Biodiversity – LSM 1103. A module that requires me to be awake and aware at 8 in the morning on a Wednesday. 8 a.m in the middle of the week!! Someone on the time-table community (whoever makes time-tables anyway?) is a very cruel person.
Anyway, the module has one redeeming quality. The Practical sessions. Now, I wasn’t very eager at the beginning of the semester about these practicals. Last semester’s practical sessions were horrible. 12 hours a week spent in labs – doing actual work. Plus mounds of lab reports. (My friends and I actually got pretty famous for our ‘lab reports’. The Life Science gang would always be busy, cuz they had some lab report or another to finish. Ah, how we infuriated the Engin gang!) I’d never have believed I could’ve gotten through so much work if I hadn’t actually done so. So the prospect of another 4-hour lab this semester wasn’t particularly comforting. Boy, were we in for a surprise!
The first few lab sessions went normally enough. Too normally. We (Soleil, Macho Girl, Andromeda and I…isn’t it always about us? :P) had done stuff like this all through the previous semester, and were craving for a change. We got our wish about 3 or 4 weeks into the sem. We were going for our first field trip! I took the news decently enough, but in my head, I was going, ‘Yeeeeehaw! Field Trip! Yipsie-dooooda!!’ (Oh, c’mon! Like you wouldn’t have jumped for joy at the prospect of 4 hours outside in the open after hours of being cooped inside a freezing, relatively unexciting lab!)
It didn’t turn out quite as I thought. We spent a good part of our lab session that week inside the lab, watching what our TA called ‘Plant pornography’. Movie after movie showing plant life-cycles. Now, I’m a Biology-fan, but yawn. Those movies were so damn boring! Way to make porn uninteresting. *sigh*
On the flip side, we did go outside. We took a loooong walk all around Kent Ridge and observed the plant and animal life there. It wasn’t the most exciting thing in the world (plus, we were faced with the prospect of writing an essay the minute we got back to the lab), but we enjoyed our ‘day out’. Something’s better than nothing, right?
For a few weeks after that we went through normal but good lab sessions. Nothing too boring, but nothing terribly exciting either. And then came our next field trip. To the friggin’ beach!!! Whoa! Too cool! Suddenly, I had nothing but love for the module.
I remember the day we left for Changi beach. We were the first people on the bus; like little children on their first excursion we sat waiting for the bus to move. When it did, I actually felt like singing a nice happy song and getting the others to join in with me (luckily, I refrained myself in time!). After a long, extremely enjoyable 1 hour ride, we got to our destination. We split into our respective groups, and got to work.
My group was one of the first to get into the water. We were supposed to learn how to work the net to catch fish and weed, but I don’t think anyone was listening. We just all rushed into the water, got completely drenched and played around for a while. As a consequence, we spent the rest of the session walking around in wet, heavy clothes. And any time we got close to getting dry, our TA would lead us right into another body of water, and come tell us to have a look at the interesting stuff. (Some of these ‘interesting’ things were barnacles on a rock, and the underwater ones scratched at my leg and made it bleed! I spent the rest of the trip chanelling Captain Haddock : ‘The blistering bloody barnacles bit me!!’ :P)
At the end of trip, exhausted but happy, we went to the changing rooms to get into dry and warm clothes. We came back…and everyone was gone! The buses had left, and we had been left behind! (‘The blistering bloody buses abandoned us!!’) We mooned around a bit, abusing the buses and all the people who hadn’t missed us. Once we’d gotten our heads around the fact that the buses really had gone and wouldn’t be coming back, we tried flagging down a taxi. It took us a long time to get one, and by the time we were all in the cab, we were pretty much ready to pass out from the exhaustion. Our cab-driver, taking advantage of our tired silence, merrily chatted all through the trip, and even gave us a 10 cent discount when we reached PGP! 🙂
The trip had been good, but the whole bus incident left us with a sour feeling. Ah, what a perfect trip it would’ve been if not for us missing that bus! Well, little did we know that our final field trip to the zoo would be one of the best we’d ever had!
Coming up: The zoo. And pictures!! 🙂