Saturday, December 20, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
"So, they tell me you're a killer base" I said.
"I live to steal from carbons..." he paused, then shook a hydrogen at me for effect.
"Look, we're about to go into court. I think its about time you understand that I'm going to be arguing your case in front of a room full of high-class carbons, I think there may even be some terminal alkynes in there...
What you need to understand is that the trial lawyer is a strongly acidic chap. While it may be tempting for you to bite for any hydrogen he puts under your nose, you are going to have to hold back so that I can have time to get in and kick off one of their leaving groups. Just hold your sodium, and we'll be fine!"
We took the next current into the courtroom. There, the Hon. Judge Krypton sat apart from the rather unkempt jury of water molecules who had so far been frustrated in their attempts to sit still.
My client came in under a heavy guard of sacrificial hydrogen ions, in case he decided to do anything drastic. Just as the court was starting proceedings, one of the younger water molecules in the jury hollered:
"It's too hot in here! I can't sit still!"
Judge Krypton ordered a massive nonane with a terminal oxoanion to come and H- bond with one of the disgruntled water molecule's hydrogens. After that, the courtroom came to order.
The judge briefly summarized the case, repeating only the barest facts for the enjoyment of the packed auditorium. Agent NaNH2 had been accused of disrupting the integrity of a massive carbon molecule by systematically deprotenating the carbon chain.
The case really hinged on whether Agent NaNH2 had been present in sufficient molarity at the alleged time and location of the incident. The prosecution cut quickly in this direction by attempting to produce a reprobate young pH indicator to corroborate the assertion. I countered by arguing that despite the evident neutrality of this hearing, the witness was blushing a bright pink, which demonstrated that he wasn't really a reliable indicator at all.
This objection was upheld by the judge, and the prosecutor was forced to change his tack. Suddenly, one of the bejewelled cyclohexanes in the audience swooned. I suppose they have neither the sense nor the stability of their relatives the benzenes.
Presently, an elderly and eloquent gentlechem stood up. He was known fondly in the community as LDA, but few of us knew if his reputation for forming amicable alkenes (across primary, secondary, and tertiary boundaries) in the community was commensurate with the appropriation of that grandiose identity.
"My dear Chems. Whether ye be reactive or inert, chiral or meso, s or p, or potentially come from an ozmolyzed family... do ye not think Markovnikov's rule a most despicable and shameless piece of fraudery ever yet or hereunto hither produced?"
This catalyzed a clash between the young leftist radicals who subscribed to the oxymercuration-reduction philosophs, and the older Boranes who were still quite opposed to the brewing thoughts of carbocation stability.
Judge Krypton, sitting impassive and inert, hurled a desperate young hydrogen in the direction of the hubub, which quickly silenced all contentions.
"It comes into my mind that our good friend the elder cyclopropane is enduring significant strain at the moment, and that a break would be in order." Judge Krypton now squeaked in an unusally high and insistent voice.
I wished, as I got up to turn off my alarm clock, that I could somehow have joined the elderchem cyclopropyl in his search for relief... neck-strain isn't the only kind of stress we share.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
This is a blog that describes my classes, which comprise roughly 16.45 % of my 24 hour / 5 day academic week. That figure is a distillation; to varying degrees, every college student lives in the classroom. βίος is greek for Bios, or literally, life. I am a Biology major.
"I will shave my head if every one of you gets these Lewis - Acid questions right on this test!" We laughed, but every one of us knew Dr. Barnhurst was serious.
Dr. Barnhurst is in his mid-thirties, by far the youngest professor in the third floor of Hickman science center. This floor has a reputation for professors who are cerebral and organized; above all, they are chemists. Dr. Barnhurst lives up to this reputation, and like all the other professors, adds his own unmistakeable flavor.
Within the first days of class, I was convinced that Dr. Barnhurst would do anything within his ability to help his students do well. I will never forget seeing him doing pushups alongside a student for an illustration (in class). His ability to communicate the material for this class is 100% talent, 100% sheer frenetic energy, and 100% effective. I'm still convinced.
Life and Teachings:
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday: 12:00 - 12:50 P.M. Dr. Parker is from Zimbabwe, and his classic accent sets him apart in collegdale, TN. But it's not just the accent. I have come to admire Dr. Parker as a man with an exceptional ability to moderate discussions, as an incredibly deep thinker, as a genuine disciple -- talking about his master. I couldn't leave this class without mentioning my excellent seatmates in front row right, Tim Taylor, Shama Eller, and Allana Westermeyer. Dr Parker told me the other day that they had attempted to stall a class quiz on account of my being late from a Genetics exam. Thanks guys! (Dr. Parker let me take the quiz after class).
