Monday, April 21, 2008

The Bad, Worse and the Ugly

Life Science modules can suck big time once in a while. And Microbiology was one such module. I hate it. The practical classes turned out to be so boring. Maybe I saw them differently because I was already working full time in another lab with my UROPS and so the stuff we did in Microbiology practical classes seemed too basic. But it was not just the lab classes, the theory classes also were dreadful most of the times. The only part I enjoyed was medical Microbiology, feeling like a detective, trying to figure out what organism causes what disease. The rest of the module can be summed up by this statement made by the module coordinator.

Microorganisms can be good, bad or ugly

Good - coz some of them help us
Bad - coz some of them can make us sick or indirectly affect us by spoiling food
Ugly - some kill you

And it was not just the repetitive nature of the module that bothered me. All the horrible photographs they put up in slides... a man's half eaten face, fungus growing on some child's skin, worms hanging out of someone's rear end.... ugh! I'd much rather watch Stifler eat shit in American Pie! And food microbiology was the worst. Not only would he show us pictures of rotting food... he'd also tell us why our favourite stalls are not clean... with photographic evidence!

"Think of this stall, x. The cashier handles the food sometimes. This guy in front of us digs his nose, then pays for his food and the cashier accepts the money. Then with the same bare hands, he handles your food. Or here is another instance... in stall y, have you see the way they keep the chopsticks with the business end facing upwards? and they are all so tightly packed. Now imagine this fellow in front of you scratches his head, then with the same hand touches the chopsticks and take a couple out... it is unavoidable that he touches a few others in the process... then you go next and pick the wrong one out..."


"Look at this picture. What do you see? One cutting board right? What's wrong with that? Ok, look at this picture next. What is going on? He is cutting cooked meat right? Ok, look at this picture next. What's he doing? Cutting raw vegetables on it right? Ok, next picture. Again cutting cooked chicken. So what's wrong? Obviously he should not cut the raw vegetables and cooked meat on the same board! The meat will get contaminated because the vegetables are raw and have germs!" (I think the vegetarians of the class were more worried about the vegetables getting contaminated by the meat :P)

Here is a picture of the kitchen of a five star hotel. Can you tell me what is wrong with it? Notice the garbage can? It has a lid but no pedal to operate it. You know what that means? The cook has to open the trash bin with his hand each time. What happens if he doesn't wash his hands before cooking your ridiculously expensive dinner?


All through lecture he would call the microbes "bugs". His accent isn't that great so I kept hearing it as "bucks". "You'll find lots of bucks in the food". Wow! Rich man's food! Gimme gimme gimme! Erm... on second thoughts... u keep the rotting food. Thank you very much.

And to top it all, during the food microbiology practical class, we all analyzed the food from the different stalls of the science canteen to look for microbes. The food that my bench had analyzed was declared unfit for consumption :-/




Clueless said...

Okay, first of all, NOTHING can be worse than Stifler eating shit in American Pie. Seriously, if there's anything I'll remember to never, EVER watch again, it's that. *shudder*

And ha, I think Soleil is going to violenty disagree with you about the module! To each her own, I guess. :)

And ha! Vegetarians are already horrified enough living here - we don't need professors telling us explicitly how un-vegetarian we're getting everyday we eat in our favourite stalls! :P

Be happy they didn't make you analyze the stall you visit 99% of the time you go to the Science canteen. (Just stay far, far away from the people who did analyze that stall! :P)

Shweta said...

i really shouldn't have read this before going for lunch today, warn people the next time you write something like this, will you?

soleil said...

Looks like the microB module is having an effect on you...