The Bug Geek

Insects. Doing Science. Other awesome, geeky stuff.

Teaching = great fun

I am really, really, really enjoying teaching this zoology lab. 

My students are fantastic…overall, very self-sufficient, thorough and thoughtful.  They keep me on my toes. 

I am learning so freaking much it’s ridiculous.  And the students are helping me learn, becauase they ask interesting/challenging questions that force me to do a little extra thinking or reading to find the answers.  And they’re asking about COOL, FUN things.  They ask about sex a lot.  Some of today’s questions: “How can you tell a male horseshoe crab from a female?” (males are smaller and have modified, hooked pedipalps used for clasping females as they trudge up onto the beach to mate) and “how do crayfish have sex?” (Again with the modified apendages, this time copulatory swimmerets, sperm transfer is internal but the female extrudes stored sperm and fertilizes her eggs externally when the timing is more appropriate).   

Best of all, they seem to enjoy it.
And at the end of the day, I get this:  “Thanks for answering all my questions, I really appreciate it.”


That totally freaking makes my day.

6 responses to “Teaching = great fun

  1. Ted C. MacRae February 17, 2010 at 8:55 PM

    Of course they enjoy it – who doesn’t enjoy sex talk!

    I taught inverts for a few years – some classes were great, others you could tell they didn’t want to be there. Sounds like you’ve got a good crop this year.

  2. Paul Ruth February 18, 2010 at 10:03 AM

    That sounds really cool. It is great when the classroom is about really educating. It is when the student love it the most, and the teachers are doing what they love.

    (Expand the discussion at a new site,, where we seek to open the lines of communication to better the system.)

  3. MObugs41 February 18, 2010 at 10:55 PM

    OK, now that video was FREAKING HILARIOUS, I don’t care who ya are…..I ROFLMAO!!!

    No wonder your class loves you, I wish teachers would have showed us fun stuff like this when I was in biology class.

    Mother Nature has the best sense of humor…..

  4. jason February 19, 2010 at 1:39 PM

    All I can say is that I envy you this opportunity. Your passion is palpable, something I feel with each of these posts, and the interest of the students gives me an upwelling of hope.

    Many decades ago I made a decision to pursue gold in my pocket as opposed to passion in my heart. My mistake. I see here that perhaps the time is not too late. Thank you!

    • TGIQ February 19, 2010 at 3:36 PM

      I don’t think it’s ever too late, Jason.

      I may be the oldest student in my lab (including the 2 finishing their PhDs this spring), I may make all kinds of witty 80’s-nuanced quips that go COMPLETELY over all of my colleagues’ heads… I may be the same age NOW that my advisor was when back when he got his first job as a full-time professor…but gosh darn it, I don’t give a hoot.

      I came into this thing at my own pace, for my own reasons, and at the right time for ME. It may not fit everyone else’s notions of “sensible” or “practical”, and the gold in my pocket may be, well, it’s not what it used to be, but I wouldn’t trade this opportunity for anything in the world. Nothing.

      I’m a very lucky person.

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