Frequently lost

5 December 2013 § 1 Comment

4 December

The final examination for quant lab is tomorrow, and a quick check of the syllabus—meant to provide reassurance that a grade less than stellar might not sabotage the semester’s work—rather instilled fright, as I found a note about sizable grade deductions for “frequent demonstrations of being lost”.  As I spent much of every lab period wandering round the lab—with a graduated cylinder; looking for reagents; finding pieces of glassware that my black hole of a drawer always seemed to consume; running away from the electrodes; staring at the spectrophotometer in confusion; seeking the instructor to ask why my solutions resembled mud once again—this is grave news.

Of course, I could actually do well on the exam, which may involve simply quoting my analytical chemistry book for the class.  Its aphorisms include the following:

“Silver ion titrations are nice.”  The author of the book exhibits excitement about such activities, but I would say it in the same tone of voice used to respond to someone I meet who gushes about a societal inanity.

“Rather than solving the equation, we hope and pray.”  This is the manner in which I approach everything in physics, as well, so it is a versatile philosophy.

Bromocresol green, a rare hipster toothpaste. You probably haven't heard of it.

Bromocresol green, a common hipster toothpaste.

NB Quotation marks.


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