Monday, September 22, 2008

Why we aren't scientists

Today, we got out the microscope and selected some slides and slide covers (no, I'm not talking about the kinds of slides you find at playground, sillyboots) and prepared to do an experiment in which we were to view cells swabbed from the insides of our cheeks.

Meelyn, Aisling and I all participated in this experiment and frankly, we're not sure if we're even human right now. Or alive. One thing we are sure of is that Eli Lilly & Company is going to put those applications we filled out for positions as research scientists straight into the circular file.

The instructions in the biology text told us to:

1. Get out a glass slide

2. Swab the inside of our cheeks with a Q-Tip

3. Swipe the Q-Tip onto the slide

4. Put a drop of methylene blue on the slide so that the cheek cells would be visible

5. Put a cover slip over the cells and the methylene blue

6. View the cells

We did just fine as far as step one. On step two, both of my dopey STUDENTS balked at swiping their cheeks. Good grief. I rolled my eyes and sighed heavily, demonstrating how to swab the inside of my cheek. They followed suit, twitching and flinching and acting like the little Q-Tips were sharp and the approximate length of of the main pole in a circus tent.

We all prepared our slides, adding what seemed like WAY TOO MUCH methylene blue, but there wasn't any way to reduce the amount that came squirting out of the little bottle. Adding the cover slides trapped a number of air bubbles between the slide and the cover slip; only Meelyn was successful in getting a slide prepared that had no air bubbles.

We put all our slide under the microscope in succession and only once did we catch a brief glimpse of what we thought might be the nuclei of the cells we were supposed to be viewing, and that was probably just little tiny particles of dust or whatever.

So Meelyn pulled a hair out of her head and we looked at that under the microscope and it was kind of cool, and then I took off my wedding ring, which has three diamonds in it and we looked at it and it was kind of boring.

Then we put the microscope away and I began to fervently pray that the girls would be able to score highly on things like ice cream cone formation and how to pack groceries so that the eggs and bread are always on the top of the bag.

1 comment:

Kayte said...

Oh, I can't wait until you get to the cutting up of the bits of animals chapters...LOL! Don't invite me over then, okay?