How I Put My Students at Ease
Our science guy—[we have] one person in each department, it’s a small school—does a unit on white-tailed deer. The white-tailed deer unit culminates with a deer necropsy and his father comes in and does an autopsy on a road-kill deer. (It’s a small town; you can do these things.)

The kids would get nervous. Some of them don’t come from hunting families. They’re squeamish. Girls like to be squeamish for attention. (I always say, “Girls, you know, don’t do that ‘Eeewww!’ Because that’s embarrassing and it makes all the rest of us girls look bad.”)

But they were truly nervous going into this necropsy. They didn’t know what to expect.  There was this huge tension weighing in the room and this anticipation, and kind of … trepidation. You could just feel it.

So after the first year or two of doing this, I was just messing around one day and I wrote a song. I make the kids sing it with me, I have it all typed up. I say, “If you know the tune, here’s the words. Sing it along.” And we all do.

So here you go:

Doe, a deer, a road-kill deer,
Ray, the guy who ran her down.
Me, oh my, she’s lost an eye.
Far she flew, almost to town.
So he left her in the ditch.
La ti da, his fender’s bent.
T zone hunters could have helped
Could have shot that road-kill doe.”

Then we sing it again and all the trepidation is gone from the room and everybody’s smiling and giggling. Then the necropsy goes on.