- My lambs groaned as I ate a carrot a child grew from seed under the light of the weak winter sun--and a few wondered, out loud, if it tasted like a carrot.
- We fetched our salamander guy from our terrarium to let him loose in the suburban wilds again because a student wanted to bring him a mate, then thought maybe the little guy would be happier out looking for his own when we couldn't decide how to sex a salamander.
- Our eggplant and basil seedlings grew their first set of true leaves, which we hope to transplant into our new school garden in May (itself an interesting lesson in politics and territoriality).
- A student brought her two foot long pet blue-tongued skink to class and shared it with everyone.
- Some of us held earthworms, millipedes, snails, slugs, and mealworms--the hissing cockroaches had a quiet week (despite a suggestion that we offer one up to the skink).
- "We" (mostly me) droned on about restriction enzymes to several dozen mid-adolescents who have yet to be exposed to chemistry.
|Last year's carrot--I forgot to take a photo of this year's "crop."|
Guess which one will be forgotten by Monday, never mind May when our kids face the state biology end of course exam?
To attempt to teach biochemistry to children with little connection to the natural world they can directly observe is like trying to teach a skink Latin. Even if it could be done, it makes little sense for the skink to waste energy mastering a skill that does nothing to improve its chances of living and loving.
Maybe that's the real lesson here--laziness is a valuable evolutionary trait. No sense wasting ATP on an activity that doesn't make lives worth living. Even skinks know that.
|Question from Biology (Campbell, Pearson)|
Really, what are we doing when a child is too scared to eat a carrot she grew from seed, and then wonders what that orange carrot-shaped thing tastes like?
What are we doing?
Why are we doing it?
Content is dead.
Long live content.