SFU’s Earth Science Department has their own bones and no-bones days

Professor Xiomara Singh takes inspiration from Noodle the Pug

a woman holds two rocks inquisitively. one is plain and the other has a fish fossil
ILLUSTRATION: Maple Sukontasukkul / The Peak

By: Tamanna T., Staff Writer

Professor Xiomara Singh from SFU’s earth science department has initiated her own version of Bones Day, inspired by Noodle the pug from TikTok. SFU has allocated $82,000 to this project, led by Singh and her class, EASC340. 

The viral trend has taken the world by a storm, and it’s all because of a senior-citizen pug, whose owner Jonathan Graziano picks him up every morning to determine if the pug “has bones or no bones.” He is also the pug reminding us to quit working when it’s already midnight and a professor just added another Canvas discussion page on something that won’t be on the exams.

Singh, after watching Graziano’s videos, made a rendition of it in her own classroom. She takes various rocks to inspect whether there are bones (read: fossils) in them. In an interview with The Peak, she mentioned using an internet trend to learn “makes the class more engaging and fun.” She said she has never seen students with the audacity to actually stop working and leave other classes when they need to, most notably now using the washroom instead of just waiting through another hour of repetitive lecture slides.

“A student also let me know she refused to send in a paper to a professor because it was a no-bones day in my class. I was surprised at the dedication of these students!” exclaims Singh.

If they are unsuccessful in finding fossils, it is considered a no-bones day. The students are asked to write a 1,000-word discussion post on Canvas before leaving the class, and are arbitrarily asked to do impromptu presentations, which most of them hate. These count towards the students’ grades, along with their research papers, so students are always excited and on edge to see what the day is going to be like. It also ensures students don’t take breaks unless absolutely necessary, as determined only by the presence of fossils.

Some students have proposed to make TikToks about their version of bones day. Singh was pleasantly surprised by the positive response her class has received from SFU and SFSS, as the SFSS is organising a university-wide event to showcase the findings.