VS’s Biology Lab -Part 2 : The Mission Impossible

In continuation to my earlier post, I would like to recollect a few more experiments of VS.

The mission impossible.
Most of the experiments conducted by VS were really weird. Sometimes, we were asked to collect some rare specimens which none of us dared to get.  One of them was water Hyacinth (It is a plant which grows in highly polluted lakes. The dark green plant, seen in Hussain Sagar).

VS’s Bird watching experiment.
VS started the academic year of ninth standard with a pleasant surprise-another strange experiment. With a gentle grin she said “You all should start watching birds everyday, and record the number and the type of birds that you saw in your observation book. Then draw a graph and submit it”, She said. hmm… I think well-known ornithologists like Salim Ali could not be a better bird watcher.  😛
day 1: 2 mynas, 5 egrets, 1 parrot
day 2: 7 mynas, 1 peacock, 2 parrots, 3 egrets
day 3: let me write some crap and submit.
After about three months, when we thought she had forgotten about the experiment,she asked “How many of you really took a note about the birds that I told you??”.None of us raised a hand. I wanted you all to observe how birds migrate to various places. There are a few birds which are seen in the subcontinent only for a season and then they migrate to other places. I wanted at least some of you to observe it.

VS’s Compost experiment:
“The next experiment for you guys is to create a compost. You need to dig a small pit in your garden and put some cow dung, collect all the kitchen waste like leftover food particles and dump it in the pit, cover it with mud, and close it.  After a few days, say a month, if you open it, you will find manure for your plants. Someone asked “What about guys living in apartments? We don’t have a garden at home. What should we do??”. “If you don’t have a garden, you need to take a pot which is used for indoor plants and prepare compost in it. Looking at the texture of the manure, I can easily check if you have borrowed it, because no two manures have the same texture :)”, she replied. **Phew, what a horrible experiment. Getting cow dung in this city can be a herculean task. And the idea of preparing a compost especially when you are living in an apartment, really sucks!!!
Borrowing the manure would be a better idea. One person who was really interested in the experiment was Manju. Gardening was her passion and she had a huge garden at home which had different varieties of plants.  Finally, on the day of submission, VS exclaimed “Please bring the compost that you had prepared, by wrapping it in a paper. Write your name on the packet and submit. I will collect all the samples, and after evaluation, use it for my plants in the garden :)” After everyone had placed their samples in the cupboard, I waited for everyone to leave for lunch. Later I quickly opened a couple of packets, took some manure from each of them, placed it in another piece of paper, wrapped it, wrote my name and submitted. That was a very easy way to prepare manure :P.

The other experiment was observing Rhizopus under the microscope. Luckily, we were provided with the Rhizopus samples in the lab. We were saved from collecting bread mould from rotten pieces of bread. Thank God!!!
Record writing for all these experiments was not so easy. Writing Aim, Apparatus, procedure, observation and crap could be really painful. Copying was always the best solution.
“You are supposed to collect three types of bird feathers, down feather, filopume and quill. The quill feather can be found easily. The best example of filopume feather is the peacock’s feather. For the down feather, you could visit a chicken shop. You can pick up a feather from the cage, or out of the heap of feathers thrown out of the shop. I don’t want you to trouble any bird, or hurt any bird for the sake of down feather.”  lol 🙂  Filopume and down feathers were borrowed luckily from my friends.
Miss M’s experiments were much simpler, and much more sophisticated unlike the crazy experiments of VS. But one had to listen to grueling long and boring lectures of Miss M. At the end of it, she would conclude with her same old cliche “I will not take
extra classes” **Who cares.

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About Bhavani A B

DSP Engineer, Embedded Systems Engineer, VLSI designer, Guitarist, Pianist, Artist
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