Wednesday, February 4, 2009

"Pimephales promelas"

I know, I know.

I just posted yesterday. And for no good reason. I have a better one now.

Not that much better but at least its a little more interesting.


Thats not all. I also hate hard chairs, mornings coat my car in that annoying layer of frost, being sick...

wait, no! That's not what I wanted to post about.

Getting back on track.

I love Lord of the Rings. Who doesn't?

Thats not what I wanted to post about either.

What I really wanted to post about was Icthyology.

First off, I failed the first 70 point quiz. I completely forgot that we even had a quiz today. I think I would have gotten a big fat ZERO if I hadn't looked over my notes the other day. I was punching myself in the head the whole time.

Do you think that made it harder to take the test? Hitting myself might have been too distracting.

Anyway, by my calculations I got a 50%. And just when I was telling Dr. Noltie that I am a serious student and have the motivation needed to do a solo project.

So much for trying to do better this semester.

Speaking of Dr. Noltie, fish and solo projects...

In Icthyology lab we are supposed to form groups to do different experiments on a certain species of fish. You sign up for your species, do an experiment on their social habits, habitat choice and swimming ability depending on the week. Then together you write up a report. Each person does a different section of the report and the one person edits it to make it cohesive.

Here is where I cringed. As I have mentioned, I think I am a somewhat competent editor. But I am very picky. And this group of students are of the younge age class (this is a sophmore lever class). So they may not have those fine tuned writing skills that most senior level science students have. This may be an unfair assumption. But I relaly hated doing group work in my freshman and sophomore classes. It wasn't until last year that I was in a group that I could trust to get stuff done. I also saw the potential for these experiments to be somewhat dull, repetative and much like the ones I may have done in high school (except we would use live animals).

Dr. Noltie said that if there were any students that wanted to take initiative and work on a project all their own they could come see him.

This intrested me greatly. My biggest fear was that I was going to have to come up with this complex experiment all on my own. I know I should be able to do that, and I have in the past. But my experimental hypotheses always turn out lame and stupid.

My fears we pointless. I talked to Dr. Noltie about this solo project. It turns out that he already has one in mind. The equipment exists, is set up and everything is ready. The question has been proposed. He just needs someone willing to work with the equipment, gather the background info and put the experiment into motion.

So you are now looking at the scientist who will study the effects of water oxygen levels on the embryotic development of Fathead minnows.

I thought I would hate Icthyology. So far I was correct in my thinking. But I am actually excited for this little solo project. Here are the benefits.

1. I get some real world scientific experience. Not just what I would find in lab.

2. I get to form a better relationship with Dr. Noltie (a rather frightening prospect, but it would make for a good reference)

3.I get to work at my own pace. There will be no "turn in the pre-experiment sheet on this date" or "have your post report due this day" kind of restrictions. I will collect the data on my own time. I will do all the work on my own schedule. And I will turn in a paper at the end of the semester. Also a poster.

-this means that I need to be motivated. But I know that I can do this. I WANT to do this. I think it will greatly enhance my learning experience.

So, thats all I had in terms of real news.

I have to spend the next half an hour looking up literature for Fathead minnows and such.



Tamara said...

Congrats on the whole getting-to-do-your-own-actual-experiment-kinda-thing!!!!! YIPEE, and it's already laid out for you...EVEN BETTER! Let me know if I can help you do anything for it!

Peeser said...

Fathead minnows. Hahahaha. What a funny name. Fathead. Heeheehee...

(okay, so really, I'm proud of you, Sarah! I know self-motivation is a scary thing for many people in our family- i.e. me. But I think this will be, at the very least, interesting for you, and may even end up being fun! Good Luck!)

(oh, and since you are so proud of you editing skills, I will kindly refrain from mentioning the various errors in your post. Oops. Too late ;)

Love ya!

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