Friday, April 9, 2010

WTF Science People??

So, here I am, doing Grade 11 Biology because I was too stupid to take it in high school, and because it is a prerequisite for me getting into any kind of health sciences in college or university, I must have biology. And my question to the bigwigs is this: Is it seriously not enough that I continuously watch Mystery Diagnosis, 19 Kids And Counting, and the National Geographic channel? My biology knowledge is more well-rounded than your neighbourhood biologist, this I know. What I don't know is whether there actually exists a "neighbourhood biologist".Because that would probably be all kinds of weird. Or maybe kind of fun. And very useful for me right about now.

Although, now that I think of it, we sort of have a neighbourhood biologist IN OUR NEIGHBOURHOOD!! WHOA!!! Although he doesn't actually live in our neighbourhood, but his brother does, so it's basically the same thing. Right? But, I think he mostly deals with birds and twigs and things. Which makes me wonder how someone can actually make a living looking at branches and leaf types. Because I know I could be successful if given a chance.

One of the things I have to do in this worse-than-hell biology course is perform stupid experiments that are supposed to widen my horizons, make me understand the coinciding theory better, blahblahblah.Yeah, whatever. Like I'll ever use any of this crap when I'm saving lives. Come on, people. Give me a heart attack, or maybe a car accident victim without a right fibula, and I'll give 1000 %. I promise.

But no, I have to do experiments with potatoes. Yes. Yes, I said potatoes. Those little root vegetables with eyes. Creepy at the best of times.

So,potatoes. It almost sounds dirty, which I'm all for, but believe me, it wasn't. I had to take a potato and cut three slices, and boil one slice for one minute, another slice for three minutes, and then drop some hydrogen peroxide on all the potatoes and watch the reaction, and then record it.

Everything was wonderful until I watched for a reaction. Because guys, there wasn't one. Except this one:

Yes, I panicked, threw some bricks, and then decided to fudge the results. Because that is what biologists do.

What other option did I have? None. None at all. Because this is what my potatoes looked like, guys.

The one on the left was the slice boiled for a minute; the one on the right was boiled for three minutes; and the one in the middle was raw. The raw one was apparently supposed to go ballistic when I dropped hydrogen peroxide on it, and I was supposed to COUNT THE OXYGEN BUBBLES and record it. Yeah. Right.

But how do you count this?

Clearly, the potato wasn't behaving.

There were no bubbles. Just lots and lots of ...nothing. It actually looked a lot like I had stood over the potato and drooled.

I waited. And waited. And watched, biting my nails down to the quick. Still. Nothing.

A complete fail. An epic fail, as Em would confidently say.

So, I looked up the experiment online, and figured out what was supposed to happen with  each potato slice. Apparently, the more heat the potato receives, the less it reacts to the hydrogen peroxide.

Clearly. I had chosen a rogue potato to help me with the experiment. Just my luck.

I wrote up my report, saying what I thought I should say, instead of what had actually happened. And I was actually quite proud of myself because I wasn't just accepting things, I was actually doing something about it, being proactive, if you will.

In fact, I was so proud of myself, I told Mr. Handsome, and waited patiently for his acknowledgement, his words of approval.

Instead, he said, "WTF, Mary? You can't screw with science."

To which I replied, "The hell I can't. Watch me. If I write down what actually happened, I would get an F. So, you want me to fail? I knew it all along. You hate me. You never support me."

Then Mr. Handsome patted me lightly on the head, and walked away.

Can't wait for the next experiment, guys. Should be another epic somethin' somethin'.



I am so pleased you have taken the first step to a career in medicine.
So I suppose all those experiments are for a purpose, I didn't do things like that at school I was always outside the door for being naughty.
I loved your account as to what is happening in your life.Very well written.


WhisperingWriter said...

Ugh, biology. I have to take that soon too. Not looking forward to it.

ReformingGeek said...

Ah, forget it and skip over to dissecting the frog, 'K?

I love the drawing!

Keely said...

Rogue potatoes are a fear of mine, thanks for bringing that up.

I considered (relatively briefly) a career as a vet lab person, and they wanted me to have Grade 12 Chemistry. I was all, "But...I have a UNIVERSITY DEGREE. Why do you care what I did in highschool?"

Which is another way of saying "I'm far too lazy to take Grade 12 Chemistry, yo."

(Obviously, I'm not a veterinary lab person now. So kudos to you for being less lazy than I.)

Southern Sage said...

I'm glad I didn't have to actually take classes in high school!! Thank god for football and baseball!

Al said...

Biology? No sweat. Answer is 'c' on multiple choice tests. If you have to do a report of some kind, think weird, Portuguese Man-a-War, some such. Unique - Teacher won't be bored. Worked for me, and I didn't lose any sleep over it. Move on, unless you get crazy excited about dissecting a fetal pig. My favorite.

Laoch of Chicago said...

I agree with your man actually. Reporting the results accurately rather than aspirationally and speculating as to the reasons why the experiment produced such a result would probably lead to a better grade.

Star Child said...

Funny post, thanks!

You could always have repeated the experiment with a different type of potato. Maybe you could have reported on the results of 10 least it would be a thorough fail, lol.

The Chicken's Consigliere said...

Well, at least none of your potatoes will have an infection. Like Mad Potato Disease, or something.

Finola said...

As someone who took waaaayyyyy too many years of biology, I have to agree with Laoch of Chicago. You should never lose marks if you describe what happened, show you understand what should have happened, and then propose a couple of reasons why it didn't work. Bingo, A!

WarsawMommy said...

Gah. Science. I loved the theory, but my science career was just one long failed potato experience. I don't believe that a single damn experiment worked the way it was meant to.

I know it was just me, BTW. Science hates me.

View my page on Moms Helping Moms