News - June 7, 2012

Messy Microbiology

Joyce is my microbiology lecturer and she sat before the first year Food Innovation and Management students trying to keep our attention during the demonstration. This was more difficult than it sounds as the sun was shining through the window and the warm grass looked rather inviting...

'The height the liquid e-coli goes depends on how high you place your hand on the test tube. Did you hear that?  I don't want e-coli going everywhere. Yes, Emma, I am talking to you, we all know what you're like' she said, just a little knowingly.
I opened my eyes wide in mock surprise. The saddest part was they DID know what I was like. My clumsiness and general ability to make a mess of things in the laboratory, was the talk of the class.
Joyce used me as her example for everything that could possibly go wrong in the laboratory and for me, it usually it did. She has taken to waiting behind me with the 70% Ethanol bottle in one hand and some paper towels in the other ready for me to put e-coli all over the place.
I love microbiology, I love being on the receiving end of the jokes too. That is what is great at VHL, the classes are so small that you have a real connection with both the lecturers and your international classmates. There is never a shortage of jokes.  Joyce ability to look after me, is the perfect example of that.
I smiled to myself as I started the practical, confident that nothing would go wrong. Pulling out the inoculation loop my heart sank a little. I tried to balance the drop of e-coli upon it -  unsuccessfully!
My neighbour laughed and bellowed 'Oi Joyce, Emma has done it again!' Joyce gave a loud chuckle and came to my rescue  -  once again.