12 July, 2010

Join the Club

Laboratories are cool, especially when there are lots of hazardous chemicals lined up for you for the next experiment. It has become a lot cooler because of the thrill that I now get from it out of all those MSDS I've written - knowing how harmful those reagents may be. Carcinogen. Corrosive. Toxic. Flash fire. Exciting, eh?  You feel a whole new level of laboratory rush – the rush in your blood, the excitement rush, the adrenaline rush...and if you're fearless (and foolish) enough, like me, to handle those chemicals with your bare hands, then there's a 90% chance that you'll be experiencing another rush – rush to the sink and flush your hands with water, DAMMIT!

Yes, last Friday in Chem101.1, my left index finger has been devirginized (lol at the term and the proximity of it to the word ‘finger,’ I’m sorry. lol) with its very first direct contact with a wicked amount of aqueous benzyl chloride (or whatever it is, I’m not exactly sure). It was terribly painful. I literally felt like my finger was burning and I think I’ve read something about a chemical causing burns on every area of contact. Phenol! Ahh! I even blogged about phenol! But no, it must not be phenol because it’s way more dangerous, I suppose. So dear God, please do not let it be phenol and do not give me cancer because I love my life and I still want to spend my future saving the world. No, seriously! Hey, trust me. Oh, dear.

And I’m not the sole casualty of that evil reagent. A few people also [kinda] bragged about their experiences… to me, why not?? “Hey, Ollie! My finger is burning… awwweessooome.” I said, “Flush it with water over that sink,” pointing to that huge sink in the corner of the lab, just a few steps of course from our table sinks (which are smaller). It’s also cool to point people to where they should go right after an incident such as that. It made me feel like a hero for five seconds. But then they remembered our lab instructor talking about infertility…


Uhm yeah, as we had been warned by him, some of the reagents may cause infertility, as if he cares about our breed. How many grownups warn students about infertility? One? Two? Your Health teacher who you don’t care about? But maybe in the world of chemical education, everyone talks about it because lab geniuses are worried about not passing down their intelligent chemistry-infused DNA to the future baby Seaborg in the world that will be hearing the word ‘infertility’ at three years old. Now how many people reading this post even know who Seaborg is? I’m surprised that Blogspot underlines his last name… like asdfghjkl. Einstein. No underline. Becquerel. What? Becquerel is even harder to spell. Seriously, Blogspot? No underline for Becquerel?? Fleming. Hey! You’re supposed to auto-correct that to flaming! Poor Seaborg, the ultimate chemistry genius, not getting the word-processors recognition for what he had done to the field of science. His scientific stuff is quite awesome. How many elements did he discover? Eleven. How many were named after him? Just one. Seaborgium. And when you say it, it will always sound like Megatron’s best friend.

Now what have I been talking about? Ayuh, the infertility thing. Because most of my classmates had just turned 18, or turning 19, or getting there, they made a big fuss about that infertility issue. And they talked about it… with me, again why not?? I’m a good [spacey] listener. And I give answers to their questions. “Hey, Ollie! Is that n-butyl chloride the one that causes infertility? I’ve been burned by it.” Uhm I think so. So it’s n-butyl chloride, not benzyl chloride? My lab partner even walked up to me and whispered, “Hey, which one causes infertility, again?” Oh, fantastic. You’re so concerned. “Ollie! I’m infertile!!!” Yay! Celebrate it with me, shall we? SERIOUSLY NOW, why was everyone reporting and consulting their infertility issues TO ME?? Am I a doctor with a title composed of like 8239 consecutive consonants whom women need to consult to every month? “I’m now infertile. Something spilled over my hand and burned it.” Oh STFU. Is it because I was the first guy who said something spilled over my finger? But I didn’t announce it to everyone like this: “Hey, everyone! Something spilled over a small part of my finger! Now I’m infertile and everyone who gets spilled by something must come to me and sign up for an organization of infertile chemistry students. Hooray!” 


WTF. Me, infertile? The hell I care. A guy being infertile… is that even the right term for a reproductively-hindered man? Infertile? Whatever. A guy being infertile (I’ll just use that word) may be a good thing or a bad thing. Bad thing: you will not have children… well, I think I just defined that word. Good thing: you can spend the rest of your life being single and banging several ladies without worrying about producing salary-cutting creatures, and the pressure of marrying the girl you spent just one night with. But… How can we cure it? Wear fertility rings? Fertility bracelets? Necklaces? Fertility shoes? Fertility socks? I can’t believe we have all this stuff.

All of this panic was brought by the MSDS part of our pre-lab reports. Us laboratory kids have experienced chemical spills before. It’s just the first time that actually hurt. How many times have I spilled something over my bare hand? Many times. Sodium hydroxide. HCl. Toluene. Sixteen molars sulfuric acid. I’m kidding about the last one. If that had happened, there’s no way I could still be blogging. All of my lab-mates were all funny that Friday. The experiment was short, and our PHD lab instructor wasn’t there so we had time to laugh about… infertility. Cmon! That’s the last time I’m gonna say that word! But it was really funny how people cared so much about… it. Well I guess they want to have children. Like right now, before the chemical takes effect. Lol. Was that the reason why they were telling everyone about it? Oh God. LOL. I’m just kidding! JUST KIDDING!

kudos to [in]fertility. 

oliver.

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