Wednesday, December 21, 2011


I never - ever - ever do the sodium demo.  I tell the lab tech not to put it out.  There are too many illiterate bottle grabbers in there, and part of the lab of interest has them adding various sodium salts to water.  I don't want sodium metal anywhere near these idiots, not even for a demo.  I tell them "We're not doing the demo, and skip parts 3, F, and III."  I say it out loud during pre-lab lecture that day.  I write it on the board in the pre-lab lecture room.  I write it on the board in the lab.  I write it on a sign on the reagent table.

A full SEVEN out of 24 students have turned in their data sheets with observations for those parts of the experiments completed.

PS:  Don't copy from people with bad handwriting.  If we talk about "chemical" changes and "physical" changes, and you copy "chemical" from Kelly Keener, whose handwriting sucks, I might not ever know.  But if you write down "decimal changes", and you let Crybaby Carry copy from you, and she too writes down "decimal changes", and by the end of the day, I'm grading four assignments that attribute the color change to a "decimal reaction".... I KNOW YOU'RE FUCKING CHEATING!!!!!!!


  1. These are the different kinds of bacterial cells. You will never see this particular one and you certainly won't culture it, so please don't write your paper on this and say you did. Didn't have 7, but I have a few every semester.
    When you confronted them did they say they, "worked together?" I love that one.
    Maybe you should let them blow themselves up.

  2. 6.0221×10^23 fucking liars.
    fail them all.

  3. My own batch of morons can't help themselves from pulling the emergency shower because they didn't believe it would pour out so much water. There is no way in hell that I'm giving them anything more dangerous than water with food coloring.

  4. Mine have never pulled the chemical shower, but I did have one operate the eyewash station. I found out when he told me, "Hey, your sink doesn't work. It's just flowing all over the floor."

    If I can leave the room first, maybe I'll give them a nice chunk of sodium metal to play with.

  5. "6.0221×10^23 fucking liars.
    fail them all."

    No, shoot them.
    With a Mauser Bolo. 7.63mm.
    Point-blank range.

  6. Wombat, I am so there. As a character on TV put it the other day, I am not just 'there', I am Downtown-Grand-Central-Station There. Never mind that there are such an infinite number of ways to garble the material that two identically garbled lab reports have a less than one in 6.0221×10^23 chance of occurring by chance. No, they had to submit copies with each other's NAMES on them.

    If anybody actually hires these guys to work in Applied Hamster Husbandry, I'm calling the SPCA.

  7. Magnesium + water equals fireball, right? Ruby, I think I see a solution to your eyewash station problem next time it occurs.....

  8. No, just decided to be creepy for the hell of it.

    People are afraid I'm mellowing out.

  9. You need a fresh approach to lab work -- a Darwin approach. Give the students all kinds of interesting chemicals -- arsenic, fluorhydric acid, uranium, spam -- and have them play with those. It'll cut on your grading too.

  10. Wicked Walter never did answer my question: What does he do about students who lie, when he asks them whether they've read the lab instructions? Letting them get started and have Darwin sort them out sounds like fun, but it could take me out, too.


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