So I'm working on my Organic Chemistry lab

and reading the SDMB at the same time. But the boards are slow, so it’s not really all-consuming. I’m trying to write a conculsion to the boring “kinetics of the hydrolysis of t-butyl chloride”, only I don’t know some of the answers because my data is REALLY screwy and since I don’t know what the rate constant is supposed to be, I can’t figure out what went wrong and comment on it. Luckily, my TA is really laid-back, and isn’t too picky about taking off marks for not having the right answer, but as long as you have SOMESORT of answer, you’re ok. Only I don’t really have that, either. And it’s annoying me, because it’s due later today and I haven’t been able to put as much work into it as I would have liked. Not for lack of trying, but I’ve had a lot of assignments due, and exams, and it’s just been pretty busy for me this week. The good thing, though, is it’s not worth very much overall, and I did fine on all the rest of my labs so far. Also, this is the last thing I have to do this week - the rest is just lectures, no assignments - so I can relax and take it easy, and on Friday I get to go HOME!!! I really can’t wait. I haven’t been home since Christmas and I miss my family and friends, and I can’t wait to see them.

Ah, yes, the ole Orgo lab. That’s where I learned the concept of theoretical vs.actual yield. I certainly recall the days of 4% yield being a good thing. Best to you.

Speaking from experinece with my former TA’s … if your data is that screwy, work with it.
Write an explaination of why you can’t get an answer from your data. Show that you know what you were supposed to do, and that you understood the assignment.
Then give a few possibilities as to why your data would be so screwed up. (It doesn’t matter if these reasons are probable, as long as they are possible).
Most lab TA’s will give quite good credit for something like this. Experiments (especially orgo) don’t always go the way they were supposed to. It’s not always the students’ fault. Heck, I work for a pharmaceutical company, and we have PhD chemists who will occassionaly run a synthesis (or other experiment) that just doesn’t work. Most professors and TAs would rather you show a knowledge of what the experiment was supposed to teach you, than have you fudge an answer based on something you found in a book or another groups data.

Good luck

Well, here’s the thing. I go to my lab yesterday (the one where we were supposed to hand in our lab books) and the TA says “you know as well as I do that I’m not even going to look at them until next week (Reading Week), so if you want, you can hand them in by Friday”. So turns out I got all stressed about not having it done and not knowing the answers, and I had more time to do it. I was able to get help and get it done last night, and I handed it in today.

**Pandora[/b, pharmaceutical company? Which one? Although I doubt it’s anywhere near where I live, I figure it’s worth asking. I’d like to get a summer job in a lab somewhere - really get good hands-on experience - only I haven’t found anything yet.


I work for BIOMOL Research Labs, just outside of Philadelphia. We are a small company the produces drugs for research use.

We do sometimes hire summer interns (I guess it would depend on your classes, experience etc.) but if your interested, e-mail me and I will give you contact information. Heck, I have contacts in a bunch of companies like ours, if you let me know where you are I might be able to give you some contacts.