Adult Learning is Phun

I like the morning as a concept. How lovely it is to wake up at the crack of dawn, listen to the urban rooster-cry of the garbage truck, and feel superior for seeing the sun rise. That is in no way my morning scenario, but it sounds lovely.

Lab Safety

You make-a my dreams come true.

Thus, 9 a.m. Saturday class is not a thing that I do–the rare exception being my first class in MFA school, which consisted of writing about how rocks “spoke” to me and how this made me feel. But sometimes we must make sacrifices to ensure that our future lower back pain is the result of the normal aging process, not from being chained to a desk in Corporate America.

Fast forward many moons and I’m shocked at how fun it is to learn about normal flora and pathogens. There is shit crawling all over us, all the time! So much so that we have to wear latex gloves to stain E. coli. Gloves! Microbiology is academic crack for hypochondriacs (me!), germophobes (not me-I cut the mold off fruit and eat it), and chronic hand-washers (sometimes me). DNA is pretty rad, too. The icing on the gram (positive) cake – it’s not chemistry.

Having taken three whole science classes before, I know that initial lab classes entail a safety video that stars who I imagine to be the 10 foster children of Hall and Oates (hence, the “video” and not “DVD”). They get themselves into all sorts of shenanigans by adding water to acid (you have to add acid to water, which we can remember by the abbreviation “AA”), teasing their bangs, and donning flammable poly-blend stonewashed denim.

I remembered the second science lab consisting of a lesson on significant figures and measurements, which was about as basic as the first lab. Except for that discriminatory assignment of having to measure our feet. Donning a ladies size 12, my 19-year old classmates were in shock and awe over how I could achieve such feats (no pun intended) as registering for a community college class, having been sprung from Transylvanian giants. (Technically, I wear an 11.5 narrow, to be specific, but I won’t even go there. Just know that my life is hard.)

Unlike chemistry, microbiology entails no self-measurement. And unlike weekday classes, Saturday classes are comprised of fewer 19-year olds who say things like, “you look like a photographer.” I’m assuming this is the same as “you look like a vegetarian,” which I only get when I’m wearing glasses or pretending I have no idea there is chicken broth in matzoh ball soup.

Sometimes it’s fun to be the grown up, like when I explained to my lab group why they were not allowed to do heavy drugs without health insurance. Perhaps that’s an embellishment – but I did explain that if they didn’t study hard, they would end up on a lot of conference calls.


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