Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Chemists are Weird. Like Engineers only WORSE.

Our professor is sweet. A little off, her humor is, but that's ok. Our TA for Chem. Lab is also sweet but he's from India and I understand 1 in 5 words he says. Which is ok because Damm can understand him so I just wait til he's done speaking and then ask what it is I'm supposed to know.

Last night we found out the density of Unknown Substance "B." Actually, in the midst of the lab I had no clue why we were doing these painstaking experiments but I was tired and I planned on asking later. Damm did a wonderful job of explaining volume, mass, and density in terms of something I could understand: M&M's. If you have another way of explaining it that involves items such as spaghetti, chocolate, Oreo's, please feel free to share it with me. I'm still trying to conceptualize it.

Also last night we concluded that Engineers don't really care how something works, they just want to know if it will work. Historians want to know all about the events/people/etc. that made that discovery possible and the repercussions of it, and Chemists ..... Chemists are like the Ents. In LOTR. They take a really long time to say things, i.e. discover them, but (to give them their due) when they do speak it is worthwhile. But they drive everyone nutso in the process.

Unfortunately my brain is totally capable of grasping the way Chemists like to do things (because history is also about the details and hypothesis) so I have no excuse ... I can get an A in this class. Which means I have to try and get an A in this class. Which means I have a ton of work ahead of me ... But wow. I now understand how most people feel when I start talking animatedly about what I read in my history textbook THAT WAS SUPER AWESOME AND AMAZING. And that is "Wow, I'm glad you're excited but I totally have no interest in that and I don't need to know. And FYI, you're weird."

Final thought on Chem. Lab: It was totally awesome to be surrounded by test tubes and glass stirring sticks and when I pretended that my sink was a cauldron, I was totally Hermoine Granger and Snape was about to say something sarcastic.

1 comment:

klaki said...

"Also last night we concluded that Engineers don't really care how something works, they just want to know if it will work."

Being an engineer myself, I can tell you how wrong that statement is. Engineers love to tear things apart just to see how it worked. Most of the classes I took was were about how things worked on a smaller scale.

Chemistry is fun. I'm sure you'll have lots of fun in lab seeing all sorts of cool stuff when they interact. Just don't blow up the place :)