Field of Science

No such thing as typical meets non-observers

In trying to teach students about floral parts and the diversity of ways they get put together you quickly come to understand that there is no such thing as a typical flower.  Now, as always, patient observation and thoughtful study usually get them to a satisfactory understanding of the specimens provided.  Did you detect the flaw in this last statement?  Today's students are not patient, observant, or particularly thoughtful.  The biggest problem they had in figuring out the imperfect flowers of Begonia was reading the sign that said "two types of flowers; take one of each".  Yes, even that tiny bit of instruction was too much for some of them.  Hosta (Don't tell you-know-who her flowers were stolen for a lab!) and Aloe did not seem alike because they were different colors!  Hmm, where's that section of the lab guide that says lavender and orange flowers can't ever both be monocots.  Anthurium was just a total puzzle, and nobody in the entire class had any idea what a jack-in-the-pulpit was!  Isn't that one of the more easily recognized and common wild flowers in this area?  Doesn't anyone go outside any more?  No wonder plant identification is such a rare skill anymore; people don't even know the common things any more.  You tell them that Kohleria is a gesner, nothing registers, so you say it's in the African violet family, still nothing registers!  Not only don't they go outside, they don't bring any nature inside either!  TPP needs a drink; hold the nectar. 


Laurent said...

Oh my!

I remember asking myself why did some students take botany classes in the past. Indeed, they already knew the stuff, so why wouldn't they take some other class instead of losing time with things they already know?

Now I want to ask why did your students take botany class? They don't seem to value what they'll learn.

Eric said...

Missouri General Assembly overrides the governor's veto of the worst nullification law in the nation, Colorado recalls representatives who actually care what happens to the people of their state, and your kids have the observational acuity of a gnat. Save me one of those drinks.

The Phytophactor said...

Eric, the MO senate failed to override the veto by one vote! So machine guns will still be illegal!