10 weeks of summer research in organic chemistry ended today. Four years at Point Loma and I never really knew what anyone was doing during the summers and hadn't done much research since graduate school and post-doc days 25 years ago. It's been fun running chemical reactions, gathering GC and MS data, and figuring out what it all means. The best part was working with Vic (photo center) and the other teacher, Dale, who got me to work early most days by convincing me to carpool with him, and nine wonderful students. I felt like everyone was speeding ahead of me because I don't really remember much organic chemistry (and I was teaching 2 days a week - and generally exhausted - during the last half of the research program), but turned out to be quite fun, and I really liked working with the students and listening to the music they played from their Pandora stations. Most of my summer was spent working closely with Vic and Mark (photo left) on bromamine chemistry. After running 35 reactions, I still don't quite know what's going on, but I wouldn't mind at all doing another 10 weeks in the lab next summer, and maybe some during the fall and spring semesters too.
The photo shows Mark, Vic, and Renae with some weird mass spectrometer data. For a day or so, we were trying to figure out how Renae had transformed chlorine into bromine, but then it turned out to be some sort of software anomaly. We still don't quite understand why it happened, but at least we can sleep at night and stop wondering about it.
Research was fun, but I'm tired and looking forward to working only two days a week for the next few weeks. It's two long days, 11 hours each on Monday and Wednesday, plus preparation and grading, but the extra time during the week will be so welcome.
Brazilian protests: Here's why [please share this video] - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZApBgNQgKPU
2 hours ago