7 a.m. wake up.
The cafeteria was being renovated, so we were on our own for food!
It was a motley crew for sure, the kids had stayed up too late, the adults were still tired from the drive and everyone was milling around shoving food into their heads while trying to be pleasant.

Off to class!


Our first class was a Touch Lab/squid dissection

We listened to Greg, our instructor, as he detailed the 2 main divisions of animals and then went into the various categories before landing specifically ocean animals.
There was a large variety of specimens, each table had a different category, our table had vertebrates, namely fish and a seahorse.

He talked about an hour and then we milled around and handled the specimens for about another hour while he answered questions and moved around pointing out interesting details and making sure everyone was engaged. I touched all kinds of stuff and thought I was SO ready for the dissection. hahaha

Mantis shrimp!!
Our shrimp (Gulf Coast) are not smashers, they are slashers. .03 seconds to slash a seahorse in half and start eating it.

More about the mantis shrimp
(probably my favorite Ze Frank)

loooooots of poking.
poke poke
They are poking the toad fish, which feels like poking raw chicken.
I poked it 3 different times and each was more gross than the time before.


(not a stunt hand)

He was instructed to 'look delighted'


I wandered over to the skates and rays table and found this guy.


Then I saw THIS guy. EEE

David had my original ray, pretending it was pizza.
It was getting time for lunch!

In case there was any question.
The big cheese is Dae

Sarah was my lab partner. I thought I was all over the dissection and the squid was fresh, no smell! Even better, yay.


The freckles change color, something we saw first hand the next day.
It made me think that someone should figure out how to let us humans with freckles do that!

Sarah handled the squid so I could get photos. My camera can be washed off, she didn't really want her phone to smell like squid.
It turned out to be a good thing she was in charge, I TOTALLY wimped out.

First, remove the pen point.

Ben and Emma paired up, I could lean back and see them around the column between us.

Rho and Chan

It looks like a plastic feather!

Next up, the beak.
Just pinch and pull and it comes right off.
Well, I was okay to this point, but watch what happens when the beak comes off:

That's the esophagus.

Bare handed, ladies and gents.
That's not my hand. That's Sarah

And, that's my kid! :D

Rho and Chan, no problem!

Beakless squid.
Yes, I did jump up and run around and take pictures.

Beck and Alex (and beak)

Elan and Jacob 2.0

Emma touches her squid 100% more than I touched ours.

Sarah shows off the hole where the beak was.

I look at the esophagus.
I quickly put it down again.

Next up on the dissection is the last hard part of the squid. The eyeball lens.
Sarah popped ours and purple juice went all over. I ran for it.
To take photos, of course. SCIENCE!

I love this photo.
Ben thought it might be easier if he didn't look.
As his partner, Emma was helping support his theory.

Elan with one lens down, one to go.

Alex and Beck, no problem!

James and Dae

Chan and Rho.
The kids were GREAT

Sammy lends a hand

The next table down.

After I wandered around long enough, I came back to find Sarah had removed both lenses. She only had to do one.
AND there's something stuck to them both, is that the optic nerve?

I used the scissors and cut open the mantle.
I wasn't totally useless, I just needed some utensil between me and the whole affair.
Our squid was a girl

We used the pen point and the squid ink to write our initials!!

Greg got the electric skillet going and fried up some calamari squid for everyone while we cleaned up.

We headed out to have lunch and then got back together at the classroom about an hour later for our marsh walk!

Ben and I had a bit of a lie down in our room. We were a little greenish.

Old clothes would be best for this whole trip, the ick, oog and marsh mud factor is high.
I think an extra shirt would not go amiss either.