Thursday, October 16, 2008

chemistry is not for everyone

For years during my PhD effort I worked as a TA (teaching assistant), babysitting undergraduate students as they struggled with basic chemistry experiments. I have some fun stories from those many lost hours. Here’s a lil’nugget from my lab mate Sean O’Connor’s more recent experience. Sean is a cynical young man (an effective strategy for maintaining one's sanity around here).

Student: “Excuse me sir, the lab instructions say: ‘add water to the flask, remove from ice bath, and warm to room temperature’. What should I do?”

Sean: “Do what it says: add water and warm to room temperature. Why did you just ask me that question?”

Student “Because I didn’t want to do anything wrong.”

Sean: “But you did do something wrong.”

Student (worried): “What?”

Sean: “You asked me that stupid question.”

Thank you Dutchman.

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