Tag Archives: biology

Bird-brained in Bio

TomThere’s one in every family: that kid who comes out of left field every time; the one who gives you gray hairs, who only survived to adulthood by the grace of his undeniable charm and a benevolent God. Yeah, that one. He called me from college this week, starting the conversation with “OMG Mom you’re not going to believe this!” Oh yes I will. He forgets I’ve known him his entire life. There’s not a whole lot from him, at this point, that’s going to catch me flat-footed.

So the son-who-will-remain-nameless (but there’s only two to pick from and it’s not the oldest) is enrolled in a biology class and has dutifully been attending class since the semester began over a month ago. At least that’s his story and he’s sticking to it. As many classes are, the lecture portion was held in a large lecture hall with a seating capacity equivalent to the Rose Bowl. All seemed to be going along swimmingly until the first test and then the space/time continuum shifted.

He’d spent a good portion of the weekend studying for the test, making sure he was well-prepared. Monday arrived and he slid into his seat with time to spare before the start of the test. But looking around, he notices that no one else has a test sheet. In fact, they’re taking out notebooks and pencils to take lecture notes. This doesn’t seem right, so he turns to the kid behind him and asks if there isn’t a test. No. No test, according to this kid. What?! Wait. Here comes the next obvious question: What class is this?

Well, it was a Biology class. It was even a Biology of Plants class. It just wasn’t HIS Biology of Plants class. He had been in the wrong lecture hall the whole semester attending the Biology of Plants that’s part of the pre-med program. Had he not asked, he’d have ended up in medical school wondering what the heck happened.

A mad dash to the other Biology lecture hall, he made it just in time to take the test. Of course, afterwards he had to introduce himself to the professor who had never actually seen him in class before. I can only hope this professor has children of his own and that there’s one in his family just like that!

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Poor Pet Picks

Image result for honey badgerIt’s been just over a year since our well-loved dog Buster chased a squirrel across the Rainbow Bridge. I guess my youngest son believes the official period of mourning should be wrapping up: I can take the sheets off the mirrors and quit wearing black wool every day. Recently, he started a not so subtle campaign for the addition to the family with a text that said, “Talk to Dad about getting a pet from the family of Mustelidae.” This wasn’t going to be good.

I’m sure the Mustelidae’s are a very nice family but maybe we just invite them for dinner first. Before I could Google Mustelidae, a follow-up text explained they’re ferrets, weasels and otters, oh, and honey badgers which, according to the internet, are “very dangerous and deadly to humans.” Okay, dinner is out and I’m questioning the wisdom of letting him major in marine biology.

When I pointed out that I don’t have water for an otter and my homeowner’s association surely will frown on deadly honey badgers, he pushed for the weasel. “Dangerous but not deadly to humans,” so still no.

Today’s text read, “Hey, what about getting a family tortoise. Pass it along in the family.” Nothing says let’s have a game of fetch quite like a family tortoise. But since they live for over 100 years, he says we can pass it down for generations. Which means that there will be Ciampi’s hating us into the next century. He tried pointing out, “Every normal white family has a dog, but the Ciampi legacy is a family tortoise that’s been in the family for years.” Since I’m not driving a crossover SUV or into anything pumpkin spice, I have to do something to maintain my white mom status besides asking to speak to the manager. While the tortoise is cool in a sedate, slo-mo kind of way and a much better choice than a honey badger, it’s still a no.

Son #2 is currently babysitting hissing cockroaches for his Biology lab and is smart enough not to even suggest one as a pet, so college is teaching him something. I’m not convinced there’s another good boy who could follow Buster. I’m also not convinced that Son #2 is giving up. But before he asks, no, we’re not getting a pet giant squid.

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