Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Day 17

The only way to beat the intense heat was to get out early so I met the sun on a 5 mile run around campus. It was fun to find new roads and make new routes. I took it slow thanks to sore muscles and a sleepy body and felt good by the end. I love that a run can always wake me up no matter how sleepy I start.

Little bunny had Sara's back, even from the fridge!
 Why he's in the fridge? Well, some days..
A meeting with Disha and Dan set the rest of the day in motion with a check to see how everyone was doing on their portions and plans for interviews and video takes. We descended into the lab and set the lens on Sara. She let it be known that she was less than comfortable with the idea. After three takes Sara had enough. She was improving with confidence and comfort but not with tolerance. The team was supportive of her and everyone tried to help her relax with jokes and smiles. Even so, after a while, enough was enough and really the footage I had would do the trick. Sara was a trooper in getting the take finished despite her discomfort behind the lens.

Later, while Jason and Sara worked on feeding the larvae, they discussed a high mortality rate going through the colony. It seems that within 24 hours the lupin leaves that are being placed in the feeding chambers are losing all chlorophyll. In effect they are changing from green to brown overnight. The karners in the chamber are dying as a result. Jason and Sara discussed several possible causes for this quick change including a possible fungus or the use of ethanol to prevent cross contamination between insects, ironically a practice that was adopted to prevent the spread of disease. A leaf sample was exposed to ethanol in a separate container to test this cause.

Sean hides from the camera :)
As the afternoon rolled on it was finally time for Sean’s interview and honestly, I don’t know what he was waiting for. He was very natural in front of the lens. He had it done in one take but I pushed for two just in case there were any problems that I missed. I reviewed the footage as soon as we finished and was ecstatic. Disha will make quick work of it, I’ve no doubt.

When a karner gets loose,
one of the team always springs to action
The day closed with a discussion about the possibility of cutting broader impact requirements from NSF grant proposals. That would mean positions like mine would become a thing of the past. I see first-hand the impacts of educators that stay abreast of research. It can be quantified by the pass/fail rate of students of those who remain active in research vs. those who do not. While I don’t feel that continued research should be a requirement to maintain the status of a highly qualified educator, I do contend that it does play a defined roll in an educator’s skill set. It can be argued that it isn’t the responsibility of the university to maintain the quality of the public school system. However, I would argue, who then, aside from parents, should be charged with providing the future students for the university at caliber destined for success if not a high school teacher with an education maintained through meaningful and enriching professional development opportunities?
Got him!

Time to do some explaining about the bunny. It's widely accepted in the lab that this little guy is really something very bad. When you tap his head, he says "Happy Easter!" three times over. Which is fine except that often it isn't required that his head is tapped. He scares people and yet we love him. :) In the fridge today he went on with Easter tidings for about 20 minutes. Don't worry. After we returned him to his usual post on the lab desk, he continued to be the lab oddity, well one of them, no worse for the wear. More on the fridge later.

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