in all my high school and college years i somehow missed the science class on conchology. a fancy word for the study of sea shells, i googled it :)  according to anna katherine, i really missed out!   

conchology was the highlight of anna katherine's seventh grade year. (it was bennett's as well)  for this unit, the school's head master, mr. moulten, takes over the science class. (insert lots of happy faces) he rocks their world with shell facts! his enthusiasm had my seventh grader fired up and ready to declare her college major in conchology. the lesson climaxed with a field trip to the barrier islands. girlie girls tromping knee deep in stinky marsh mud, learning lessons in biology, ecology, conservation, astronomy and botany...and loving it! 

by the end of the school year, she was ready to spend her summer building a shell collection. she used all of her vacation money on shell books, bags and organizers.  i loved that she wanted a book, not the kindle edition.  "i want a book to hold." 

in the florida keys, she spent hours combing sand bars, beaches, bowls of shells in the beach house, but refused to buy a single shell.  at the end of the day, she carefully scrubbed, bleached, dried and labeled each and every shell. her brother would pour over her collection. 

 jeff and i sat back and soaked in her excitement. and wondered if we would lose our security deposit for the bleached spots on the deck... and yes, we did  :)   

it thrilled us to see her desire to learn, on her own and on vacation! anna katherine keeps her shells in her bedroom. we have the larger ones  scattered around a flower bed. my kids will remember 'shell-ology' or conchology forever.awesome teachers with contagious enthusiam can rock a kid's world. 

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