22 March 2015

The Alphabet--Or The Periodic Table?

Many, many years ago, I took Chemistry.  It was so long ago that whatever I learned could just as well have been alchemy.

Anyway, I had a really strange prof.  Since then, I've been told that all chemists are strange because of the fumes they breathe in the laboratory.  Even if that is the case, I still think my prof was strange for all sorts of reasons.

Maybe it's because, on the first day of class, he said, "You may have heard this course will take all of your time.  That's not true, but it does require conscientious attention on your part--say, four or five hours a night."

After a couple dozen people walked out, he continued:  "Now look at the person on your left.  Now look at the person on your right.  One of them will fail, if not you."

Then, after a few dozen more people walked out, he said, "We're going to start this course by learning the alphabet."  I thought, "OK, maybe this won't be so bad after all."  If that didn't show what I clueless freshman I was, I don't know what did.

By "alphabet", he meant the periodic table.  There would be a test on it, he said.  

I thought about that when I saw this "alphabet"--or is it a periodic table?:

From Velojoy


  1. Organic chemistry is used by many colleges to thin out the pre-med crowd.

  2. that is a really cool table of cycle letters. you know, i thought of what happens if you are exposed too long inhaling some metal dust, while i took my first metalsmithing class the other day. your analogies and stories are such a great read on the blogs justine, thanks as always for sharing.