Thursday, June 5, 2008

light my fire

We had group meeting this week. The Boss said that we have funding through a side project. This lowers the chance that I will be teaching in the fall down to 5%. Instead, I will have to dedicate one day a week to doing lab work that is not related to my thesis. This is a much more productive situation than teaching. Teaching would have taken at least 2 full days a week, and would have emotionally drained me (see obsessions.) I like teaching and I generally like college kids, but teaching does not help me graduate sooner therefore it is less desirable.

The fire alarm went of in the main building. We find out later that someone spilled hexane and thought that the best way to clean it up would be to evaporate it with a blow-torch. This idea was incredibly STUPID because hexane is very flammable and guess what happened: The whole bottle of hexane caught fire, the fire alarm and sprinklers went off, and since our buildings are brilliantly designed without drain systems the sprinklers flooded the floor below and killed someones personal laptop while everyone was outside for the fire alarm.

The story was leaked first and we wondered: Who would be stupid enough to use a blow-torch to clean up hexane? Maybe it was an old research scientist who was so experienced in the lab that he was too cocky to be logical. Maybe it was an REU student (Research Experience for Undergraduates Program) who had never been in a lab before. But we were wrong. It was the first year Token.

Maybe Token isn't cut out for grad school. He was failing his classes but wanted to stay (I found out later) and then he goes and pulls this blow-torch shit. His boss rightly dismissed him from his research assistant position, and now no one knows what will happen to him. I mean grad school sucks for everyone, but Token has had an especially bad year.


Tino said...

Hahaha! Hoo, man. Poor Token.

Anonymous said...

wow, that's like hs chemistry. You kinda learn that the same time you learn the stupidity of trying to neutralize an acid spill with a base.

I suppose though when you start panicking, reason goes out the window.