Besides being required for the maintenance of my music scholarship, this "course" is pure stress-relief. Mrs. Minner, our conducter, makes our 75 minute rehearsels fun with a combination of inspired wit and a genuine understanding for how to make a group of inexperienced musicians play as an orchestra.
Joe Smart: "Yeah, I'm pre-med, and I'm planning to get an A++ in this class." It was a phrase that was starting to sound like a refrain. We were in our first genetics lab, and Dr. Azevedo had asked us to introduce ourselves (with hoped-for grade) as an ice-breaker. The atmosphere inside the laboratory was chummy, but contained an undeniable edge: we were all sizing each other up, and above all, trying to size up the teacher who we'd heard so much about... Dr. Azevedo.
For a class made up primarily of pre-med and pre-dent students, the first test average (67%) was hard to swallow. It was time to wake up to Biology-311.
Dr. Azevedo is, without doubt, one of the 5 smartest people I know. Her ability to take an extremely convoluted question, reduce it to its most constructive form, and then answer it clearly is nonpareil.
Dr. Azevedo is my favorite teacher of the semester. After all, she wears crocs. Incessantly.
Dr. "Art" Richert, chair of the mathmatics department at Southern, stood with arms folded looking intently at the blackboard. We were half-way through a class period that was dedicated to proving various trigonometric identities. Chalk poised restlessly in his fingertips, Dr. Richert maintained his silent vigil for a full five minutes. At last, he carefully placed the chalk back in the tray, and brushing his hands together, he said: "that is a beautiful thing." Dr. Richert had just made one of the most compelling arguments in favor of mathmatics: fully understood, it is beautiful.
To describe my classes, I have described my teachers.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Moments: Andrew Fisher / John Howe : Climbing
1) Singing Rutter's Choral works in the van. Enthusiasm is an effective substitute for aesthetic quality.
2) Relishing the chance to burn stress in cheerful physical concentration.
3) Comparing "ouches" after a bungled climb.
4) Laughing when our hands were to tired to undo knots that we had fallen on 3-4 times.
5) Sitting on our bouldering pad thinking about pie.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Angle A is 14 degrees.
And that Angle D is 34 degrees.
And that the cumulative length of the base of the triangles X and Y is 30 feet,
Find the lengths of the bases (i.e. the relative lengths of the constituent parts of 30) for the triangles X and Y.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
Sleep: 35.0% -- Avg. 8 hours, 24 minutes, 10 seconds per night.
In Class: 16.1% -- Avg. 3 hours, 52 minutes, 30 seconds per day.
Study: 13.6% -- Avg. 3 hours, 16 minutes, 20 seconds per day.
Exercise: 6.9% -- Avg. 1 hour, 38 minutes, 40 seconds per day.
Biology TA: 5.0% -- Avg. 1 hour, 12 minutes, 30 seconds per day.
Eating: 3.3% -- Avg. 15 minutes, 40 seconds per meal (assume 3 meals per day).
Devotions: 1.9% -- Avg. 27 minutes, 20 seconds per day.
Cello Practice 1.9% -- Avg. 27 minutes, 30 seconds per day.
Odd Jobs (Cleaning, Organizing, Buying Groceries): 1.1% -- Avg. 15 minutes, 40 seconds per day.
UKCAT prep: 1.0% -- Avg. 14 minutes, 10 seconds per day
Internet: 0.8% -- Avg. 11 minutes, 20 seconds per day.
Gardening: 0.7% -- Avg. 10 minutes per day.
Pretty thorough, huh?
Guess Again: The difference between 144 hrs (total time in 6 days) and my "accounted for" time (125 hrs, 43 min) was 18 hrs and 17 min.
That is 18 hours and 17 minutes in my week that I cannot account for! That averages to 3 hours, 2 minutes, and 50 seconds that I cannot account for in every 24 hours.
"See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil." (Ephesians 5:15-16)
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
The finished splits.
Splits in the mold.
Bottom woven w/ handle.
Then the "weavers".
The finished product.
The basket makers: Dad and myself... I am holding the basket shown above, while Dad holds a basket he made shortly before.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Friday, June 6, 2008
That's a trail-sign. The snow was DEEP.
Me climbing the snowfield. Barry and Petra go the rock route.