So many students…

Another portent of doom: the students are arriving. I’m also at the Lake Itasca Biological Station for our annual Bridge To Biology program, in which a fraction of our incoming new students are taken out into the woods for a weekend of brainwashing indoctrination fun and education and cohort building activities. We have so many new biology students that they can stretch all the way across the mighty Mississippi.


We also have some returning students acting as peer mentors/wranglers.


Obviously very dangerous. Don’t cross them.


  1. consciousness razor says

    No offense or anything, but the Mississippi is looking pretty feeble there. I mean, where did all of the water go? And shouldn’t there be a bunch of garbage floating around, for your students to play with?

  2. Tethys says

    No offense or anything, but the Mississippi is looking pretty feeble there. I mean, where did all of the water go?

    To quote a song- Oh the Mississippi’s mighty, and it starts in Minnesota, at a point that you can walk across with five steps down.

    Lake Itasca is high in the photo due to our inordinate rainfall, normally there is a lot more rock exposed at the outlet. The river doesn’t start to get big until its passed through several more lakes and been joined with a few other rivers. Before the lock and dams were installed, the main channel at St. Paul was only six feet deep. It drains a huge portion of North America by the time it empties into the gulf.

  3. drken says

    We used to take our undergrads out into the woods, but they kept finding their way back.

  4. Crudely Wrott, lurching towards recrudescence says

    Dammit, PZ; you are so lucky. You get to set young minds on paths that would have been considered heretical just a century or two ago.

    Or this morning.

    I would be even more jealous if I didn’t have two (count ’em: two!) grandsons who are just a couple or three years shy of becoming part of your evil plan to take over the earth by corrupting the minds of the young.

    In all probability you’ll never have them in your class so I’m doing my best for their benefit every chance I get which is tough work here in North Carolina. Nevertheless, with firm resolve and loving dedication, my shoulder is firmly applied to the wheel.

    I wish you continued good fortune in your efforts. Would it be too much to ask for a simple reciprocal sentiment from you? It would impress the man cubs mightily and I’d get a some extra cred. I’d also grin most widely.

  5. says

    They have sharp-looking teeth! Are they baring them in threat display? Is this some sort of territorial ritual? Surely it must confer some reproductive advantage.

    Their plumage is beautiful.

  6. brucej says

    A friend of mine recounts the departmental ‘get to know the new grad students’ party at the department head’s house that included the department head swinging across the yard on a rope, Tarzan-style (yell included).

  7. mountainbob says

    Out here at the Rio Grande Zoo (Albuquerque BioPark Zoo) we refer to the wranglers as “herders.” Seems especially appropriate when a group of younger students is involved.