Thursday, November 15, 2012

Anthropologists Beware

Turns out that future anthropologist might look askance at a certain segment of the Backroads population.

An article in our science magazine reported on the Chinchorro mummies. How they are different from Egyptian mummies like King Tut, and modern-day mummies like Kim Il-Sung. A student new to our school this year raised her hand. "At my old school? We made our own mummies out of chickens. We wrapped them and buried them in the yard. I don't know why they were teaching us how to make mummies."

"Chicken parts? Or a whole chicken?" I was curious. Because at my old school, I taught the kids how to dissect a chicken wing. It's just like the human arm, you know. They're homologous structures. The part of the chicken wing that most people avoid has two bones like the radius and ulna in your forearm. The icky part you throw away is like your hand and fingers. The meaty part we like to eat is like your bicep muscle. You can put a dull probe under a tendon in that upper chicken wing, and make the bottom part move, like your bicep moves your forearm when you flex it. Coincidentally, my students declared that they would never eat chicken wings again.

"We mummified the whole chicken."

"Are there plans to dig them up?"

"I don't know."

"Because, I wonder what the point would be, just to bury them, and never look at them again."

"I know. If somebody finds all those mummified chickens, they're going to think something weird was going on."

Maybe a Missouri teacher of the lower grades can fill me in. Is this come kind of GLE objective? I remember The Pony learning an awful lot about mummies in one of his classes. But then again, The Pony loves all things Egyptian. So he might have picked up some knowledge elsewhere, and elaborated when discussing what he was doing at school that week.

I'm all for hands-on learning. But I draw the line at having my students make mummies. Besides, it's not part of my CLEs that will be tested on the EOC next spring. I certainly don't have time to kill and mummify.


  1. Mummified chickens? I know Koreans bury pickled cabbage in the ground and dig it up later to eat, but mummified chickens?

  2. What a sad life if school children have to look up to chickens to find a parental role model. And what a shame if teachers are criticizing it. If a child does not have a mommy, we should be HAPPY if they can find a little bit of nurturing from a feathered creature. And to think that you're more concerned with some TV show about kids who burst into song and automatically know the choreographed dance steps? You're squashing every child's basic need for a mommy but you're hyper-focused on that stupid GLEE show? You "draw the line" at innocent children searching for--and then finding--a substitute maternal figure? Shame on you. You don't know why other teachers are teaching their children about mommies, and they're creative and concerned enough that they're helping those cherubs find the love and attention they need in farmyard fowl? I am aghast. I am saddened. I am crushed. I am...What? Mummies? GLEs?

    Never mind...

  3. And witch/which school was that? Yikes.

  4. I love Glee, Sioux! I would really have loved high school if my fellow students had burst into song and dance on the cafeteria tables!!
    I suppose there is nothing illegal about chicken mummies ..... unlike kamper mummies .........

  5. Stephen,
    I know. What's the point if you're never going to dig them up? It's not like you can get a delicious side dish out of them. It's not like they're your relatives. Unless, perhaps, you are Sioux.

    I am hyper-focused on kids burying their mommies en masse in the side yard of the school, and never digging them up.

    I'll never tell. Though I am sure it comes as no shock to you to discover that it was my alma mater, the very high school from which I earned my victorian-ness. WE never got to make mummies and bury them. What DID we get to play with in science? Pith balls.

    Are you sure you're not thinking of FAME? It was just GLEE without the Slurpees.

    So you keep that roll of mummy-wrap behind the kounter of your kampground store?