May 5, 2008

Student Presentations

Since I asked the students to choose a hands-on final project rather than take an in-class exam, I designated today for them to earn some extra credit by presenting what they've done so far. A couple guys had done a blunt trauma experiment on pig bones. A girl convinced a friend to help her shoot pig heads and deflesh them. Another group used a rack of ribs to study the sharp trauma they inflicted, more students studied a nearby cemetery, and some did in-depth reports on leprosy and syphilis.

Two girls from my first class had decided to do the project on mummification, which involves dessicating a gutted chicken using loads of salt. Unfortunately, they both lived in the dorms, and the chicken got really ripe really quickly. But they kept it at another student's house for the last 2 weeks of drying out and brought it to class today for show-and-tell during their presentation. One of the girls was talking about how they did the project while the other one slipped on latex gloves and was showing the chicken off to the class.

Student: ... so after we dried it out, it looked like this. The next step was to rub it with oil and aromatic spices. [This was supposed to be similar to Egyptian mummies.]

Me: Great! What spices did you use?

Student: Well, we didn't have any since we live in the dorms. So we went to Wal-Mart, but the spices were expensive. So we bought the cheapest thing we could find - teriyaki sauce. We rubbed it all over the chicken, then wrapped it in linen. It looks dirty and gross, but it's just the teriyaki sauce.

Me: [after much, much laughter] So you didn't decorate your mummy, then?

Other Student: No, but we sprayed it with Febreeze!

I felt bad about laughing hysterically at their mummified chicken teriyaki. But really, it was a pretty ridiculous sight. Once they turn in their finals, I'm totally posting the crazy pictures from these projects. The trauma projects are definitely the coolest.


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