Wednesday, August 10, 2005

developmental biology

First day of lessons for the semester and boy, are they off to a good start.

Today during developmental bio, we had a simply hilarious time. This morning, ca. 10am, reads:

Prof (holding up a large long stem red rose): What is this? Do you know what this is?

Students (as usual, passive as ever.): Mumble... Plant... Flower.... Rose

Prof: Eh? Yes I heard someone say 'Rose'. Yes it's a rose. Usually boys give it to their girlfriends right? Now, do you know why they give flowers to girls?

Student: Because it's a symbol of life!

Prof: Eh, then why don't you give a goldfish?

Students (laugh): Because it's fragrant!

Prof: Eh, then why don't you give a pandan leaf? More fragrant!

Students (laugh): Because it looks nice. Got nice colour.

Prof (retreats to beneath lectern and takes out 3-foot long branch with red leaves): Then why not give this?

Students (laugh even more): OMG!

Prof: You see, (gestures to slideshow, students view the cross-section of a flower and reproductive tissue), a flower is the entire reproductive system of the plant!

Students: Giggle giggle.

Prof: Hey it's not funny. You see ah, the flower has all the reproductive organs! A flower can give rise to offspring (more giggles). So you see, when a guy gives you a flower ah... ah... (more giggles. Some guys were whistling already.) See he wants to have offspring with you, and start a family you know.... See, now you are all developmental biologists, you must remember this! So next time your boyfriend gives you a flower you can explain it fully to him the meaning.

[fast forward]

Prof: So you see, the apical meristem is the region where the plant growth occurs. That's why your plant always grows from the tip. Now, here are the places you can find the apical meristems: at buds, and here are the nodes (points to screen). (Reaches under lectern again and takes out large 4-foot long green branch) Does this have nodes? (Before we could answer, he reaches under again and produces another 4-foot long green branch of a different variety) By the way ah, I got these from outside. I always bring these along (Winks, gestures to large pair of shears on table.).

[fast forward]

Prof: So you see, the structure of the apical meristem is very much like a tau sar pau. (Reaches under lectern and produces... a tau sar pau.) Let me show you what I mean. (Whips out pocket knife and slices tau sar pau into half from the top, raises one half up for all to see.) See? Doesn't it look like a cross-section of an apical meristem? (Students are giggling in amazement. Prof reaches for a large green branch and places tau sar pau half on the top.) See? So this is what it looks like! (Beams, holds up the tau sar pau half and tall green branch around the LT for all to see.)

Surreal! A half tau sar pau on top of a large green branch!

And this, meme and I, photowhores, couldn't take it anymore. She whipped out her sallythedigi and started snapping away, not one to let a moment like this slip away.

As she zoomed in to catch a closer look at the prof with his large branch, she clicked and suddenly, there was...


Sallythedigi let out a tremendous flash that illuminated dear LT23 and the theatre of very highly amused students turned, looked, pointed, laughed their lungs out.

Once I get a hold of that photo, I'll post it up. Surreal. Meme, gotta love her, how she managed the embarassment I don't know. Didn't help that the two of us were isolated at the back.

So, the semester's off to a good start, the two of us are already famous anyway. We're the girls who got a "good shot of the prof".

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