You really want funny stories? How many do you want before you
can’t stand it any longer?
My senior year in HS, I took chemistry for the first time. I missed
one of the experiments. I had to do it once I got back to class.
That meant during study hall and no real input from our chemistry
teacher who thought girls should never be allowed out of the home ec.
room. I bet you can almost detect the disaster coming. We had to
melt crystals in a crucible and measure the melting temp of the
stuff. I did that with no problems. BUT I had to clean this little
tiny and I mean about an 1/8th of an ounce crucible. I went up to
said teacher and waited patiently at first to ask him a question as
to how to clean the darn thing. When he finally turned his head in
my direction, I quickly asked if I should just remelt the crystals
and pour them out on a paper towel then throw the crystals away.
Maybe you can see the disaster growing? I spent the next 10 minutes
carefully heating the crucible to red hot again and proceeded to
pour the contents out on top of a pile of paper towels on top of a
wooded counter that was right next to the gas outlet and the melt
able gas hose going to the Bunsen burner. Yep the paper towels burst
into immediate large, I mean towering burst of flames. I was
surprised. I quickly grabbed the tongs and pushed the mess into the
center water trough that ran the length of the chemistry stations.
It was out before it caused anyone else to even scream. While I was
looking at the charred spot on top of the counter the teacher came
I hope you can see more disaster about to happen. I turned towards
him thinking I was going to get yelled at. Instead the guy grabbed
me by my lab coat and with his other hand slapped me so hard I flew
backwards hitting the wall. I was young back then. I didn’t do like
I do today and would have beat the ever living poop out of him.
Instead I ran to the girls bathroom and locked myself in.
The guidance counselor talked me out of the bathroom a while later.
They promised me the teacher would never hit me again.
Fast forward a few weeks. Chemistry class again. Another
experiment. Same teacher. This time we were warned not to let the
chemicals boil or it would become unstable and possibly explode.
Well part way through heating the chemicals into a liquid state, the
teacher told us all to listen up. I kept watching my beaker. He
yelled at me to look at him while he was talking. So like everyone
else in class, I forgot about the beaker and looked at the teacher,
while he went on a rant about proper safety measures. When I snuck a
quick look at the beaker, it was rapidly boiling like most everyone
Else’s was as well. Being the nice shy quiet kid I was, I screamed
out “shit!”, grabbed the tongs and held the beaker out the closest
open window. It did indeed explode. What was worse, it was right
above the principals office. The bang must have alerted him because
as the black acrid cloud went wafting downward, he stuck his head out
his window to get a nice face full of the burnt residue.
Disaster came running at me. The teacher got as far as three feet
from me. I panicked again. This time I defended myself. I pointed
the blackened and bent tongs at him like a knife. I shouted this
time, which I never did back then. I warned him if he hit me again,
I would just have to repeat chemistry and he would never be rid of me
until I got an A.
Long story short, I was given my A so long as I promised never to
take chemistry again. I kept that promise until I was 34 and
enrolled in college chemistry at the U of A. Funny that time I
earned and A in Honors Chemistry. All the talk of recycling
crucibles made me think of this. Some times it just isn’t worth the
effort to clean the darn things up.
Aggie, The Chem wizard.
If you want more, I have volumes of tales to tell. I make the “I
Love Lucy Show” look boring. II just wanted to live a nice quiet
normal everyday existence. Someday I might even get what i want.