Perhaps Volcanology

Mar 11 2013 Published by under Uncategorized

Though I've wanted to be a scientist since I can remember I never really leaned towards one area or another. Physics? Marine Biology? Whatever, they were all good when I was a kid. There have been moments that  pushed me towards or away different areas. Here's one of them, slightly misremembered for humor's sake.

10th grade Chemistry. I am doing pretty well. I like chemistry. Perhaps those two are related. It makes more sense than last year's biology had. We're having a long day with a lab at the end of lecture. The goal of lab is some simple titration or something. At the end the liquid should suddenly change color. I sit at my lab bench and slowly go through the steps. Step 1..Step 2..Step 3..Step 4. Nothing. Not a big deal, things often don't work on the first try. I go over it again but slower. Step 1...Step2...Step3....Step 4. Again, nothing.

*rases hand*
"It won't work Dr.Oct"
"ok start again at the beginning. What's first?"
"Meausure out 50ml."
"ok go ahead"
*measures*
"Ok got it"
"Wait. Is that 50 ml?"
"Yes"
"Is it?"
"Yes"
*looks closer. thinks about the meniscus*
"It's about 50"
"about 50?"
"well, I mean, maybe it's 50.1"
"..."
"The reaction won't work if it's 50.1?"
"Nope."

That's when I knew I was done with chemistry.

4 responses so far

  • Jim Thomerson says:

    In about 1955, I attended a seminar by Professor Fred Bullard, at the University of Texas. He spoke and showed movies about one of the Mexican volcanoes. I particularly remember the picture going out of focus as the camera lens was etched by hydrofluoric acid. That convinced me not to be come a vulcanologist.

  • Kelley Smith says:

    The exactness of Chemistry is what attracts me to it. The world is so subjective; it's nice to know that some things are based on facts.

    • Bashir says:

      To me it was the nearest point to math in terms of making sense on paper. I was just horrible at labs. Great at balancing equations, bad at actually doing things.

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