Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Back to Lab!

This semester I'm the lucky professor who has three labs. One day a week, I have a morning lab and an afternoon lab with a lecture sandwiched in-between). My morning lab went smoothly, especially for the first lab of the semester for freshmen. No breakages. No weird products. They probably were the best group I've ever had for the first lab.

Then the afternoon lab began. As soon as one group picked up their evaporating dish, it was dropped and broken.

A little later I smelled something burning. I discovered a group who had melted a rubber policeman into their sample. Burnt rubber smells awful. Not to mention that their sample now had pieces of burnt rubber in it.

Later another group's watch glass exploded and broke. Nothing like having to pick up pieces of glass, weighing, and hoping to recover some of your sample.

We ended the day with a bang. The product should have been table salt. That's not what one group had. They had yellow crystals that gave off awful fumes. I sent them to the fume hood with their mystery product.

Needless to say, lab took the full time.
Maybe this group got all of the mishaps out of their system the first week of lab.
Here's to hoping!


Alyson said...

When I read your blog, all I could think was "why do they call that a rubber policeman?" It seemed so normal back when I was in chem lab. So I googled it, and found this comic, which made me chuckle...

Amanda said...

thanks! totally posting that under the blog link on fb : )

btw, i'm working on the tagged post. those are some thought-requiring questions!

Jason and Erin said...

Ah! I remember in Organic chemistry praying, PRAYING my result wouldn't be PURPLE by the time I was done! It was supposed to turn white on about week 6, and it FINALLY turned white about a week before finals! No memory of what it was, I guess I've blocked that out!

Amber said...

Sounds like you're in for a great semester ;) Maybe you should inherit Lab Quote Fridays!