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Re: Advice needed
  • Subject: Re: Advice needed
  • From: "Daryl" <dp2413@comcast.net>
  • Date: Tue, 2 Aug 2011 12:22:47 -0400


For years, I assisted with tagging specimens for our local and regional club
shows, and I was surprised at how few members knew the nomenclature. Some
entrants didn't know more than the common name of the plant, let alone how
to write it. I found that to be true with various schools that I attended or
taught. It was very frustrating to me as an instructor,  but I took great
comfort in the fact that they were willing to learn.

One thing that I did for several classes, both club and MG, was to make flash cards. That introduced an element of fun as well as repetition, and a little competition, too. It helped to do a short bit of taxonomy and ID between the first lecture and lunch. After they'd had their coffee, and a chance to chat, they were much more likely to pay attention than when it was after lunch. Small bites of information made them more likely to remember, too. When I did the class scheduling, I always tried to keep the last sessions very light, because I knew that most of them were running on information overload by then.

I'm curious. How many of the participants are young and how many are
retired? The younger ones seemed to be much more distracted, especially in
the afternoon when they were worrying about finishing in time to get home to
take kids to soccer practice or whatever. It was gratifying to me that they
showed up at all, since for several years, all we had were older ladies, and
it seemed that the clubs (our own and many others) were going to go under
after so many decades. I've been inactive for several years, taking care of
my Dad, but I'm giving talks to several Atlanta area clubs in the coming
year, and am very curious about how their membership is distributed.


----- Original Message ----- From: <Aplfgcnys@aol.com>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Tuesday, August 02, 2011 9:43 AM
Subject: Re: [CHAT] Advice needed

I'm sure you're right, Noreen, that some of the students don't pay
attention to proper horticultural nomenclature.  We try to make a
point of that, and one lecture in each series is just on taxonomy,
but some still don't seem to get it.  That's especially surprising
since one requirement for eligibility for top horticulture awards in
standard flower shows is proper botanical name.  It's always
surprising to me what some people don't learn.

I really appreciate the insights I've been given here.  I am trying to
pass this program along in the best possible shape.  I have run this
system for 22 years - much too long - and I'm sure my successor
will make some changes, but I still want things to work right.  I have
felt over the years that it was an excellent system - in fact this has
always been the one weak spot.  Having three schools this spring
and every one of them showing this particular weakness just made
me feel that I wasn't doing something right here.

Thanks again for all your input.

In a message dated 8/2/2011 8:56:08 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
TeichFauna@aol.com writes:

Hmmmm....  I figured picking up on the fact that it is Cherokee Chief  or
even Ospo Red, would be enough for a yes answer, considering that it isn't
the true species that is protected.  But since you said that most answered
no, then perhaps it's not enough emphasis on basic proper horticulture
nomenclature??  The genus plus the specific epithet.  Genus in Latin
capitalized, species in Latin, but not capitalized......followed by
varietal  names
also not capitalized preceeded by  var.    Or followed by a hybrid name

modern language) which is always capitalized.  Cultivars (cultivated
varieties with distinguishing characters) written in modern language,
and in single quotation marks or followed by  cv.

Perhaps it is taken for granted that at that point everyone in the  class
should know this, when most don't????  I must admit that I was  foggy on
proper writing of varieties, hybrids and cultivars......but  could at
recognize the difference between those and a true species in  names.  I
surprised to find out that a few in our class couldn't.   So this might be
same in your classes?

zone 9
Texas Gulf Coast

In a message dated 8/1/2011 3:30:49 PM Central Daylight Time,
Aplfgcnys@aol.com writes:

Unfortunately, Noreen, most of them say "no" and give me some  stuff
about it's being on the Protected Plant List and can only be shown  in
educational exhibits.  At least they get the point that protected  plants
are not to be exhibited in competitive classes.

As for  questions that are not covered in the lectures - I always sit in
myself,  or if that's not possible, appoint a knowledgable master judge
to sit with  a list of questions and answers just to be sure all points

covered.  If I feel that one is not being sufficiently addressed, I  will
stupid-sounding questions until the answer is completely  covered.
I make up the examinations myself, but from questions and  answers
submitted by the speakers.  I want to be sure that the answer  I have
on the answer-sheet is exactly what the speaker says, not just  what
I think.  When I return the graded exams I always include an  answer
sheet, thinking that if the student is interested, he/she can learn  from
mistakes.  I often wonder if they really look at the returned  exams other
than to see if they passed.

My opinion is that they  somehow don't register on the "distinguishing
feature" aspect.  I  don't always use "Cherokee Chief" as the example.
Sometimes I use another  like Kalmia "Ospo Red" or some other such.
I just think "Cherokee Chief" is  a popular one that these people should
know.  Oh well.  I'll keep  trying.

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