Raising leppers -- was What's in a name

Anne Kilmer viceroy at anu.ie
Wed Jun 9 13:45:33 EDT 1999

A while ago, when Maria Minno was editing the lep journal, she collected
a batch of "How I got this way" essays from lepidopterists. Good stuff.
It might be time to run through some of that data again, particularly
with an eye to producing a lot of little lepidopterists and naturalists
of different flavors. 
Somebody's gotta carry the hose when we kick the bucket. 
Many of us here are in education  at different levels, and have written
this and that of an educational of motivational nature. 
My little book, for instance, is about to appear on Maria Minno's web
page and the phone company plans to distribute it, or so they tell me.
It's a simple recipe for getting children involved in butterfly
gardening (gardening to attract wildlife, if you want the truth) and
planting public wildlife gardens at churches, schools, hospitals,
nursing homes, condominiums ... 
(I can't get anybody to put up signs, with all those nice scientific
names on them, but that's another story, and as long as I keep my tongue
in my cheek I can't grit my teeth.) 
I still have the aquariums and terrariums (empty now), the pond, the
wild gardens that the children used ... although the menagerie, except
for the parrot, has moved on. I do not miss the python or the boa
Children drift in and stay for a while; we dissect flowers and the odd
dead bird, turn over a few rocks, and they move on. I suppose I should
get serious again ... 
I think we should all help Roger think of 4,000 vulgar names for miller
moths. You should hear what my husband calls them (he thinks they're all
clothes moths, poor fellow) 
But seriously, there's no need for common names for critters that nobody
but the scientists are going to chat about. And the dinosaurs seem to do
nicely without them. 
The Master Gardeners do, in fact, settle down and learn quite a few
names, and enjoy knowing them. There's just that initial fear of getting
it wrong, that they have to get through somehow. 
I tell them, as I did you, that if you pronounce it in sure, carrying
tones, as if you know what you're doing, nobody will dare correct you.
And that works just fine.  
Whether your students are children or grandmothers, they still need
support and reassurance. We're good at that, on this list. 
Anne Kilmer 
Daniel L Robinson wrote:
> On Wed, 09 Jun 1999 09:45:45 +0100 Anne Kilmer <viceroy at anu.ie> writes:
> >Our best recourse is to catch 'em young, and teach the >children to call
> >butterflies by both sets of names.
> Even my nearly three year old pronounces them Most "Plonkingly"!
> John Acorn and others at various times have made it abundantly clear that
> you don't have to possess a string of unreadable initials after your name
> in order to contribute in some way to this list.  I would like to hear
> from some of the other moms that I just *know* are lurking, dodging
> bullets, feeling unworthy.  Anne just said we are their "best recourse".
> Hear that? We aren't doing much with test tubes, or influencing the
> masses with our writings, but who knows *what* we might be doing!  And
> what we *might* be doing, might be better if we share.
> Our family is about to celebrate this year's burst of butterfly study
> with a glorious butterfly party,  including activities and discussion
> that will be greatly enriched by information from listers.
> I'm not suggesting that those of us guiding the next generation of
> lepidopterists dominate the list and patrol to keep out all other topics.
>  Just an occasional flashing of the wings, enough for us to know you are
> there would be nice.  For one thing, I'd like to know how to translate
> all that (whisper) BT corn pollen discussion, and many other topics
> common to the list into experiments that kids can do at home.
> Any moms out there?  Teachers?  Do I have to get my net??
> Martha W. Robinson
> Kent, WA, USA

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