the sometimes senseless ravings (and the occassional rant) of an aspiring marine ecologist who may enjoy killing things a little too much

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Finally, a Chemist I Can Connect With

i just spent half an hour on the phone with a chemist, and it actually didn't make me want to poke my eyes out. i won't lie. i made A's in chemistry, even the dreaded organic chemistry. but i hated every minute of it. plain old chemistry with the numbers wasn't so bad. neither was quantitative analysis. but i despised organic chemistry. it made my head hurt every day, with the crazy reactions and the concept of chirality, which eludes me to this very day.

and i just talked to an organic chemist for a half hour. and i'm not experiencing suicidal urges. weird. i guess i had to figure that working with chemical defenses in plants i'd encounter one sometime. anyway, i've kind of hit a wall in identifying some of the comounds in my seagrass tissue, and i needed help. because i have NO IDEA what i'm doing. i want to do GCMS (gas chromatography / mass spectroscopy), but there's one small problem. i've never done it before, and i don't know how.

the chemist i just talked to was very helpful. he's kind of goofy and very nice. plus, he's very patient with my lack of knowledge of organic chemistry. even though he knows i took it. and that i made an A in it. it didn't stick. it's nice to find someone who doesn't assume that we lowly students permanently absorb every absurd fact professors throw at us.

anyway, he emailed me a protocol for the GCMS thing and talked me out of ordering a $300 standard whose usefulness i was having doubts about anyway. hooray for dr. f.

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