Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Microbes and You!

Started classes yesterday. Okay, one class. Microbiology. It's four-plus hours of nonstop microbial hijinks and mayhem! First we have lecture, which is presided over by a pasty, button-downed soft nerd-guy. He's really very likeable, but he has slender little wrists. He disguises his second chin with a well-trimmed beard, and wears plaid short-sleeved shirts and jeans. I'm fairly sure he can neither high-five nor catch a frisbee. But, as I said, he is likeable, in an authoritative way that borders on, but does not enter, smug-dom.

Then we move on to lab, also with Pasty Nerd-Guy, and we perform our elementary lab exercises and activities like the bunch of female nursing students that we mostly are, which is to say without the hardened scientific neutrality found in your more serious hard-core students. I am grossly generalizing here and use female only to accurately describe the scenario to the reader. If there is one. But we are indeed mostly female, mostly nursing students, mostly pretty earnest, and mostly not with lengthy backgrounds in the hard sciences, or aspirations thereto.

We got to muck around with petri dishes last night. I do not have strong feelings about petri dishes, they are just dishes with gelatinous media in them, but I find myself wanting to say Eeeeuw nonetheless. Maybe from all those movies with the tell-tale petri dish of Black Plague in the pivotal lab scene. At any rate, we got to culture room air, our fingers (unwashed and then washed), the lab tables (ditto), our lips, and our tongues (before and after swishing with an antiseptic mouthwash).

I turned to my lab partner, a droll woman probably a few years older than myself, saying that we could flip a coin to determine who had to lick the agar, but she volunteered to do it. "It'll be the most action I've seen in a while." I think she's my newest best friend. She really got into it, too, no feeble, virginal single-lick action. She attacked that dish like it was the last of the Thanksgiving gravy. I have a strong initial respect for her. I would've turned away and done it furtively, sparingly, and shame-facedly. I'm like that.

So now I'm a student. God help me.

In other news, today Delia did some new things.

First off she got all jazzed about putting on Swim Panties to go hit the pool, at about 8am. It's way too cold for that at 8am, plus we were going to the library, so I explained all that and she actually said, "Okay," and moved on to other pursuits without the screaming fit, distraction, or bribery that is normally required.

Then later I had to go to the doctor for this thing (more on that in a mo') and I explained to her that we were going to the doctor only for the doctor to look at Mama's foot, not to look at Delia. She consented to being taken along (not that she had any choice) and when we arrived there and she saw the exam room we were headed for, and started to get apprehensive, I explained it again and she settled down and was totally fine for the entire visit. She even took off her shirt and shoes, activities typically reserved for home or the library.

Then, as we waited to be seen, she drew random scribblings on the little kid-height chalkboard that they have in the exam room and accidentally drew an upside-down "V" shape. She very excitedly exclaimed that it was a mountain and drew another one! This is her first graphic representation of anything, albeit accidental in origin, though she has seen me draw many things for her. Then she made some lines on the board and declared that they were sticks. A very exciting day for Delia, overall.

Also yesterday morning when I asked her if she wanted some breakfast, she told me, "No. I'm riding a bicycle." I peeked around the corner and she was indeed sitting on her tricycle in the living room. And today we went to visit the ginormous macaw at the mall pet store, on our usual rounds after storytime, and she held various stuffed-animal dog toys up saying things like, "Wookit the hedgehog, Wocky."

She's so damn cute it's almost poisonous. I need supplemental insulin.

Oh, the foot thing. I have gotten this weird bump on top of my left foot, right where it's really bony toward the big toe side, a couple of times. Yesterday it was so painful it felt like I had dropped something heavy on it, but I hadn't. So I went in, and it turns out it's swelling around the tendon associated with moving your big toe up and down. I must have aggravated it in some way over the weekend or ??? Ice and generally being easy on it should take care of it. No big deal, but mystery solved.


J.Po said...

I do hope your lab partner remembered to engage in Safe Petri-Dish Licking. Sounds like she enjoyed it just a little too much...

Impetua said...

Well, from the looks of the things that grew on that agar, I think it's the petri dish that needs to be afraid. Eeeeeuw!