Wow. BSI is over. Students have been presenting Friday through Wednesday (today) for two or three hours each morning. We had our final BSI lunch Tuesday night, and I spent a lovely evening with four other students, a history professor, a creative writing professor, and two chemistry professors. Since the students consisted of two international studies majors, two creative writing majors, and me (Dance performance and English Lit), I was glad we didn’t talk about super artsy things the entire night. Got to let the science people have their say. : )
I learned that “aromatic” means something different in chemistry than in the rest of the world. This means, “So someone told me ethers were like aromatic rabbits” does not make for quite the conversation starter I thought it might. Turns out “aromatic” isn’t quite the word, and I would have done better quoting my friend’s actual “smelly bunnies.” Instead, I discovered “aromatic” refers to the configuration of bonds. (Is that it? Is that even close?)
It also turns out, with some quick internet searching, that I might have confused “ether” and “ester,” since esters are definitely smelly, but ethers look more like rabbits. Well, I found a snazzy dimethyl ether on wikipedia…
It also, also turns out that chemists are people too and thus perfectly well qualified to speak on matters other than chemistry. Still, I do love some chemistry talk. This summer has been wonderful, getting to hear about all the science projects. After listening to an explanation of the G-protein receptors project about four times, I think I might sort of get it!
Watching the chemistry presentations was definitely harder than the others, since so much of the basic language tends to baffle the average liberal arts major. (I still don’t know the difference between a substrate and a reagent. I vaguely understand the function of primers.) I finally, finally got a grasp on “stereochemistry,” and line structures aren’t quite so mystifying. I think the chemistry presentations did a good job of catering to a mixed, partially non-science audience.
But dinner! Dinner was at Shanghi Lil’s in Indianapolis with all the BSI students and the large percentage of mentors who could make it. Dinner was served family-style, as all Chinese meals should be served, and it was absolutely delicious. Pineapple shrimp. Pineapple. Shrimp. Pineapple shrimp. Genius.
(I also just typed “pinaepple” every single time I attempted to write “pineapple.”)