As a biochemistry and genetics major, I have at least one lab every semester. I will be working in a lab this summer. I will continue to be in labs in pharmacy school. I will be working in a lab once I’m a practicing pharmacist.
But I have terrible lab skills. I am hoping to change that this summer, but I am by nature a messy person. I spill a lot. Last lab I spilt concentrated sulfuric acid all over my lulu pants. They are now full of holes. I also drug the sleeve of my tridelta spirit jersey through the spill and that is ruined. There a hole in another one of my tshirts that is definitely an acid burn but I’m not sure when it happened. Basically, I’m a mess.
I know part of the messy thing is that I really don’t care. The quality of my product is such a small amount of my grade that it’s easier to just do what I want than to stress over it. I could do every detail correct and still get a low percent yield, so I might as well have fun while I’m at it.
Chemistry lab is more about luck than good technique. My partner has great technique, but her stuff never works. I have terrible technique, but mine normally does what its suppose to do. I never really follow directions… mostly because the reactions are much cooler when you add twenty drops of acid instead of ten drops of acid. I do what I want and I spill a lot but my products normally turn out okay. I have yet to make a mistake bad enough to mess up an entire lab. I literally spilt my Grignard reagent all over the counter but my reaction was one of four in the entire lab the proceeded without the use of a sonicator. I don’t know what the deal is, but my shit always seems to sort itself out.
We just did a lab where we turned unpleasant smelling carboxylic acid derivatives into super fruity, sweet smelling esters. It was the best lab this year by far. I swear if I drank the test tube, it would’ve tasted like I had eaten a pineapple. Obviously I didn’t drink it, but I was tempted. They tell you to waft the air towards your nose, but I was so close to snorting that stuff.
You wanna know something that’s really annoying right now? Hobby Lobby. I shop there almost exclusively for my craft supplies because I love it. It makes me think of Jenna and all of the good times we had last summer when we were crafting for our littles. Anyways, I’m pissed at them right now because they have graduated cylinders and Erlenmeyer flasks on sale. It’s a chemistry nerd’s dream right? WRONG. They freaking labeled them wrong. They are very large flasks, like about the height of a notebook, and they are labeled 250mL. Milliliters!!! A 250mL Erlenmeyer flask should be no bigger than my hand. The ones at the store are at least a liter, if not more. I loved the idea of the chemistry glassware, but for goodness sake, was it too hard to put a remotely correct label on them?? I am incredibly offended that anyone would produce such a poorly made product, especially Hobby Lobby.
Anyways, I’m just your typical science nerd that kinda sucks at being a science nerd. I do enjoy working with chemicals, so we will see what happens after my summer in a research lab. This summer is going to bring some big changes and I’m excited to see how I change with them.
For now, I will try not to burn myself with too much acid.
Please enjoy pictures of a few of the clothing items that have been lost to chemical spills in lab.