23 April, 2012

Just Cooking Coal



You know how I am. I always want to blog but I'm always either too tired, too lazy, or both, to write a blog post. Something interesting happened to my life last week so I feel like this is an obligatory blog post that is long overdue. I've become even more busy because of this thing I got myself into.


I got in an internship at a very cool laboratory testing and analysis company. I believe I got in just because I got lucky, but hey I think it's really cool. Luck is awesome sometimes. I feel like I'm definitely getting the work experience I will need in the future if I ever get interested in getting a real job out of my chemistry degree. The company's laboratory is also very nice. It's wide and huge with a lot of actual working instruments. The whole place looks like a labyrinth with different paths leading to different rooms with different functions. It's just very much different from the underwhelming undergraduate chemistry laboratories I'm accustomed to in my university. I am very glad to be in that kind of workplace.


One of my classmates and I got assigned in the minerals lab. Here the analysts are in charge of mineral samples, including nickel ores, iron ores, some other kinds of ores (which we rarely have), coal (which we always have), coke (I dunno), and some other kinds of black things that are capable of burning up. I'm kind of in charge of determining the moisture content of the samples and also the amount of inorganic material they have which I do by basically turning them into ash. The procedures are quite simple to follow. It's just the repetitive weighing of the samples that are quite tiresome. During waiting periods I get uneasy because I don't like to just sit and wait for one hour or even thirty minutes without accomplishing anything, so I go to my buddy who's assigned in determining the calorific value of the samples and I try to help him out by doing the titration part of the procedure while he prepares the next run of the instrument. That way we're saving time and being efficient. I really love efficiency sometimes.


My trainers are both nice. The female one, in her late 20s, is kind of serious and has an air of being a bit strict, but she is very helpful and she always asks me if I'm fine. I always tell her I'm fine and I often don't know what I'm saying. Last Thursday she gave me this task late in the afternoon which she said was a 'rush' job which I had to accept because I don't think interns can refuse jobs in their first week. I stayed and worked in the lab until seven thirty in the evening. I don't hate her for that. I learned a few things about  minerals, fertilizers and ores and also some stuff about the company from her, so even though I worked overtime and I was very tired I just tell myself, yeah whatever, I learned something, so yes it's cool. I also enjoyed talking to her.


Although dammit, I really hate working from eight am to seven thirty.


The male one, who's probably mid-20s, is also very nice. He was the one who made sure that I know what I'm doing. He showed me around the lab and taught me the things that I have to do. On my first day he actually just toured me around, made me sit down comfortably and read the procedures. Talking to him is still a bit strange although I talk to him more often than the female one about matters. I think it's because he always smiles which I find weird because people aren't supposed to smile all the time, and also he likes to put humor in whatever the heck he's saying which I don't really find funny so it gets awkward when he chuckles. Or maybe it's just because he's terribly nice, and I'm not very comfortable around people that are too kind. I'm just not used to it.


The other people in the lab are neutral to me. I don't care much about them, because I don't get to talk to them a lot. The lab is very busy with everyone minding their own tasks. One analyst in the environmental lab department is very nice, though. She is very friendly to all of us interns and she chats with us. She always comments on my height and also she always says she likes the sound of my voice. I find it funny, somehow, because people always comment on the tone of my voice and the way I speak. It's not really deep nor high-pitched; I don't know what's so special about it so I just get very conscious and I try to control it to make it sound more normal to people.


I think I gotta end my story now. I am tired. I really feel like blogging more about this in the future. When I'm not too tired this week I promise I'm going to write something. My blog is becoming quite empty I need to fill it up. I hope people who read my blog are okay with some of my work stories. But yeah, whatever, I'll always have something else to talk about, I believe.









kudos to nice lab analysts.
oliver.

4 Comments:

The girl of the sun said...

Happy that you found a thing you are interested in. It's great to be surrounded by people who always smile and suggest help :) Good luck!

Busola said...

lab is crazy. I have to take intro chem and lab next semester (bleeeeh) but right now i'm in intro bio and lab and our final project is an independent research. My lab partner is a chemistry addict so we're 'observing' the effects of electric fields on regeneration in lumbriculus variegatus. Cutting up worms was fun, and I feel evil seeing all the horrid things happening to these worms under the electric field, but hey, its for science right? Also, my paper and presentation are due next week. Kill. Me. Now.

ishashime said...

wow, congrats on getting accepted as an intern at that lab! :D

it all sounds so interesting, although i could never ever imagine myself doing hardcore chemistry as a living. i am still seriously amazed at people who do. i'm glad you seem to be adjusting well, though. keep up the good work! i hope that overtime was a one time thing. that day must've been exhausting.

also, you should totally show us what your voice sounds like! i'm curious now! haha.

Oliver said...

@Sunny
Yes, I like smiles, too. Thanks!

@Busola
Hello, neuroscientist! Haha I like referring to you that way 'cause it sounds really cool. Onwards, yes, lab can be really draining. And what's funny is that when you're working in an actual lab as an analyst, the work can get repetitive and you will be wishing you were still in school and there were more excitement about what the experiments entail: electrity, worm guts, knowledge and such. =]

@Isha
Haha I hate how I basically pimped out my voice in this post. LOL. My voice is not really uniquely wonderful-- it's just embarrassing. Maybe I have a weird accent or something, because I studied lots of different languages in the past and maybe I got those different tones. Uhm, yeah enough about it. I might record a voice message on this blog just for you! Haha.

Being in that lab is exhausting, yes, and the work is repetitive and that makes it seem more tiring than it actually is. I'm not really doing any hardcore chemistry, since like I said, the procedures are quite easy to follow. As a matter of fact, too easy. But hey, I can't complain about that. I'm not looking forward to working my butt off in that lab as an intern when I still got my own undergraduate thesis to worry about. =]

Thanks for the comments, everyone. I'm very busy, and I'm sure you all are as well, so I really appreciate you guys dropping by and posting comments. Have a wonderful week, you all. =]

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