May 7th and 8th
The final weekend of the 50th Goshen College Marine biology course was one full of events. Saturday morning began with a memorable team effort in erecting a 5,000 gallon rainwater collection tank behind the laboratory. Throughout the weekend, Ryan and Jacob took time out of the day to install the tank to help compensate for the expensive freshwater costs in the Keys. We students, however, retreated into our notebooks and flashcards for our first 100 point exam over the taxonomy and ecology of the multitude of plants, animals, and protists we had encountered and collected during our stay in the Keys. Afterwards, a collective sigh of relief was exhaled as we exited the lab and prepared for the afternoon trip to Key West.
Saturday afternoon was the touristic extent of our stay here, exploring what Key West had to offer. Groups split up to explore candy shops, enjoy late night street performers, and eat some of the food from the area. My group found a small hole-in-the-wall Cuban restaurant which offered tender shrimp and beef to enjoy with the spiciest of sauces, aptly named Castro’s Breath. Many retired to bed after the long drive back to the laboratory.
Sunday morning saw our return to Layton Community Baptist for another sermon by Pastor Robbie. Much to the congregations delight, we performed another set of hymns from the Mennonite Hymnal. Afterwards, we enjoyed a free evening to catch up on some much needed leisure time. Many made a trip back to the beach for more volleyball and sunbathing, while others hung back for some quiet time at home. We congregated again at dinner time for our second community meal of juicy beef/veggie burgers, chips, baked beans, and some original mousse ice cream for dessert. In the evening, many of us gathered in the living room for a game night. We played a form of charades with quite a few unique scenarios to act out, including Donald Trump, Ryan “Boatscar” Sensenig, and simply eating rocks. Afterwards, the games continued into the night with several rounds of “Body-body” in the laboratory.
As I sit here writing this, we’re all preparing to return to our normal schedule of two research visits and a lecture tomorrow. Some groups will make final runs into the field to finish collecting their data, while others begin the data analysis step of their research. We’re all preparing to enter the final leg of the Marine Biology class.
-Josh Stoltzfus ’17