It’s time for the Ort Report!

It’s time for the Ort Report!

Those were the days…

Way back in another lifetime (circa 1998) I wound up in New England teaching environmental education at a great place called Nature’s Classroom.

If you can imagine a situation where a group of 10-15 educational misfits, pulled from every corner of the globe, are hired to live in a secluded area of New England under one roof  (this kind of sounds like an episode of the Real World) and:


  1. Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 6.28.47 PMare entrusted to supervise 12 middle school children while exploring a 1000 acre woods… and at random
    moments scream “CAMOUFLAGE!” in which you expect the kids scatter like rats
  2. encouraged your field group to  walk across a frozen lake (that was tested by driving a truck across it – that makes sense, right?)
  3. have students role play as insects, snakes and eagles while they run through the woods trying to assimilate each other into their food chains
  4. re-enact the Underground Railroad while they scare the bejesus out of kids in the dark woods at night
  5. teach classes like Food Dissection, Roller Coasters, and dissect an ocean’s worth of sharks.
  6. Pass around a plastic bead, looking for kids doing IALAC-y type things.  (IALAC is an acronym for “I Am Loving And Caring”…  Yeah, I know… those damn hippies…)

… you would have a good idea of what it’s like to teach at Nature’s Classroom.

10156115_10153959383640500_874225803_nSo….  one of my most cherished artifacts from my time at Nature’s Classroom was my 20th anniversary NC mug.  And then, one morning, while turning around too quickly, I slammed my treasured mug into the side of the cabinet and blammo…

I put out a bat signal to my old Nature’s Classroom comrades.  Surely, someone would feel my pain and might have another mug stashed in their attic, basement, or tucked away at back of the cupboard.

An old friend came through and sent me a new mug (never used!) to replace my broken relic.  I was very thankful to this gentleman.  So, I was inspired to create something special for him to show my thanks.

I’d like share with you the Nature’s Classroom field group leader pen…  complete with yellow anniversary mug, IALAC bead and t-shirt, and keen sideways glance, used for guarding against kids doing mischievous things.

Go Bananas, Go Go Bananas.

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