Friday, October 28, 2005

Lab Summary

So my lab section just finished a 3-day difficult lab where they have to identify an unknown compound. It freaks them out. They can't ask the TA's really anything so they're on their own. (Well, kinda. They have checkpoints where they talk to the prof to make sure they're on the right track.) I was just there in the lab to make sure nobody blew themselves up. Here are some of my favorite things I saw or heard the past few lab periods:

1. I had to titrate 12 times! (They only needed 3 trials.)

2. So what do you think my data means? (Stop asking me that! I can't answer any questions!)

3. One group figured out what they had by luck, and then realized they had some wrong test results. They just go back and scratch out their old results and change their results. A big no-no in the science world.

4. One group decides they are almost done so on the 3rd day, they decide to come the last 45 minutes of lab (out of 3 hours) so they can sleep in. Nice plan...they ended up just guessing at their compound's identity.

5. Me: What was the volume of the base you added to your acid during the titration?
Clueless Student: 20 drops.
Me: Uh, you need an actual in milliliters. That's why you use
that glass tube with numbers and markings on it. (Also called a buret.)
Oh, and that's what your directions tell you to do as well.
Clueless Student: Oh, well, I'll just estimate. 2 milliliters sound good.

When Scientists Say (and do) Nerdy Things...

So scientists can be nerdy. Let's not add to it with nerdy sayings. Here are a few actual things I've heard chemists say recently...

1. Let's take a look at a spectacular spectrum. (I think he was trying to wake us up in seminar.)
2. I conducted my own experiment at home. (This one is quite common.)
3. I created my own excel sheet to solve this critical thinking puzzle. (For fun.)

I think it's common for scientists to talk to themselves in public. I found myself doing it not too long ago while I worked in the library trying to figure out some chemistry. I stopped myself. Today, one of my fellow chemists was talking to himself the whole morning. No wonder people classify us as wierdos. It's uncomfortable when you see somebody arguing with him/herself. It makes you run away very quickly.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Forever Band Nerd

So apparently band nerdiness is with you forever. I was in lab yesterday talking to a few girls. It came up that I was in band in high school. When I went to the other side of the lab, some other girls asked me what I had played in band because they had overheard me. I said clarinet. One girl says she had pegged me as a colorguard girl. Whatever that means. I confessed I was in winterguard for a semester but that was enough for me. Then one of them says she thought I was drum major because she could imagine me blowing a whistle and giving out orders. I tell them I was drum major for 2 years and they exclaim, "I knew it!" Obviously, I'm a big nerdy, bossy TA in the lab. Glad my students notice it. Ha!

20 Random Things

Ok, April S. tagged me for 20 random things about myself...
1. I'm a sucker for chai lattes.
2. I have the smallest bladder in the world. I freqently have to walk down the hall from my lab to the bathroom; I'm sure the people in their labs think I'm a slacker always walking around.
3. I wear long johns from about October to March.
4. I'm currently on a make-up kick...buying more than usual and wearing more often.
5. I'm OCD about card on the back of pews at church. The membership cards, etc. need to be organized and straight.
6. I won't buy any vanilla mint or cinnamom flavored toothpaste because I think it'll make my teeth dirty again...I'll need to brush them again!
7. I have to sleep with my closet door closed.
8. I like to dip my french fries in Wendy's frosties.
9. I have to go outside and play the first time it snows every year.
10. I would get another tatoo but can't find a good spot on my body for it.
11. I frequently dye my hair...I haven't seen the natural color in years.
12. I really like the TV shows: 24 and Lost.
13. I like to lift weights. I really like it when I lift the same barbell that some guy is using.
14. I'm pretty girly. One week a year at camp is all I can take.
15. I love the sunsets here in Stillwater.
16. I make good homemade basil tomato pasta and chocolate coffee cake from scratch.
17. I went to every football game in high school. I've gone to almost every home football game in graduate school. I still don't know the rules. All I know is that getting the ball to the endzone is good.
18. I really would like to get a weimaraner for my next dog.
19. I know a lot about narcolepsy and marriage and family therapy (via my husband) for not being in either field.
20. I want to live in a country neighborhood one day and keep horses.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Just Call Me Alias

So working in the lab today was so interesting, I fell asleep at my desk for awhile. I dreamed that I was Alias (Sydney Bristow, CIA agent) trying to gather information off the computers in my research lab. People kept bugging me though. Students talking to me. Professors asking me questions. Everytime somebody came into my workspace, I had to stop what I was doing and pretend to work. I couldn't gather important information for the CIA! Then I woke up and was quite confused for about a minute.

That dream was a lot like real life though. People preventing me from pretending to work. Well, you get the picture.

Anyway, just call me Alias. At least in my dream, I could kick butt if needed.

Sunday, October 16, 2005


Welp, it's fall break for us, but Josh and I are not going anywhere. Work is calling our name. I so need some motivation to study and work...I think 7 years of college is finally catching up to me. Only 2-3 more left!
Here is a list of things I would rather be doing on my fall break than work...(in no particular order):

1) Go to the beach. Hawaii would be nice. But I would take Padre Island too.
2) Veg with my pal April S. in SA, Tejas. Oh, and eat real Mexican food again.
3) Shopping spree. Anywhere but Stillwater. I could get xmas shopping done.
4) Vist my other friend April in Germany...I could crash the newlyweds' apt.
5) Run away with Josh...leave school behind and all our responsibilities. Oh, and we would take Newman our dog too.
6) Road trip down to Lubbock to see my new friend Monica. And while we're at it, we'll fly April and April over too.

So I guess that's my motivation. Work now, travel and spend mula later.
Happy working!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Lab Entertainment

Ok, I might have the slowest lab section ever. But they are entertaining. We might have to stay late everytime, but at least I laugh during lab.
Case in point, this last week, I stepped out of the lab briefly to speak to a professor. When I came back in to make an important announcement, I was stopped by a sight. Apparently, this girl was trying to take off her sweatshirt, but it got stuck since she forgot to take off her lab goggles and cap. So this guy was trying to help her take off her sweatshirt over the goggles and cap. But he was having a struggle with it, too. That's when I walked into the lab. It just looked wrong.
Then I have some heavy flirting going on between two students. It's like watching some teeny-bopper movie unfold. The same guy that tried to take the sweatshirt off the one girl, different girl though. hmm, interesting.
Well, at least the time flies when I'm laughing.