Where There Is Life, There Is Stupidity

, , , , , | Learning | December 27, 2017

(I’m studying biology at a university. We periodically have events where the different courses and research groups can show their work and projects in display stands. I have joined a herpetology research group and we have tables with alligator and turtle skulls, snake head models, and some glass boxes with real but dead animals — snakes, lizards and frogs common in this place — preserved in alcohol. It’s common for people to come and ask about them, but this time I almost lose it. A group of four girls approaches our stand:)

Girl #1: “Woah! Oh, my God! You have live animals here!”

Me: “Actually, no. These are real, but they are long dead and have been preserved in alcohol.”

Girl #2: *to another that seems to be really interested and is looking closely at the boxes* “Don’t get near it! They can bite you!”

Me: “No, they won’t. They are dead, but perfectly preserved in alcohol and—”

Girl #1: “—but are they like, alive?”

Me: “No, they are dead but preserved in alcohol. That’s why they are still looking—”

Girl #3: “Oh, my God! I saw it moving!”

Me: “I can assure you that they are dead. Probably someone just shook the table and they floated in the alcohol.”

Girl #1: “So, are they alive?”

Me: *grinding my teeth while still smiling* “No, they are not. They are dead but have been preserved in alcohol for research purposes. They have been like this since before I even joined this research group.”

All Three Girls: “Oh…”

(They finally seem to understand and are quietly looking at our display; then [Girl #4], who has been looking at her phone the whole time, finally stops and looks at the table.)

Girl #4: “Oh, my God! Are they alive?!”

The Other Three Girls & Me: “NO!”

(My colleagues and I often retell this story to our new members to prepare them for this kind of question, but seriously, this was the worse case by far.)

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When Harry Met The Class

, , , , , | Learning | December 8, 2017

(My seventh-grade biology teacher is a crazy guy who owns snakes and turtles and brings them to school. One day he tells us he has a surprise for us.)

Teacher: “In the state of Georgia, it is illegal to own venomous snakes and venomous lizards. However, in Tennessee, it is only illegal to own venomous snakes.” *goes into closet* “So, here is my Gila Monster, his name is Harry.”

(He had protective wear and only let us touch his tail, but it was so crazy to see how calm he was with this lizard… I mean Harry.)

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Pulled That Answer Out Of Her Rectum

, , , | Learning | December 7, 2017

(I am in biology. The teacher is asking questions.)

Teacher: “Do you have the right answer, [Classmate]?”

Classmate: “I do. It’s Endoplasmic Rectum.”

(Cue the laughter.)

Teacher: “Wow, ‘endoplasmic rectum?’ I usually have to worry about organism, not endoplasmic reticulum!”

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A rr-eally Good Example

, , , , , | Learning | November 30, 2017

(I am in a high school biology class. We are learning about Punnett squares.)

Teacher: “You take the Dominant D gene and the Recessive r genes and slide them down the boxes, like this, to get DD Dr Dr rr. So, in a perfect world, out of four kids, parents who both have Dr genes would have one kid that displays the recessive gene.” *looks at [Student #1]* “Like [Student #1]’s freaking family, proving theoretical genealogy. Out of four kids, his parents had three brunette girls and one ginger boy. With how randomized genes can be, it’s utterly amazing his family actually exists.”

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Running Away Runs In Their Blood

, , , , , | Learning | September 21, 2017

I took a zoology course in college and ended up with a very unique and laid-back professor.

He started the laboratory portion of our class with a story told to him by his own college professor about why we should follow lab protocols (closed-toed shoes, no food in the lab, tying back long hair, etc).

In the story, there was a young female student taking biology, and the lab section involved dissection of bullfrogs. These were semi-fresh dissection subjects and had minimal preservation (blood was still present and tissue was still… squishy). She had long, blonde hair, worn loose, and she was wearing a cream cashmere sweater. In the midst of the dissection with her lab partner, she leaned over the tray with the partially dissected frog on it, and her hair trailed through the blood. Her lab partner pointed it out to her and the student started screaming.

She stood up quickly and her hair slapped onto her face, which made her scream more, as she started shaking her head in a panicked attempt to get the blood off. The shaking spread blood-spatter down her cashmere sweater, and the situation continued to get worse.

Before the professor could intervene, she ran out of the lab and down the hall shrieking, and the other professors started poking their heads out. From their perspective, there was a highly distressed young lady covered in blood running down the hallway, so the police were called and it was a gigantic mess…

Amidst snickers, my class agreed that we would follow the lab protocols (and if we didn’t, we wouldn’t run out of the lab screaming bloody murder.)

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