Tri-Beta is student society made mostly of undergraduates that want to further biological studies as well as support scientific research. Tri-Beta works with both education and community benefitting activities. Tri-Beta tries to incorporate both fun and learning to their activities, like the trip to Seneca Rocks they have planned that would allow members to observe nature in an enjoyable, recreational environment. Tri-Beta is an honor’s association open to all, but is primarily has members with biology or related science majors.
As such, this would give me several reasons to join. Joining Tri-Beta would place me in a setting of students with similar studies to myself. I would have a place and time to study with peers that I would not have otherwise. I could get tutoring and homework help from the older members who have taken the classes I currently struggle with. Becoming a member of Tri-Beta would not only help me academically, but would also help me give back to the community. Tri-Beta does several community service projects, from cleaning the roadside of Fairmont to raising money for Habitat for Humanity. Not only does volunteering help the volunteer in the workforce, offering references, connections, etc., but also helps those on the receiving end of the volunteer work, whether that be money for a humanitarian organization, cleaning the environment, easing the load of the staff, or any of numerous other ways.
The movie shown by Tri-Beta was Adaptation, which is based on Susan Orlean’s book The Orchid Thief. The movie has several plot lines, switching between the past and the present. The movie switches between two semi-easy to follow plot lines, one of the past and one of the present. The plot line of the present follows Charlie Kaufman as he reads Orlean’s nonfiction novel and struggles to create a screenplay that he insists must remain as faithful to the book as possible despite the book’s lack of a plot possible to create into a movie. The storyline of the past follows Susan Orlean as she investigates and writes about the arrest of John Laroche, who was caught poaching ghost orchids from the Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve in southern Florida with the help of a group of Seminole Indians. The movie switches between the misadventures of these two plots until the third plot is created when Charlie decides that he must speak with Susan Orlean to gain insight on how to turn her novel into a screenplay. This third plot line is followed until Charlie is satisfied with their meeting and decides how to finish his screenplay.
While I do not feel the entire movie strongly relates to biology, there are about a handful of scenes in the movie that stick out and immensely relate to biology. The movie brings up two flowers that show strong co-evolution with the insects that pollinate them. One flower was a species of orchid, I later found to be Ophrys apifera, whose petals take the form of a female bee pollinating the plant. Ophrys apifera also releases a pheromone that the male bee registers as a female bee of its species. This encourages the male bee to mate with the “female bee”, collecting the pollen from the flower. The bee then moves to a new flower and repeats the process, pollinating this second flower. The other was a flower that Darwin had predicted was pollinated by a moth with about a twelve-inch proboscis, showing the co-evolution of this one moth that pollinates the flower and the flower itself, a concept mocked when he first proposed the concept.
Interestingly, I had just discussed Ophrys apifera in my botany class not hours before the movie. That is part of the reason why I recalled the scene so clearly. The movie has helped to make the information I learned in that lecture stand out in my mind.
Overall, I felt the movie was average. The first three-fourths of the movie I found cheesy but amusingly disorganized. The movie jumped around constantly between the first two plot lines I mentioned earlier. This was hard to follow at first, but became easier as time passed. The final thirty or so minutes of the film, however, drew my attention to the point I felt like I was watching two separate movies. The ending seemed to throw together a great deal of random audience grabbing twists and just put them all together.