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It snowed today. It was less than pleasant. Hopefully that'll be the last of it for now. :p

Also, I am apparently atrocious with names. Today's problem seminar consisted of asking us to name two guest speakers we'd had over the course of the last semester and describing a bit about their research.

I could remember lots of talks.

Not so much with the names. :p

Though apparently everyone had that problem. :p
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Yay, I passed my problem seminar. Dr Hudson decided to change the requirements. Originally we had to answer seven questions and get all seven right. He changed it to getting four right. And I got four. So barely pass, but it's a pass and the course is pass/fail. So three passes down, three to go.

I am also amused that he emailed us to tell us what the P and F meant. I'm sure we wouldn't have figured it out on our own. :p

Also, we have decided the professors are slacking this year. Next week's problem seminar will also be an exam. This will be the fourth. Come on, there must be errors in the literature out there somewhere!

But it's on N-heterocyclic carbenes. I know a bit about those thanks to Paul's work, though admittedly I know more main group stuff about them than organic.

Also, new icon. :p
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Look, I finally have a BSG related icon! And I shall post about things... that have nothing to do with BSG. :p

Mostly because all the BSG posts made me forget to make a post about how relieved I was to pass the problem seminar my supervisor set. Also the one after hers, but hers was the bigger deal because no one wants to fail their supervisor's problem. :p

Problem seminars are basically considered the hardest part of the entire PhD process in chemistry. On the theory that they're not going to let you defend with a thesis that can't pass. :p But problem seminars, ah, problem seminars are supposed to teach critical thinking. A lot of them consist of "Here's a published paper. Tell me what's wrong with it!" We have to pass six to pass the course. There's ten a year, and we have two years in which to pass. Though obviously everyone wants to get it over with in the first year of trying. :p So with Kim's and Dr Usselman's, I have two passed and four to go. Good times. :p

Also, it's a good thing rotovapping is boring. This week's problem involves coming up with a better mechanism than the one contained in the paper. Which would be easier if it wasn't phosphorus chemistry, which I know relatively little about. Such as, you know, whether I was actually allowed to do what I wanted to do. Lucky for me, I was bored and happened to notice that there were two books on organophosphorus chemistry sitting on the shelf. They have proven... useful. :p
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Well, I'm now a PhD candidate. Glad that's over. :p

I'm going to have to do a second year presentation though, because it was decided that my committee wasn't the right committee for the direction my project has gone. Also, I apparently don't answer questions very confidently.

I'm just glad it's DONE.
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First year report tomorrow. Which is also my PhD candidacy exam.

I'm gonna sing the doom song now! Doom doom doomity doom!

I mean, I've practiced, I've studied, but I'm still rather nervous and want it to be over. I mean, I'm going to wear clothes that look like I don't muck around in a lab all day, this is serious business!

And yes, Chris and I were totally singing the doom song today. :p

I also had epic four hour help room session. It was really busy for a while. Of course, there was also a really quiet patch in which I managed to read about NMR, which was useful. Next week will be NUTS though, since that's the week of the midterm and we fully expect lots of students to suddenly realize they don't understand things.
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It's oddly comforting to know that the editor of Science has handwriting as bad as mine. :p Paul's paper came back with revisions today and the corrections are written in this kindergarten printing. We all got a kick out of it. (For those of you not in science, Science is THE most prestigious science journal. So this is very exciting. :p)

Also, they're baaaaaaaack. Undergrads EVERYWHERE. Though at least they're running the 10A and 10B now. They were really prepared, they even busted out the accordion buses. :p

At least I'm not like poor Jiacheng and needing to buy a TEXTBOOK.
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What comes after two days of rain?

Monday! :p

Yeah, that joke is the excitement of my life. I spent the day studying. Nothing big, just reviewing everything I'm supposed to know about chemistry. :p

I also watched some Danny bits of Aliaaaaas. Man how is he SO CUTE? Why do I adore the doomed ones? I blame Tess.
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What are the odds of the power going out in the chem building two nights in a row? I don't know, but it happened. Luckily, we managed to get a germanium NMR signal. It's very exciting. :p (It's a real signal, too. Not a "See this bit of noise that's a teensiest bit bigger than the rest of the noise?" signal) Of course, now the spectrometer is having ISSUES and needs lots of tinkering.

Also, acetone + lab notebook= good thing I already wrote those experimentals, because ten pages are now illegible. :p

Blah, need to finish the next draft of this report, finish flowers, pack... losing my mind.

