Not The Way You Traditionally Drop Acid

, , , | Learning | June 16, 2017

(I am getting my degree in biochemistry and taking a lab course. One of the labs is to ‘digest’ leafy greens to determine the metal content. The greens are digested by boiling them in concentrated nitric acid. Somehow I forget you aren’t supposed to pipette an acid, and while trying to measure the nitric acid, the bulb slips. I feel one drop hit my skin and it starts to burn, so I stick my arm under running water.)

Professor: “Spilled acid on yourself?”

Me: “Yeah.”

Professor: “Nitric acid burns tend to turn orange, so don’t be alarmed if that happens.”

(I was very disappointed; my acid burn didn’t turn orange.)

That Joke Doesn’t Have A Leg To Stand On

, , , , , | Learning | June 14, 2017

(It’s right after winter break, and I’m chatting with my lab manager, my research professor, and one of the new hires. My research professor is paraplegic; I know it happened the summer he was 19, but he doesn’t talk about it much. I’m describing going skiing with my boyfriend.)

Me: “…he couldn’t get more than ten feet without falling down, even on perfectly level ground, never mind on the hills. I was honestly kind of scared he was going to break a bone or something; ski accidents can get ugly.”

Research Professor: *totally deadpan, and gesturing at his wheelchair* “I know, right?”

(The lab manager and I started cracking up, while the new hire looked horrified. My research professor lasted about thirty seconds before he broke and started cracking up, too. One of many reasons he is my favorite professor ever!)

You’ll Be The Prints-able One Day

, , , , , | Learning | June 12, 2017

(As part of our degree program we are required to go on a total of three placements, the first of which must be in a school. For my first placement I am put in a grade seven classroom. The kids have just started learning how to use a computer program that allows them to make bridges. In addition to there being a placement student (me) in the class, there is also an EA. This woman is crazy. She is seriously always two seconds away from being raging pissed. The students fear this woman; they find her hilarious, but are respectful. The students are assigned to use this pretty neat bridge building program to make a bridge that follows certain criteria. If they are able to successfully create said bridge, they are to print it out and hand it in and head outside. All is going well with the world, until this one kid, that is. Obviously, despite knowing how to use computers, he was never taught the proper etiquette. By that, I mean if your document doesn’t come out the first time you click print, don’t just keep clicking it fifty million times. However, he doesn’t know this. Not until the EA from hell goes over to the printer to see why it is going nuts.)


(I notice the student responsible as his face turns the colour of snow and I’m pretty sure I can see the sweat drops from where I stand. I discreetly slink over, hands in pockets, and without making eye contact drop a little advice.)

Me: “So for future notice, if it doesn’t print the first time, just give it a minute, all right?”

Kid: “Uh… yeah… um…” *sweats*

Me: “I would suggest slowly making your way outside now and uh… don’t make any sudden moves.”

Kid: “But my… ?”

Me: *smiles* “Unless you want to go fetch it yourself, I’d suggest leaving it to me.”

(The kid then walked out of class like he was miming a burglar from an old black and white film. I then went up to the EA, who was so pissed at this point that she was spitting all over the place, pretended I had no clue who would do such a thing, snuck one of the fifty sheets, put the kid’s name on it, and slipped it into the middle of the pile. I’m pretty sure it was this incident that made me suddenly become this kid’s hero. And I can assure you this kid never clicked that print button more than once. In fact, I think he was afraid of the printer for a while.)

Massive Conversational Fail

, , , , | Learning | June 12, 2017

(I’m a mature science student in my first year of university. When it comes to choosing optional modules for the second year:)

Me: “…so, I’d like to take the optional history module, assuming I don’t massively fail the exam coming up for this semester’s optional history module.”

Adviser: “Don’t worry. When have you massively failed at anything?”

Me: “Well, when I was fifteen, doing GCSEs. That’s why I’m ten years older than everyone else here.”

Driving Home The Kindness One Quarter At A Time

, , , , | Hopeless | June 11, 2017

(I’m a student, newly living on my own, and money is very, very tight. After work one night, I’ve gone to visit a couple of friends in their new apartment. It’s about one am when I’m heading home, and very cold, so I decide to take the bus instead of walking, even though I can’t easily afford it. The bus pulls up and I get on, and I’m putting in quarters as I chat with the driver. After a few minutes of pleasant back-and-forth, I glance down at the paybox.)

Me: “Rats. I wasn’t keeping track of how much I put in. Probably about 75 cents to a dollar. Let me dig out another dollar…”

Bus Driver: “You know what? It’s late; it’s cold; it’s close enough. Go take a seat, and have a great night!”

Me: “Really? Thanks!”

(It was only a dollar or so, but it meant I could do laundry that week instead of waiting another week, and the thought was greatly appreciated. I made sure to thank him and wish him a good night as I got off!)

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