Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Chem Class and Classy Jazz, Getting Jazzed About the Chemistry of NY!

Today the ball started rolling! I woke up to my alarms (yes, I set more than one) at 7:00 as planned but I lay back down to collect myself and next thing I know, my roommate is waking me up for a class that starts in fifteen minutes! Never making that mistake again. 

I managed to get to the building in time for a lab activity where we charted the cooling curve of glacial acetic acid. A lot of the groups (including ours) had trouble getting the probes working. It was a nice reminder that even at college and higher levels of research, technical difficulties can and will occur! 

After our lab and lunch break, guest speaker Professor Ged Parkin took the time to talk about his work on Bond Stretch Isomerism. He gave a fascinating account of a (false) theory describing non-existent phenomena where the same element of atoms in identical molecules held different bond lengths. He emphasized the point that even the most dedicated professionals have their blind spots and can misinterpret data. 

After the seminar, I took a trip to the Fat Cat Jazz club in Greenwich! After receiving a stylish identifying hand stamp, we played pool and Scrabble as we listened to live Jazz performances. 

On the way back to campus, we stopped at Magnolia, a sweets bakery that officially sells the best cupcakes ever made. Even at three dollars apiece, a few students went back for seconds after devouring their first cupcake! During tonight’s outing, I met an international student from Norway who was surprised and impressed to hear that we had a Norwegian exchange student spend a year learning at El Cerrito High! It’s amazing how global the population is here! 

Whilst eating my cupcake, I was standing in a circle chatting with about ten other people when we realized that everyone (with the exception of myself) was at least bilingual! But while internationality is nice, I grow proud whenever I meet another fellow Californian. Thanks to the ILC as well as independent contributors, California is well represented in this program! Well, tomorrow is going to be another big day, so I’ll log off and get rested.

Jazz club hand stamp

1 comment:

  1. Jamie,

    The problem with alarm clocks is that they merely wake you up. They do little to actually get you out of bed. Like you, whenever I use an alarm it's multiple alarms. I have a radio alarm clock on my nightstand that I set to music for one time and the built in second alarm is set to buzz at a different time (usually I set it for five minutes later).

    If it's important, I also use a mechanical alarm with a big bell on top that sits on the other side of the room where I have to get out of bed to turn it off.

    Still, without discipline I can very easily just fall back into bed and be quite pleased with myself.

    Funny you should mention the Norwegian foreign exchange student. We had one in my senior year, too, back at Kennedy High. I don't suppose it was the same gal.