Wednesday, June 22, 2011

In my new lab we are all required to use the same notebooks. Here I've snapped a photo and highlighted my favorite part:
In case you can't read it, it says: "USE YOUR IMAGINATION". Which apparently is a trademarked phrase. I'm all for it, I think it's a great slogan, but then I open the thing up and it looks like this:
...and my imagination takes me right back to undergraduate chemistry lab. In case you didn't take chemistry in college and you don't know what it's like, picture a really old building (but not the cool kind of old) with large yellow stains all over the linoleum floors that look like they've been there since the dawn of time. It smells a like a mixture of acetone (fingernail polish remover, I think) and mold, and everything you touch is sticky. You get paired up with someone who doesn't speak English and spends most of the two-hour purgatory texting. You trudge through the protocol--it feels like trying to stay awake at 6:00 am after an all-nighter. In the end you're evaporating or weighing something when your partner awakens from his/her cell phone trance just long enough to spill your project all over the crusty floor, which miraculously manages to absorb the spilled liquid. You call over the slightly bilingual TA (who always manages to find some way of taking points off your assignments) who says, "you must repeat." Isn't using your imagination fun?


  1. All those lines and squares shut my imagination right down. All I want to do on that paper is doodle in my name or a pattern or something.

  2. That kind of notebook reminds me of high school chemistry with Doug Tate. If only I'd known that imagination is a component, maybe I would have done better in the class. I think I'd rather look at the picture of the snake.