We toured Yaroslavl State Pedagogical University where Olga and Alexsey teach on Monday. The head of the geography department gave me a tour of their geological museum. In ancient times, the Yaroslavl region had been covered by a large sea. As the sea receded fossils were left behind and this museum contains many examples. I was particularly impressed by the large: 18” diameter nautilus shells.
She also gave me a tour of the zoological museum. Many stuffed birds and animals were nicely displayed in one classroom. In the other classroom were skeletons and jars containing specimens in formaldehyde. Examples of lungs of smokers are used to discourage students and pupils from smoking.
We sat down for tea – a Russian tradition and I talked about my school and experiences at the university. I also showed the Power point presentation that I had prepared.
After tea we headed for botanical gardens. These greenhouses were a striking contrast to the snow and ice surrounding them. Our tour guide was a young man who does a segment on the morning news for children on interesting facts about particular plants. One plant holds water between its leaves. Small frogs live in the plant in a sort of symbiotic relationship. Our guide picked up a frog and let it walk over his hands – so I offered to do the same to the delight of the rest of the group. These gardens had a wide variety of specimens from a sequoia tree to cacti in a desert setting. Olga remembered a turtle that had been a long time resident of the gardens. She was stunned to see that the turtle had died and its skeleton was on display in the area where the turtle had lived.
When we left we walked past the mathematics and physics building. We then headed home for a late lunch.