Monday, April 14, 2014

I wouldn't hire 'em

Some of the students in one of my lab classes, I mean. I can't get over how some of them are utterly unable to follow directions that I both speak aloud and have written on a page, and how many can't remember from one week to the next the lab procedures - which are pretty much the same for most of the labs.

My top ten lab issues:

10. "Please wash the glassware you use. PLEASE wash the glassware you use." I don't have a lab slave teaching assistant for this class, so unwashed glassware means I have to stay after and do it, if I don't catch the person and shame them into doing it themselves.

9. "The lab exercise for this week is up on BlackBoard. (heavy sigh). Go to the computer lab and print out a copy." (This is for people who either chronically forget theirs, or skip class regularly enough not to get the handout)

8. That one guy who always shows up just late enough to miss the ENTIRE pre-lab lecture and then doesn't know what the butt he's doing.

7. "Beakers are for containing. Graduated cylinders are for measuring." Just put that on my tombstone, okay?

6. "NO WHAT ARE YOU DOING DON'T PUT THAT PIPETTE IN THERE!!!" as I fly across the room to knock the pipet they just used for one reagent out of their hands before they use it on the next reagent. "NO CROSS CONTAMINATION" could also go on my tombstone.

5. "No eating or drinking in lab." Seriously, some of you are industrial-hygiene majors. Why do I have to say this multiple times every week?

4. "If you spill a chemical, please let me know." I had a massive formaldehyde spill today. Luckily it was under the hood. But the person who committed the spill DID NOT TELL ME and that is NOT COOL.

3. "The plastic vial is for doing the extractions; the glass one is for the colorimetric tests." Seriously, we have done these procedures five separate times in the semester, why do you not know it yet?

2. DON'T PUT CHEMICAL WASTE DOWN THE DRAIN. No, we are not Wichita Falls and may be recycling our greywater to drink, but that day may be coming and I really don't feel like getting even trace amounts of heavy metals and cyanides added to my diet. Also I set out labeled waste bottles for a reason.

1. "No, it's too cloudy. Filter it again." Also I have said this multiple times to multiple people; you'd think they'd learn. They have to be able to get 100% transmittance on the colorimeter and there is ONE and ONLY ONE reason why that would not happen: cloudy samples. And yet every dang time, it's like a new surprise and it's me being hateful telling them to re-filter.

Three more weeks. Three more weeks and I'm done with this crew. I just hope this is an unusual lab class and not a harbinger of what future classes will be like.

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