May 29, 2012

Accident Prone

Accident prone. It's unfortunate that this term describes me so very well.




Sometimes it's my own fault (like the time I caught on fire at a dinner event).


Sometimes it's not.





But nothing quite compares to my experience in Chemistry class.

I'd like to be clear that I had no business taking Chemistry. Despite having an excellent professor, I didn't understand a single thing that was going on all semester (except for redox reactions, which I somehow understood with stunning clarity). In lab, I was the person with whom everyone was afraid to be paired.


In one experiment, we were supposed to perform all kinds of tests on a substance to figure out what it was. Not only were we charged with coming up with the right answer, but it was also made clear that we were not to lose a single nanogram of the stuff in the process. For each unit we lost, the professor subtracted points from our lab grade. Not only did I fail to figure out what the substance was...


...I somehow ended up defying the law of conservation of mass.

The professor didn't quite know what to do with my grade since this was a first.

Later in the semester, I performed my biggest blunder in the lab. I was paired with one of my best friends, Peter. Our instructions were to take each of 5 test tubes containing different chemicals, hold them in the flame of the Bunsen burner one at a time, observe the reactions that occurred, and waft the smoke to smell it. These instructions seemed fairly simple, but there was one really important detail. We were NOT supposed to put the last substance into the flames. We were supposed to put it near the flames, but then immediately remove it from the vicinity of the burner once it began to react.

We forgot all about this last detail.


 I let the sucker burn until it boiled. Thick white smoke billowed out from the small tube. Impressed, I wafted and breathed it in.


 I was also impressed with the burning sensation in my lungs.

I removed the tube from the flames but the white stingy smoke continued to erupt from it. About a minute later, it still hadn't shown any signs of slowing. The room started looking pretty hazy from this toxic fog, and people were starting to cough a little. Meanwhile, I continued to clutch the smoking test tube like a total idiot.

I staggered toward the professor.


She went into go mode. She threw open the windows and yelled for everyone to get up and get out immediately. She also said something about hazardous hydrogen sulfuric acid gas, I don't know.

On the lawn, I watched as chemistry students filed out of the building, coughing and grumbling about interrupted experiments.

That's when I made a big life decision.


Right then and there, I became a psychology major. It was actually a pretty productive semester when you think about it.

7 comments:

amirul mus said...

haha..funny pic bro..you are really into cartoon artwork

Jerry said...

Its 4 AM where I am, I cant sleep and I am trying to be quiet.

Epic fail, my housemates have just been woken up by me in hysterics.

Keep the blog coming.

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