November 11, 2012

This Week in Douchebaggery— Melting Points and Deltoids

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Improper Lab Protocol

Like many sophomore pre-med students at Cornell, I’m obligated to take Organic Chemistry Lab. Unfortunately, I’ve never been very good with lab sections because of their impracticality (really, when am I going to need to separate a white, crystalline mix using column chromatography during my tenure as a pediatrician?). This grueling 3-hour lab period from hell is filled with stress, confusion and hurrying students trying to get passing grades.

Any lab section has a moderate amount of pressure, but each person gets to work alone and has all of their own necessary equipment. However, the most recent lab section had the option of using a very nifty machine called something like the OmniMelt 3000 that could precisely measure the melting point of a solid (the melting point is used as an indicator of identity).

The OmniMelt 3000 usually took around three to four minutes to fully compute. However, there arose a problem: The OmniMelt 3000 only had three slots, so only a maximum of three solids could be tested at a time. There are roughly 15 people in my lab section, and there were about two samples for each person to test. Using elementary mathematics, that comes out to approximately 30 samples. I, understanding the urgency of doing my melting point tests early, decided to use the OmniMelt 3000 near the beginning of class. I gathered my two samples and placed them into the machine. I walked away from the machine for a minute to get my lab notebook for data recording.

When I got back to the machine, I saw that my samples had been taken out and discarded on the counter, where they sat half-melted. I looked back at the OmniMelt 3000, and saw only ONE of the slots being used. Looks like some Douche McGee in my lab section didn’t have the courtesy to let me finish and thought his/her sample was more important.

Girl, Look at That Body

I have been going to the gym lately, and it’s actually something that I’m beginning to enjoy. Despite my puny stature and the emasculation that comes with having such a stature at a gym, I always feel good after pumping some lead. After an excruciating set of bench presses, I turned my sights onto one of the exercise contraptions that work deltoids. However, there was a particularly brawny guy talking to someone near the deltoid machine. He was positioned close enough to the machine for me to entertain the possibility that he was still using it, but he was far enough for me to not know for sure.

I went up to him and asked whether or not he was planning on using the machine, and he said, “Yeah, I think I’m going to do two more sets soon.”

Okay, fine by me, man. So, I left to work with some dumbbells. Ten minutes later, he was still talking to the other guy. Twenty minutes later, he was STILL talking to the other guy. He was becoming more and more a Douche McGee with each passing moment. So much time passed that I eventually got tired of dumbbells and moved on to crunches. Finally, after twenty-five minutes, he just left. No more working out. No “two more sets.” He just took his bottle of water and straight-up left the gym.

Eric Ding is a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences. He can be reached at eding@cornellsun.com This Week in Douchebaggery appears alternate Mondays this semester.

Original Author: Eric Ding