I enjoy this song an absurd amount. :p
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Got a 93 on my essay (WOW Dr Usselman marks fast :p). It pays to be a scientist who knows how to structure a proper paragraph. :p I totally have my parents to thank for always emphasizing that scientists REALLY need to know how to write clearly. :p

People have started to get their invitations, it makes me happy. :D

Is this really all I have to say? Wow, my life is dull. :p Oh, we had a party yesterday to celebrate Yun's thesis defense, that was fun. Though of course we wound up talking chemistry, much to the confusion of the assorted significant others. :p

We took some glassware to be repaired today. Glassblowing is SO COOL! It's really amazing what they can do. We arrived in the middle of a lesson, which the student declared to be "art day", and it was so neat!
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The air conditioning in the building right now is really excessive. I brought a coat today... to wear in my office. Outside was nice and warm, but my office was bloody FREEZING.

Exam tomorrow. Hopefully it looks a lot like the midterm did. More importantly, hopefully it looks nothing at all like assignment 10, because that thing was made of EVIL.
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TERRIBLY exciting birthday. :p Had to catch an early bus so I could go to my friend's PhD defense. Then I spent the morning adding the citation into my essay. (One of these days I'll learn to cite as I go :p), and fighting with stupid Word 2007 about adding page numbers. It wasn't broken, why did they decide FIX it? IN the afternoon I tried to distill some chemicals, but apparenlty didn't stopper my apparatus properly, so that didn't work. Also, studying, since I have a final on Friday morning. And group meeting, which no one thought to tell me about, oops. :p They also didn't know it was my birthday and were sad we'd missed an excuse to go out for lunch. :p (Of course, to them I'm still twelve :p)

Things were a bit more exciting when I got home. :p Ryan gave me a fedora (possibly because I always steal HIS :p) and the two Phoenix Wright games that I didn't already own. (So now Vicki can has her copy of the first one back) We went to East Side Mario's for supper. MAN restaurant portions are filling. :p I only managed a teeny bit of the cake Ryan made (yummy!)

My family called while we were out and sang Happy Birthday very off key on our answering machine. So I got to talk to them. :p
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H. C. Brown may have been a Nobel Laureate, but he was also a STUBBORN MOFO. :p
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Sometimes, the students blow my mind. I had to proctor the blasted intro chem midterm this morning (EW). It's a 9 AM exam. And yet... some of the girls were in cute little Friday night dresses. They were DRESSED UP. For a 9 AM exam! Honestly, DRESSED for a 9 AM exam is an accomplishment. Definitely nothing about the "studying clothes". :p

We also kinda sorta maybe forgot to tell them to turn off their cellphones when they put their bags at the front of the room. Apparently none of them have any common sense, because the blasted things were ringing the ENTIRE TIME. I was so close to actually ANSWERING one. :p

The new student in our lab got here today. We're still working on pronouncing his name. He admits that it's a tricky name for anglophones. Hopefully I'll get the hang of it soon, because I fell bad about not being able to pronounce his name.

EVIL INVITATIONS OF DOOM ARE MAILED! FINALLY! NEVER AGAIN! NEVER NEVER NEVER!

This paper starts out so logical and sequential and then it hits the point of "Ooh! I should have a paragraph about this!". Downside to longhand drafts. But it's all typed up now, so I can edit it tomorrow morning. Yun's defense is in the afternoon, so I'd like to have it mostly done by then, since the paper is due on Wednesday. Exam on Friday for my other class. Then just research!
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I think Revenue Canada scoured the country to find the most boring voiced person to do their automated menu. And tell me my call is important to them. :p But I did eventually get through and managed to change my address so I can actually deal with that tax filing thing. :p

It's occurred to me that the paper I have due on Wednesday really needs to be done by Tuesday. Because Yun is defending her thesis on Tuesday, so that will invariably mean going to the bar afterward. :p Oh well, I have a fair chunk already written. :p

The new student in our lab gets here on Monday. He gets to meet me in zombie mode because I have to proctor the intro chem exam that morning. Getting up early to do nothing for four hours, good times. :p
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I kinda love the class I'm taking right now. There's an intense amount of reading involved, but it's SO NEAT. We're discussing paradigms and scientific revolution. We keep falling behind the schedule because we're too into the discussion. Including at one point a tangent about Scrabble. Because I stumbled over the word "phlogiston" and joked that it was a good thing it was replaced by the oxygen theory of combustion because oxygen was a lot easier to say. Not to mention being a better word in Scrabble. Thus a tangent about how phlogiston would be pretty good too, but you'd have to wait for someone to play ton because there's too many letters. :p

Geekiness FTW. :p

I graded lab reports this afternoon. One of them misspelled my name. :p

And lucky us, we get to be the guinea pigs for lab inspections! :p
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Mount A people will appreciate my pain here...

