Saturday, February 24, 2007

You Don't Want to Drown Them...

Yet another quote from my Organic Chemistry Lab professor has emerged! This week we did an experiment called Qualitative Analysis. This is different from our normal experiments, since we are not actually collecting numerical data (yield, weight, melting points, etc.). We simply reacted compounds with testing reagents and recorded our observations. The testing reagents react with the known compounds and create colorful solutions or solids that precipitate out, due to the makeup of the compound. For example, one reagent may be used to test if a product has OH groups (alcohols, carboxylic acids) or if there are double bonds (C=C). It's actually very interesting, and some beautiful colors can be seen in some of the reactions.

This quote comes into play when we were discussing how to set up the experiment. She wanted us to use our "baby test tubes," which only hold about five milliliters of liquid. For parts of the experiment, we had to set up a water bath with hot or boiling water, and for that you need a beaker. Some of my classmates took out 250- or even 400-mL beakers to put the so-called "baby test tubes" in, and she about had a conniption. She then said, "Take our your 100-mL beakers to put your baby test tubes in; you don't want to drown them!" She of course was referring to the fact that we didn't want our baby test tubes to be under water, since that would ruin the mixtures. Still, it was quite funny that she phrased it that way!

Next week is my last week of classes before Spring Break (Yay!). I have a test and homework due in Organic Chemistry, a paper in English, a test and homework due in Statistics, a paper and a test in Psychology, and two three lab reports due in Chemistry Lab. That's a full week, isn't it? But I will be glad once it's over, since we haven't had a real break since we came back from Christmas. (Unless, of course, you count my two snow days.) As for me, I think I will go out for a walk, since it has been a tad bit warmer lately around here. I hope everyone has a great weekend, and I will try to post once more before I leave for break.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Done with Snow...For Now

In my last post, I mentioned that it was snowing as I was writing, and I had taken pictures of the ice on the trees. I also stated that it was unlikely that the University would be closed again. Well, I was wrong! The University was closed again on Wednesday, which meant classes were cancelled and offices were closed. This was truly unexpected, since we hardly ever get a single snow day, let alone two in a row! So I spent my two days off catching up on my rest (I was and still am sick, so that helped tremendously) and doing some homework. Now it seems that most of my classes are being pushed back one class due to missing Tuesday and Wednesday, which may or may not be a good thing. We might have to make up for that later on, but I still think it was worth it.

In non-snow news, we are starting to really get into the bulk of all my classes. This week, I have my first Cell Biology test, my first Psychology test, a quiz in Statistics, and other smaller assignments. Coming up, I will have an English paper and a Chemistry test, among other quizzes and smaller assignments. We just finished reading A Midsummer Night's Dream in English, and had our test last week; now we are reading Nathaniel Hawthorne's House of Seven Gables and the aforementioned paper will be a comparison of the two works. Then, coming up in Chemistry Lab, we will be doing qualitative analysis, in which we perform tests on known chemicals and then must identify an unknown chemical. So, there's lots of fun stuff coming up, and I should be busy busy busy...

Other than that, there's not much else to report. We did have some more snow this weekend (mostly yesterday morning and afternoon) but it amounted to only an inch or so. I have determined that I am done with cold and snowy weather and am requesting some milder spring weather. So, if any of my readers out there have influence (or can at least put in a good word), I would be most appreciative. Until next time, enjoy your weekend, and beware the deadly peanut butter...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Ice Storm!

The snow that we had been promised this time around seems to be falling mostly as rain, or at least it has been this afternoon. This is mostly because the temperatures have been above freezing all day, but that is about to change. Right now we are hovering at around 31-32 degrees, and that rain is quickly starting to turn to ice. That makes for some beautiful scenes as the rain turns to ice, especially on the trees. So, as I was coming back from dinner, I got out my camera and took a few pictures. They aren't the best since it was dark, but you can still see the beauty.

I have heard that we should be getting some more snow starting tonight, and that accumulations could be an additional 1-3 inches. I'm not anticipating the university to be closed again, but anything can happen. You can be assured that I will post if this does occur. Enjoy!

Oh, It's a SNOW DAY!!!

Despite doubts that I had last night, the University is CLOSED today! I found this out at 7:45 this morning when I woke up to my alarm, so what did I do? I went back to sleep of course! As of right now, we probably only got about 2-3 inches of snow, but it has been raining/sleeting this afternoon, so most accumulations are minimal at this time. But they are expecting the snow to start up again tonight, so maybe in the end we will have 5-6 inches of total snowfall.

As of this moment, I don't intend to go out and play (it is raining, after all) but who knows? The spirit of the snow day might overtake me when the snow starts up again! If that does happen, I might take some more pictures to share with y'all. But until then, I'm enjoying my day off...

Monday, February 12, 2007

Another Snow Update and Other Stuff

Many of you (except for maybe my grandfather) may be disappointed to hear that I did not get a day off from the recent snow storm. As I think I already mentioned, they cancelled classes for that night, but that was it for cancellations. Wednesday was a regular day for everyone (unless you were a non-college student, in which case all the other schools in the area were closed), and I could see some very disappointed faces Wednesday morning. However, all is not lost!

I have been following the weather forecasts (usually on the nightly news) and they are again predicting a significant storm moving in late tonight into tomorrow. They are calling for approximately 3-6 inches here in the Cincinnati metro area, with 6-10 inches just north of here. This storm will apparently start out as rain, sleet, and freezing rain (temperatures will be above 32 degrees Fahrenheit) and finish off with snow all night and all day tomorrow. I am planning on going to class tomorrow and Wednesday, so I choose not to be disappointed this time around. However, there will always be that hope in the back of my mind...

In other news, the testing season is now underway in many of my classes, and today I got back a Statistics test that I took on Friday. I earned a 53/60 (88%), which I believe translates into a B+. I missed a couple of points on a few questions, but other than that did very well. One question that I was kicking myself over was one about finding a standard deviation by hand. She wanted us to show the process (formula, etc.) without using the calculator, and I had vaguely remembered the formula. The formula is:

standard deviation = sum(value - mean)^2 divided by # values - 1

However, when I was in the middle of the test, I was running out of time and forgot what to divide by, so I divided by the mean instead. So, I lost a point or two for that question, but all in all, I did well. Since I got at least partial credit on every question (only losing a point on a couple questions) this means that I have grasped most of the concepts well, and just need to review minor details.

Well, I think it's time for a short nap. I shall once again update everyone on the impending snow and the events that follow. Have a great week!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Pictures of SNOW!!!


Yes, that's right, it's snowing here in Cincinnati! The latest reports show that we will have between 3-5 inches, and possibly as much as 6 inches! This is pretty much the first major snow of the season here, so I am quite excited, especially about the prospects of class cancellations... They have already cancelled all night classes due to the roads (even the Interstates are icing over), and with temperatures in the teens all day and night, there is a great possibility of cancellations tomorrow! Of course, I will update everyone, and post pictures later, especially for all my friends in the South! Let it snow!