Tuesday, September 14, 2004
OK, I've been in classes more or less from 9 am this morning until 9 pm tonight. I say 'more or less' because some of that time was transit, and there was a half hour break for lunch, and I actually rolled into my dorm around 9:30 pm due to the utter, utter Evil that is the University busing system. As you imagine, I am rather tired.
I had my first bio lab today, and it wasn't bad at all. Of course, we don't start dissecting until next Tuesday (lampreys!), so today wasn't very difficult at all. We just went around identifying stuffed critters (including an oppossum with stuffing coming out of its eyeholes) and pickled critters (some of which we got to take out of the bottles and pass around... let me assure you, you haven't really lived until you've tied a long dead, alcohol-soaked hagfish into a knot using your bare hands).
At the start of class we went around and each said our name, grade, and intended major. There were a good number of sophomores, a fair number of juniors and seniors, and a couple of graduate students. Eep. Then we started going through the lab. Our GSI (Graduate Student Instructor, the fellow who runs our labs) was throwing out questions about various animals: "What's the big visible difference between the hagfish and the lamprey, other than color?" "How can you tell if a legless animal has a tail or not?" "What kind of bird is this giant dead bird I'm holding up like a popsicle?" "Why can't you hold a male platypus by his back end?" "How can you tell if this is a male or a female skate?" "Who's ever heard of a tuatara, and what is it?"*
Guess who knew the answer to almost everything he tossed out? And guess what the rest of the class did? If you guessed 'the Feline Anarchist herself' and 'stared blankly', respectively, then you were quite correct. I felt like a horrible show-off, being all eager and answering the GSI's questions readily and whatnot, but hopefully it'll pay off in the end. Only four people in the entire class of 80-100 kids get an A, and while it's not likely that I'll be one of them, it certainly can't hurt to respond if I actually know the answer.
And it certainly made me feel better to discover that my knowledge base for the class was not particularly inferior to that of the grad students. Since, you know, the only actual bio classes I've ever taken were AP bio in high school and Animal Diversity last year.
I was sitting at my brief lunch break today, doing some reading that I had left a bit late. At the start of a paragraph my brain saw the word 'As' and processed it as 'A's'. Like the Oakland A's. It took me a good solid minute of staring at the page, brain saying, 'Wait, what? That doesn't make sense,' before I managed to work it out. Good lord. I NEED TO STOP WITH THE BASEBALL.
Gah. Because I didn't get back to the dorm today until so late at night (relatively), I didn't get to check my mail until the front office was already closed. I have two package slips, but I can't pick them up until after classes tomorrow. Aarrgh. You think the damn desk would at least stay open until 10.
*Answers to the questions! "The rasping mouth." "If its backbone extends beyond its pelvic girdle, than it has a tail, regardless of whether or not it has legs." "A common loon." "Because he has poisonous spurs on his ankles." "If it's a male it will have giant, clearly visible claspers." "Oooo, I have, I have! It's a reptile, related to lizards, extremely endangered and the only species of its kind."
edit: Aha ha ha ha! And ha! Ha. Ah yes, teh funny. Well, I laughed.