AAAAAAARG, Western is doing a President search! Not again! :p

Played Sims today. Mal got to join Zoe, Wash and Jayne in the Old People Club. :p Also, Four and Sarah Jane apparently really wanted a daughter. I had to reload the birth FIVE TIMES before I got Luke. Naturally that was when I had declared "If this is another girl, I'm naming her Maria, giving up and making them have another kid." :p

Also, Sarah Jane's stripey overalls look kinda hilarious on a pregnant woman. :p

Oh, and Sarah Jane got fired on a chance card. So I turned around and had her get a job in the same career... and that job was higher than the one she got fired from in the first place! :p

Vertical stripes are slimming, but there are LIMITS. :p )
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No kitty for us after all. It's a perfectly understandable reason (she decided that the grief she was getting from her dad about his allergies was better than how she'd feel if she took the cat away from her daughter) So we're going to try the shelter again this weekend. This getting a cat process would be so much easier if I could in good conscience go through a pet store. :p

It's so weird to not be panicking. Animaritime is happening THIS WEEKEND. But other than the fanfic contest (which I just submitted my scores for... PAIN), there's nothing I can do. Since they turned down my offer to run panels via webcam. :p

I just started taking a quarter course, and until it's over, coursework is going to EAT ME. There's a lot of reading for it. It's really INTERESTING reading (right now we're reading a book that is considered among the most influential works of the 20th century), but there's a lot of it, so in between that, my other class (midterm Monday, lucky me), marking and that RESEARCH thing, I'm a busy little Ewok. :p

Also, I am 0 for 4 on rolling up the rim. :p
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Traffic this morning was RIDICULOUS. I was running a few minutes late and figured I would have missed my regular bus. I got out to the bus stop and saw there were still people, meaning I hadn't missed it. Then I realized there were a LOT of people, which meant a bus couldn't have come by in a WHILE. A few minutes later, a bus creeeeeeeped around the corner. It was jam packed, so it creeeeeped past us. There was another bus a couple cars behind it which ALSO creeeeeeeeeped past us. At that point I decided that I was going to walk.

I think it was the right decision. I didn't see a single bus until I made it to campus. Well, that's not entirely true. At one point I caught up to one of the buses that creeeeeeeeeeped past us. The cars weren't moving much faster than I was, it was INSANE. Fortunately I didn't have anything I had to be on campus at a particular time for. :p

Later I discovered that health services is WEIRD. I called in the afternoon to make an appointment, and was told that there weren't any today. Which I had kinda expected and was calling to make an appointment TOMORROW. But apparently they don't let us do that and I need to call back in the morning? It's really strange. The other people in the lab had never had that happen to them before. So WTF. I just need to get new prescriptions! :p

I am madly cranking out lyrics for House Cup songs. Nicky, can we pleeeeeease have an extension? It would make us oh so very happy. :p
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Had an exam today. It was hard, but that course is notorious for its hard exam, so it's not like we were blindsided. It was just a very... interesting bunch of data to work through. So that's done with. :p

The Aida concept album is WEIRD. Instead of doing the usual thing and getting a bunch of musical types to record the music for the show in a way that it might be staged (though of course things usually end up changing between the concept album and the stage show. See: La Faute de Voltaire :p), it's a bunch of popstars. Not even obscure ones. It has Elton John (okay, he WROTE the thing, so that's not a surprise but...) LeAnn Rimes, Boyz II Men, Lulu, James Taylor, Shania Twain, Dru Hill, Sting, Tina Turner and...

I kid you not...

THE SPICE GIRLS. SO WEIRD.

Finally, I watched Remembrance of the Daleks today. It was great fun. I really like Seven and Ace. Seven's not QUITE as awesome as Four or Ten, but he's definitely up there. Ace can compete with Martha, though I doubt anyone will ever beat out Sarah Jane for my favourite companion. :p

The theme song from that era, on the other hand, I am not so in love with. Just because you have a synthesizer doesn't mean you should USE it. Basically it's very Y HALO THAR EIGHTIES! :p

Spoilers for something that aired in the eighties because I care )
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TAing yesterday was incredibly boring. :p It's a four hour lab, and three hours of it was DOWNTIME while they waited for something to react. They were playing cards. I told Kim to tell next week's section to bring a Monopoly board, because there was seriously enough time to play a game.

We started talking about Sweeney Todd at one point. That was when the lab turned into a SINGALONG. :p

All things considered though, this group is a DREAM compared to 213. First of all, they're all CHOOSING to take the course. Also, they're actually chemists. I suppose it also helps that there are eight of them (ten next week) rather than 24 in the lab. They have much more lab experience, so they can work much more independently. A lot less questions. :p

Oh, and I apparently did better on my bioinorganic final than I thought, because I wound up with an 83 in the course. :p Now there's just my NMR final on Saturday morning. :p Yeah, final in January sounds like a brilliant idea in December. Then January hits. :p

FInally, I have weird dreams. Frequently I'll wake up and just remember some sort of vague concept out of the dream. An image, a feeling, a general idea. This morning I woke up and all I could remember of my dream was... caraway seeds. Someone explain THAT one. :p

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