invention ? don't you like to join ?

Debs said...

What an incredible memory you have.

I think we were getting ready to hold a big party at our house, but then again, that could have been the following year.

Lane said...

The donut burger almost threw my concentration for a moment

Your enthusiasm for your job really shines out of this post. The children who rocked up to your tent were fortunate indeed. I bet they all remember the giant pizza too:-)

Jan n Jer said...

The kids that got the benefit of you being their teacher are truly the lucky ones Faye. Your memory is excellant. I have no clue what I was doing on this date 5 years ago. I could only make an educated guess. Most likely just hanging out here in my neck of the woods.

Jill said...

That is really awesome stuff! Love the puzzle of the pizza! I just posted mine!

Sayre said...

Fairs were so much fun when I was a kid - but now that I'm older, I dread fair season and the possibility that my boy will beg to go. He is sensitive to this though and never even asked last year. I'm looking forward to the day I can dump him at the gate and let him wander around for a few hours with friends or on his own!

Much of my aversion is due to a dwarf with too many hands that caught me in a haunted house in the dark. I kicked him pretty hard but it was dark, so I don't know if he went down or not. He did make a very peculiar noise though!

Gattina said...

From Mariposa still no sign and from you neither,
I have a new meme for Mondays "What did you do this weekend" and wonder if you would like to join in ?
I see I asked you already, lol !
I am participant hunting !