Thursday, November 20, 2014

More Lab Shenanigans

So of course the last organic chemistry lab has to be more eventful. Because it's the last lab.

First of all, our TA tells us it's going to be "by far" the longest lab. Why? Why? would they make the last lab the longest? That's just a bad idea right there.

At least our quiz wasn't bad. If I had been studying instead of on Twitter right before it I could have made a 100%.

So we get into lab and at first it's uneventful. We're supposed to work by ourselves but since we had a group lab we got spoiled and have worked in groups since. Working with someone always makes the lab better.

The first incident (yes, of many) happened after we let the solution reflux (see picture below) for 30 minutes. One of my lab partners didn't know the water was still on when she disconnected the top (water out) hose. Water. Went. Everywhere. Including soaking my lab book. It was hysterical. That's the sort of thing that's only funny when you're in a group and another group sees. It's not all that funny when you're not in a group because it's happening to you. But in a group when another group sees? The other group cracks up. And then you realize how funny it is. So then you laugh too. And that's why working in groups is awesome.

Sounds sort of like what happened last year, right?

The next incident was probably the best. The group next to mine had just mixed ether into their solution (product is CO2), when they turned their separatory funnel (it's like a big glass tube that you mix stuff in and then can take layers out of the bottom with) upside down. Now, when you first add the stuff together you have to vent the funnel A LOT. Because the product is CO2. So, when they turned their funnel upside down enough CO2 was in the bottle to either break it or have the cap explode off. Luckily, it did not break. But the girl holding it got covered in solution. And the rest of her lab partners too. The best part about this one is that I just stood and watched. I watched them add the solutions together. Watched as she immediately turned the funnel upside down. Watched as substance came, no, exploded out and went everywhere. The TA happened to be walking behind them while we were staring at the aftermath. She stopped and stared. No one said anything. We just looked at the toxic substance covering the girl and the floor. It was like the world had hit a pause button. It was dead silent. Then, suddenly, everyone came back to life. I helped grab paper towels and left them to clean up the mess.

The final incident happened while I was writing up my lab report. I heard a crash. I turned around and our product was on the floor. Of course it was. Along with a (not broken!) glass flask. I still had my gloves on so I went to clean it up. Because I'm awesome. I pick up the flask and say "AHH that's hot!!" And almost drop it. But. Because I'm awesome. I managed to make it to the lab bench before letting it hit the ground again. My lab partners looked at me like "no shit it's hot," when I realized what must have happened. One of my lab partners must have picked up the flask right out of the variac (heating device... they don't want us using flames. I see why now.) and dropped it because it was hot. Our TA didn't really notice our screw up. So we didn't really point it out to her.

But the thing that phased us the most in lab? Finding out we only had to go to step 8. After we were on step 10. Finding out that the only number we needed was the initial amount of product given. The amount they told us to use. All that work, and to finish the lab we literally just needed to copy down how many grams it said to use. Sigh.

But. I have a 98 in lab right now. So, I guess that's the important thing.
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