Jan Marie Traynor

The rest of the story on my first year

Blog Post created by Jan Marie Traynor on Oct 3, 2010

After a first day that started with a student comment that "she won't make it till Christmas" I am sure some are curious how things turned out. That first year most of my students ended up in Horticulture when their first and second and sometimes third choice of program were filled - this was a county vocational school which only had the students for half a day. So I had frustrated "wannabe" auto mechanics, welders, and even carpenters and masons - but no one who actually wanted to be in horticulture. I learned very quickly that it was better to pretend you liked snakes when a garter snake ended up mysteriously in your desk drawer and it was easier to  come in early and simply weed out all the pot seedlings leaving them guessing about why the seeds they scattered never grew.  When I learned that the school had a large van I could use (if I got my bus drivers license) I knew I was on to something. I got my license and made the students a deal - they work WITH me Monday through Thursday and every Friday we would take a field trip. The trips had to be horticultural related and educational but to them just getting out of school was a treat.  By Christmas I overheard them arguing about what to get me as a gift - being high school boys for whom bigger is always better they got me the biggest bottle of Jean Nate perfume and a cowboy hat (they knew I loved country music). The year turned out great -and some of them did decide that horticulture would be a good career.