Thursday, September 14, 2006

Nuclear huh?

You might be wondering, dear reader(s), how things are going in the science nerd sweepstakes I have recently entered. Well, everything has, in fact, been going along swimmingly. I had to change where I sit because the band dorks turned out to be non-stop talkers -- very distracting, when I'm trying to figure out science for the FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE. I do have a huge bruise on my arm: on Wednesday in class, because some guy came in late, everyone in his row had to stand up to let him squeeze into the really tiny row. The girl who sat behind me stood up and DROPPED HER NOTEBOOK ON MY ARM. Ouch. But I am willing to take the beatings and the torture, just to be a science nerd.

I will say that my lack of science background caused me a momentary problem on Wednesday, when the professor -- who is really great -- was lecturing on the origins of the universe. He got the nuclear fusion part and showed us this diagram:

It looked like this to me:

but I went straight home and asked my even more science nerdy husband about it; I think I understood his explanation.

Today in lab we had to identify rocks, and that was somewhat difficult. The girls at my table and I kept looking at rocks and saying "Is that metallic? It's kind of shiny... but maybe it's not." Then there were issues with whether this rock would scratch glass, or could be scratched by a penny, or was metallic, or fizzed when an acid solution was poured on it, or tasted like salt, for god's sake. Complicated, especially for me and the other freshmen.

But now I can definitely identify galena and pyrite and probably plagioclase feldspar. Which is good, because we have a quiz next week!

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