Spring 07 Week 3

Filed Under School Week Journal

Week three came and went like the other weeks-three so far. Inordinately easy in most respects.

Except in my lab. Of course, the TA showed up twenty minutes late for class on Tuesday. This meant no pre-lab quiz. It also meant I was shaking like a leaf by the time we were getting experiment two underway: a liquid-liquid extraction of three unknowns. Part A of the experiment was a determination of a distribution constant between a polar and apolar layer (mTBE and water in this case)… and of course, an hour and ten minutes before the end of class (and literally the last liquid transfer of the experiment) I spill my ether layer. It took me the last hour of class to catch up. Thursday lab was me getting caught up from that mistake, but this time I was UBER careful around the test tubes and vials.

Statistics is starting to get conceptually challenging. Statistical dependence. It’s a big topic, I will not get into it. The TA pulled more hijinx this time too. He announced before class (after I had asked the professor about the partition theorem and how it applies in his class, and he said the TA was “on something”)… he announced that he was going to reexplain the partition theorem since “some people complained to the teacher”. “Some people” being me of course. Look, I know you are a super-smart dude, but give us a break and teach to the professor’s standards. Thanks.


History class finally became more history-like last week. She tried to bring in cubism and meterless poetry into the whole discussion of relativity. Interesting at least. Her lectures are quite good, I have to say. And she is the first professor that I have had who has a Wikipedia page for chrissakes.

More later, midterm this week.

Spring 07 Week Two

Filed Under School Week Journal

I managed to bust out another rad website, this time for the UCSD ACSSA (I am their webmaster). Check it out here.

Monday I was just getting started with my homework (mostly sitting in front of the computer trying to make brain cells work with some coffee) when I got an email from this guy that claimed he was CEO of General Atomics, looking for an intern. Well, it turned out he was CEO of GA Electronic Systems, and I agreed to come in for an interview. So no homework! I took a tour of the plant (they make secret stuff) and interviewed with two of his managers: one in IT and one in R&D. Obviously, I am UBER qualified to work in their IT department, but I was really gunning for the job in R&D. It was fun to interview, regardless. Interviewing is fun.

My lab this week was experiment one: a purification by recrystallization. I really wanted to get it over with Tuesday, as I did not want to come in on Friday to weigh my final extracted solid (it takes overnight to do a complete dessication). I was a ninja (or just stupid lucky) and finished it all up and got it into the dessicator in one session. YAY!

History was mildly interesting. Mostly because my prof was trying to dumb down relativity to the point that a history major could digest it. It was amusing for that.

Statistics… ha. I thought I had chapter one down pat, but then the TA comes in with this problem and starts in: “You have m urns and n baseballs. There are less than or equal number of baseballs to urns. An urn can hold zero or n balls. What is the probability that an urn will contain a ball?” Ok, so my brain hurt already. Any statistics problem with variables in it makes my brain hurt. But then he starts busting out partition theorem nonsense (poorly explained)… and then I just stop listening because I realize that everyone else in the room stopped listening too.

So there.

Yep, I Lived There

Filed Under Us

On my way to school this morning, I noticed that Florida street was all closed off by the police. Check the news, and fo sho’, some numb-nuts’ robbed the adult bookstore on the corner… and ran out the door to a cruiser parked at the light. D’OH! Guess where they fled to? Yep, right to the dead-end street beneath our old apartment on Georgia Street.

Officer Involved Shooting...

(image copyright San Diego Union Tribune… hosted here because hotlinking is a crime)

Yeah, even look there in the upper right corner of that picture. See that little window way up there? THAT was our bedroom window! That dead-end street has quite a history. I called the cops one night after a gang-banger was throwing bottles at random people walking through the lot at the top of the picture. I just had to say “gang banger” to the dispatcher, and ten cruisers and a helicopter were there in three minutes. And then there were all the misguided attempts to dump trash there. Cmon, there are like ten houses with front windows that look right onto that lot. What were you thinking? And of special note, you can actually drive a car up that hill, assuming you have positrack or AWD: the tree at the top can even clear a small pickup. How do I know this? Because there was the time a looser took his truck four-wheeling up that hill. He made it under the tree, BTW.

I know we are not living in the best of neighborhoods now, but thank GOD we were not there then. Four guns, probably over twenty rounds fired.

Spring 07 Week One

Filed Under School Week Journal

I had been working myself up for this quarter, and got little sleep the night before class on Tuesday. This quarter, I am taking Organic Chemistry lab, an engineering level statistics class, and an upper-division history class (to fulfill a Warren College requirement). The lab had been rumored to be a real time-eater, and the statistics class is rumored to be insanely difficult. All of my classes are hammered in on Tuesday and Thursday as well, with the odd section on Wednesday.

Tuesday was uneventful: lab check-out, statistics was just note taking, and the history class was just introductions. After school, Liz picked me up and we all went to John and Cheryl’s for dinner. Yum! Thanks guys!

Wednesday I was a moron and forgot my wallet. This sucked, because I do not bring my lunch, and Liz was at home with horrible morning sickness and was in no shape to bring it to me. Remember also that I bike commute, so not eating is not really an option: I bonk hard in the afternoon. I had a morning lecture, and then pretty much ran lab notebook sales till after lunch. After that, Liz dropped off my wallet (thanks again hon!) and I ate. Etc.

Thursday was 90% about my lab. I had gotten myself all worked up about my safety quiz (which you have to pass in order to take the class). Of course it was easy. We started with a melting point experiment which took pretty much the entire lab period. I managed to score some brownie points with the TA for actually looking up the MSDS info for the chemicals we were testing. Yay. The rest of the day was germane. Really, this quarter is seeming to be all about the lab.

Except for two midterms in my history and math classes, there is nothing else I have to do outside lab reports and weekly quizzes. Yay for lab work!