On this gloriously breezy, perfect Pennsylvania day, I write to you about the snails and their progress. Today was their final day of training (as well as the final day to figure out who goes on to the testing). It’s been an interesting week. Many snails have been removed from the experiment and many more realizations have occurred for improving on this experiment in the future.
I left off on Thursday, and I have Friday through today to report.
Friday – September 2
220hz. Right side goal. Basil reward offered.
5 snails make it: Trails, Rogue, Dr. Strange, Muscles, and Big Yellow! 2 are removed: Yellow Belly and Gary. 9 snails total remain in for the time being.
Rogue takes over 29 minutes of eir 30 available (ugh).
Muscles seems to be back in action after the tough night before. I will continue to test in the morning. Adding the evenings seems potentially confusing for me and possibly the snails.
Backward Spiral barely moves, worrying me about em more.
Yellow Belly is removed because this is eir third uncompleted run in a row. Gary is removed because e did not make it and although I wanted to count the two before as successes, they were debatable.
Raw researcher’s notes: snailnotes5-sept2
Saturday – September 3
Day off for everyone!
Sunday – September 4
130 hz. Left side goal. Cucumber reward offered.
6 snails make it: Trails, Dr. Strange, Big Yellow, Isabella, Smotchkkiss, and Rogue. Backward Spiral is removed at this is the 3rd maze e has not completed and no longer seems to move in the maze (*tear). 8 snails move on.
Once again, Rogue takes nearly the entire 30 minutes to complete the maze.
Smotchkkiss and Big Yellow make me nuts by going down the wrong side first, all the way to the cap, then they go back and complete the maze. This is problematic because during testing, I would have ended it at the other side, possibly giving a false negative. It makes me wonder if I should give them the full 30 minutes during the tests; yet, I don’t think that would make sense since both sides will be capped and the likelihood is that many snails might try both sides looking for the exit. The idea is that the sound will encourage them to go to one side first. So, this is confusing.
Muscles doesn’t complete the maze again, opting for the cap of the wrong side.
Raw researcher’s notes: snailnotes6-sept4
Monday – September 5
130hz. Left side goal. Strawberry reward offered.
4 snails complete the maze: Trails, Smotchkkiss, Big Yellow, and Dr. Strange. Rogue and Dr. Quinary are removed. 6 snails remain.
Smotchkkiss has the same result two days in a row!!! E had been alternating days completing and not completing, but here we go!
Muscles, one of my golden children in the beginning, has not completed the maze again.
Dr. Strange and Trails have completed the maze the last 4 times in a row. Big Yellow for the last 5.
Raw researcher’s notes: snailnotes7-sept5
Tuesday – September 6 – final day of training
220hz. Right side goal. Carrot reward offered.
This is the last chance for Smotchkkiss and Muscles. If they don’t make it, then they won’t have completed the maze the majority of the time and they will be removed. I need at least 5 out of 8 training days to have been a success.
5 snails successfully complete the maze: Trails, Isabella, Big Yellow, Dr. Strange, and Smotchkkiss. Muscles is retired to the terrarium.
Trails, Big Yellow, and Dr. Strange have completed the maze 7 out of 8 times! Isabella, 6 out of 8! Smotchkkiss 5 out of 8! Smotchkkiss though, only gets half way out, barely in time. It was so frustrating. I don’t think Smotchkkiss is actually a very good test subject, but I will test em anyway.
Raw researcher’s notes: snailnotes8-sept6
This has been an interesting run for me so far. I’ve learned so much – about the equipment I would need to improve the experiment, about scientists working with snails that I should try to contact to get tips, about patience and bias, about why scientist go to such great lengths to remove variables and create consistency as there will inevitably be more variables and inconsistencies to discover, about snails (these ones and in general), and so on. I also realized that the first few snails I removed from the experiment, I did so prematurely due to the number of days I was training; had they figured it out a day later, they may have still gotten the majority of the days. So, I will not be so hasty next time and plan in advance how I will do eliminations.
Testing begins tomorrow. Despite the many flaws in the experiment so far, I’m interested to see what happens and gain more insight on how this experiment should be improved in the future.