Oh no! Classes begin one week from today!


Also, candidate visits for our chemistry position start in one week.

My genetics class is fairly well organized except for one thing: the stocks of brown (bw) eyed flies have almost completely crapped out. That’s always been a sickly line, but this year they’ve been pathetic. I’m desperately trying to nurse a handful of flies into vigor, and if they don’t get it together real soon now, I’m going to flush them all and order fresh flies. I’ve got a backup plan to do a different cross to keep the students busy for 6 weeks or so, but it’s also more difficult experiment, and I prefer to do the bw x st cross as a warmup.

We also have the board of regents visiting in March, and they’re being invited to sit in on the lab. Our students aren’t very happy with the regents as it is, and if they use it as an opportunity to ask pointed questions, I’m going to allow it. I’ll probably encourage it.

Today and tomorrow are the local high school science fair. I’m one of the judges. That should be interesting, around here we get a mix of brilliant kids with creative ideas and kids who like an excuse to shoot things.

I’m feeling mildly distracted right now — and this stupid cold, while gradually abating, isn’t helping much.

Comments

  1. StevoR says

    I’m desperately trying to nurse a handful of flies into vigor, and if they don’t get it together real soon now, I’m going to flush them all and order fresh flies.

    When it comes to aquiring flies, can’t your spiders help you out?

    Maybe check the web?

  2. moarscienceplz says

    “the stocks of brown (bw) eyed flies have almost completely crapped out. I’m desperately trying to nurse a handful of flies into vigor”
    Have you tried going down the old mine with a transistor radio?

  3. rockwhisperer says

    PZ,
    does your school include meetings with students for prospective candidates? When I was getting my master’s degree at my teaching-oriented state university, my department was hiring for two positions and interested students were invited to gather for half an hour with each candidate (as a group thing) and also join the candidate, department head, and whatever other faculty were available for lunch (we paid for our own). Candidates also gave a ~45 minute presentation to an open audience of professors and interested students. Of course, then they had interview meetings with faculty, undoubtedly got beaten up by HR, etc.

    Candidates would say things to students that presented a different side of themselves than what they showed to professors, and we would write summaries of our impressions and turn them in. I remember one candidate very clearly. He’d been at Armpit-City-of-the-State University for a few years and wanted to relocate to a place where his wife had a chance of finding a decent job in her field. He had impressive credentials, I’d read some of his papers and he’s a brilliant writer, he gave a terrific public presentation to the department…and when we students met privately with him, he was arrogant and condescending. Not instructor material at all. I heard obliquely later that student input was especially helpful with that candidate, who was rejected.

  4. birgerjohansson says

    Rockwhisperer @ 3
    This was a wise practice by your department.

    “The board of regents visiting in March”. They are interested in … getting feedback ?! Now, if they pick up some unpleasant infectious disease it might contribute to how they deal with pandemics in the future. Do you have a sample of dengue fever lying around?
    .
    In lieu of opium or morphine, you can deal with the stress of the upcoming classes with a dose of God Awful Movies. GAM 386 is on Youtube now; behold blatantly faked miracles.

  5. nifty says

    The value of meeting students works both ways. I had competing offers when I was looking for my long-term job, and one factor that helped me make my final choice, which led to 30 plus years of mostly enjoyable teaching, was the difference in student engagement and curiosity I discovered. My institution always had at least one student on each hiring committee, and we strongly used student feed-back in our decision making.

  6. seachange says

    Does the source of all information fruit fly that you brought up in your course last year have the data that confirms that bw flies have low vigor/disease resistance?

Leave a Reply