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Moss Like TP, Fairy Droppings, A Frito Boat

In my almost 18 and a half years of structured education (pre-school + first through 12th grade + fours years of undergrad + my masters degree) I have never met a teacher like Melissa Hart. In my almost 30 years of soaking up my interactions with people on this lovely planet I have never met a person like Melissa Hart.

I can inform you of her wildly successful memoir, her travel writing pieces in which she has received huge appraise, the many degrees she has attached to her name, the conferences and workshops she still woman-handles on her weekends, how confident I am that she is a fantastic mother to her little girl and a supportive partner to her husband, and so many more aspects to Melissa Hart that I am sure would impress you. But the following blog is meant to hopefully give you a taste of my favorite thing about Melissa Hart: her genuinely sweet, often silly, and intellectually brilliant energy that is one of the many reasons why I am so thankful I decided to take her travel writing class this summer.

Our class Tuesday morning was a fieldtrip to Buford Park, in Eugene. Myself, about 10 other students, and our adorable teacher went and bopped around the park – each experiencing this via our own eyes and then now all blogging about it in different ways, I’m sure. I could have paid attention to the various species of plants, the fact that the faerieworlds 2012 summer celebration had just happened weeks ago and there are still remnants at the park, the abandoned buildings and their creepy presence, the blackberries and hops growing wildly, or just how fascinated the whole class was by this fieldtrip; but I was too distracted by how stinking cute and fun my teacher is…and informative!

This is her teaching me about “backpackers toilet paper” aka lichen aka “old man’s beard.” Did you readers know that this stuff is absorbent enough to wipe your whoha or backside with if need be? I didn’t. Learn something new every day.

I had to grab a video of Melissa teaching us how to make a whistle with a blade of grass. This right here might be one of the more educational videos you have ever seen. I’m thinking she should start a series.

When we were walking toward the field where the  faerieworlds celebration is held, she said, “I’m scared of the fairies. We should have gone as a class this year, you know – strength in numbers.”  She stopped and pointed out what she referred to as “fairy droppings”, but the childlike wonder with which she said it was just adorable and so fun.

Totally fairy droppings.

Later during our walk Melissa told us that vultures pee on their feet in an effort to regulate their body temperature. I told her I did that last weekend at the Pickathon Music Festival. (Please click here to see my first guest blog post for a blog series titled: Amber Lights With Ms. Hogan. Note: the peeing on my feet detail was left out of that post. I share those important details for my beloved readers of this blog.)

It was quite serendipitous that my Amazon order just came in the mail while wrapping up this post.

My dad insisted I order two copies of Melissa’s memoir, titled Gringa: A Contradictory Girlhood, as he didn’t want to share. (Yeah, he’s still visiting.)

Here is Melissa’s book trailer for Gringa: A Contradictory Girlhood. And if anyone wants to make a Frito Boat with me sometime next week, please comment below. Maybe we can set up an ooey-goey-in-a-bag kind of a date.

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11 thoughts on “Moss Like TP, Fairy Droppings, A Frito Boat

  1. Amy Schneider on said:

    Yay Melissa! You’ve described her perfectly. I will be inconsolably sad when this class is over (sorry I used a “be” verb and an adverb, Melissa).

    • Yay Melissa indeed! This was an appropriate use of a “to be” verb. How lucky are we to have had a class in which we all are now so bummed that it is over. Looking forward to organizing a peer writing group. ;) Maybe Melissa will be a guest one day.

  2. We should make frito boats at your bbq Amber!

  3. Spencer Adrian on said:

    It might be just me, but the video you took didn’t work! :( But I love the angle you took on the field trip! I’ll bring the frito boats!

  4. OMG. I am flattered. This is the nicest profile anyone’s ever written about me, and I love that your dad is doing bicep curls with Gringa. (Deep apologies for the naughty sex scene–that was my editor’s suggestion.) This is so much fun, Amber, and I deeply appreciate (and can’t stop giggling over) your attention to details. Thank you!

  5. Barbara Bellinger on said:

    Love it! Love Melissa! What is a frito boat??

  6. Love it! Love Melissa! I’m sure I will love frito boats…what are they exactly??

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