May 11th, 2007

PAHs: Working for Better Cancer

Summer Plans... Getting Research Done... Yeah Right

I needed to meet with my advisor earlier this afternoon, but at the time I dropped by his office, he needed to run out for about 15 minutes and asked me to come back so we could talk then. Since my office is two buildings away (about a 5 minute walk one way), I figured I'd go and talk to the Assistant Chair of the department who is responsible for figuring out who is and is not on TA assignments for the fall, spring and summer semesters.

I stopped by his office and he was available to talk. I told him I assumed that since we've heard no word about outside funding that my labmate and I naturally would be teaching again this summer (we lost all of our funding last April so we taught all of last summer and both semesters this year). He told me that I was correct in assuming we'd be TAs once again this summer. Nothing special or new about that answer.

What made me laugh and cry internally was this: He said that of the five graduate students he has listed as needing to be on the TA list for the summer, my labmate and I are the only two who honestly need to be on TAs for funding.

Thus out of about 110 students in the department, my labmate and I take the cake for having the poorest advisor. I'm not sure if I should laugh about this.... my cynical nature really wants me to. If anything, this motivates me to get finished with my most current project so that in January, I can start writing my dissertation for a May or August graduation.

Anyone else here going to be stuck teaching and attempting to do research at the same time this summer?
  • Current Mood
    calm Amazingly Calm
PvP Brent Sienna

Tales from Industry issue 38

Scene: The lab manager walks in as I’m cheering while Delphine is looking somewhat indigninent.

Lab Manager: What’s going on?
Me: Delphine owes me a soda.
Delphine: It’s not fair!
Lab Manager: Why does she owe you a soda?
Me: We made a bet over the GC results from the reaction we’re running.
Delphine: It’s not fair.
Lab Manager: Wait, Delphine bet you over GC results?
Me: Yes.
Lab Manager: On a synthesis you developed and very similar to other synthesis that you’ve run literally hundreds of times.
Me: Yes.
Lab Manager: Yeah, that’s not fair.
Delphine: See!
Me: Hey, she agreed to it!
Lab Manager: Don’t fleece the lab assistants.
Me: Hey, the bet was that the synthesis reached 50% conversion in one hour.
Lab Manager: Really? I would’ve thought it was only at 30%, maybe 40% at most.
Me: That’s what she said.
Lab Manager: OK, fine, it was a valid bet. Just don’t do it again.
Me: to DelphineHa!
"Clap on!"

Beakers, exams, and my amazing disappearing compound

Hi! First off, I'd like to thank you for your advice on the moldy beakers. I quietly pulled aside the culprit after class and mentioned them, and she looked pretty embarrassed. It turned out they'd been there since the end of the previous quarter. Most of them are now washed.

This next is more of a class gripe, but it's been bothering me. I figure a good number of you teach classes, though, so I could ask your opinion on the matter:

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And, for good measure, a lab gripe: My organosamarium compound keeps disappearing when I try to recrystallize it. I've tried different solvents, three different kinds of filters... it's recrystallization, not rocket science! This shouldn't be that difficult.