I’m skipping class for a few days…what will my poor students do?

I’m flying away to give a talk on Moscow, Idaho this week, and early next week I’m going to be a consultant on an NSF grant awarded to the Science Museum of Minnesota, so I’m missing a few class days soon. Oh, the wailings and lamentations of my students! They howled with grief at missing out on my sparkling presence for any length of time! Or I might have imagined that, but it was pretty vivid.

Fortunately, I found a babysitter. I’m having them attend the 2017 Evolution conference in Portland last June. That’s something technology lets you do nowadays — the Society for the Study of Evolution recorded all the session talks and uploaded them to YouTube, so you can attend, too, sans the hallway schmoozing and the arguments at the bar (we can only hope technology progresses to that point someday). I’m telling them to watch with a critical eye and report back when I get home about which of the subset of talks they enjoyed, and why, and to summarize the questions that were asked and methods that were used.

I remember getting the opportunity to attend Western Nerve Net and Friday Harbor Development meetings when I was a senior in college, and they impressed me greatly…but I was just lucky, getting to tag along with advisors at these events. We couldn’t bring along a whole class to a 3-day meeting back then, but now I can do it virtually, which is pretty cool.


  1. blf says

    The mildly deranged penguin suggests the students hold a tournament, based on Scientists capture exploding beetles’ amazing escapes from toads’ stomachs: “Bombardier beetles observed causing audible toxic explosions inside toads stomachs causing them to vomit their lunch to freedom”. Handlers of the first toad to vomit up an exploding beetle buys the drinks. (Hold the contest in the pub for additional merriment.)

    Presumably, neither the beetles nor the toads find the process too comfortable, so be sure to obtain informed consent first.

  2. Rich Woods says

    and the arguments at the bar (we can only hope technology progresses to that point someday)

    Mmm, teleporting beer…