Long day ahead

I keep telling my students about what I call Fly Time — the idea that these genetic experiments we’re doing require that we carry out the steps on the fly’s schedule, which may sometimes be inconvenient for the human experimenter. We’ll be flexible, but the work does require doing things outside the formally scheduled class time. That’s about to bite me in the butt.

We had this minor fire yesterday that canceled labs for the day. But we’re on Fly Time! They don’t care about our lab schedule! I’ve got a big plan that requires starting on time, and if we don’t begin the experiment this week it won’t culminate before spring break. I can’t compel students to stay and do lab work over their break, so if it runs over…I’m the guy who has to do all the final fly counts in the experiment. The students need to start the cross this week!

To accommodate our students’ busy schedules, I get to spend today in the fly lab helping a string of students coming in on Student Time to learn fly husbandry. All day long. Parked in a lab as students dribble in. Except for the time I get to spend lecturing them in class. And then I come home and put the recording of the lecture together and upload it. I also have to assemble a new problem set and post it on Canvas. Maybe if there’s a gap in the stream of students I can do that during the day?

Ha ha. The flexibility I’m trying to build into the course is coming out of my hide. There better not be any more fires this semester.


  1. PaulBC says

    Mad scientist invents device to switch between “fly time” and “university time” in order to conduct his experiments more efficiently. Hijinks ensue as he fails to work out some final glitches.

    (Yes, my mind now works exclusively in comic science fiction plots. I am sure this could have been turned into a Warehouse 13 episode. The artifact is Thomas Hunt Morgan’s something or other and I am too lazy to fill in the rest.)

  2. skeptuckian says

    Biotic factors usually only kick in if something is being done to excess, abiotic factors don’t care about such frivolities. You are on fire time now.

  3. Pierce R. Butler says

    “Fly Time” – a good name for a “cool” aviation charter service, maybe. Or a pop song.

  4. Michael Hamilton says

    My failure to understand “fly time” got me a F because I didn’t complete the required laboratory exercise the first time through. Repeated it, the next year and got the mark I had in the lecture the first time. Can’t do science just with theory (at least at the start).