What a former college instructor really thinks…

Posts tagged “biology

The Arachnid Penis

Ever since I wrote my first post (in which I suggested “The Arachnid Penis” as a good blog title) I have been trying to come up with a way to inseminate that image into a future post.  It’s a relatively small (pun intended) and insignificant topic unless you happen to be a spider, so ideas weren’t pouring out of me.   So maybe if I take a closer look at spiders, I will come up with something to do with the penis.  (Get your mind out of the gutter.)

When we think of spiders, we usually think of their fangs and their legs.  So when you add penises in, these animals are the epitome pf phallic creatures- especially since their fangs like to jam their way into other creatures.  And so I must apologize for not having a picture to go with this post.  I understand that sexually suggestive photography is everyone’s favorite part of biology but I am not here to pander.   I am here to teach you about a serious topic that deserves your respect and undivided attention.

And at this point I am starting to sound like the average professor.  How many professors like to argue that their research interests are significant, often with the assertion that all knowledge is important, but without being able to tell you exactly why your tuition dollars should help pay for their work.  In fairness, there’s a lot of arcane research out there (especially in the STEM fields) that looks ridiculous or unimportant that may eventually prove valuable; therefore, we need to be careful about what research we attack as useless.  However, the seventeenth book on hermaphrodites in Shakespeare’s tragedies seems like a waste of money.

As Shakespeare wrote, “I have drunk, and seen the spider.”   So, too, do many professors drink and discover research pursuits that are equally small.  I’ll grant that spiders are an important part of our ecosystem… but the way many professors think, “I saw the spider” means “I saw the spider naked.”  And that means we’re talking about the insignificant arachnid penis again.

I propose that arachnid penises have no place at the university, with the possible exception of Women’s Studies departments.  If you spend enough time around Women’s Studies professors, your anatomy will soon shrink to the size of an arachnid penis.  And that helps the feminists feel good about themselves.

Proposed Biology Course: The Anatomy of Kittens

College students usually hate science classes and professors are often stuck trying to find a way to make the subject interesting.  As we all know, there is one foolproof way to get students interested in anything: add some cute, cuddly kittens.

And it works so well with an anatomy course, too.  You can talk about all the parts of a foot and then show a cute little kitty paw.  How adorable!  And having a kitten in front of the classroom means that the students will always be looking in your direction instead of at the clock.

But you may object: anatomy courses usually require dissections and there’s no way a professor could ever convince students to slice into a kitten.  Your point is well taken, but you’d be wrong.  When it comes to academics, students are always looking for the easiest way to get something done, and the kittens make dissections so much easier.  Because kittens are small and young, their skin is much easier to pierce with the scalpel.  And as an added bonus, they don’t yelp as loud or claw as hard as a fully grown cat; this is especially important if a student applies an inadequate dose of formaldehyde before starting to cut.  As you can see, everyone benefits when you bring kittens into the lab!

The janitors benefit too because they won’t have to clean up the mess.  Just tell your students to wrap up their kittens and bring them home when the dissection is done.  Their dogs will appreciate the tasty treat.