Monday, November 09, 2009

Germ Warfare

Call me crazy, but this year I just don't want to get sick. I do not want an extra cold or the flu or any other malady this winter if I can help it. It's not just the H1N1 pandemic, it is any illness that my students drag into the classroom. Many of them live in University residences which can be a hotbed of strange infectious diseases. Others live in high density housing with anywhere from 2-6 students per house. University students can be just as bad as small elementary school-age children for spreading germs and illness.

With this in mind I've taken the unconventional step of putting my students midterms in the freezer overnight (double wrapped in plastic to avoid moisture) to kill any wayward viruses and bugs. I'm not 100% convinced it will get everything, but whatever I can do to slightly decrease my chances of getting sick is welcomed. This is not something I've ever done before and I may not do it again. I'm just taking some precautions considering how much I'll be touching these midterms over the next week or so while I'm marking them. I heard about this technique through the academic grapevine. I'm not sure if it's more the stuff of urban campus legend, or scientifically proven. Either way, it won't hurt their exams.

1 comment:

cecily said...

Can't say if it's urban myth or not, but apparently tea tree oil is great for killing bugs in the air. Just have a bottle open nearby, or even better, put some in a burner. But can you even get tea tree oil in Canada? All the best with keeping the lurgies at bay. I did my best down here in Australia, but caught the dread flu over winter (pretty sure it was H1N1, but they don't test unless you're really sick)... it was pretty nasty.