Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Day 2

Much to my happiness, we did not have to leave at 7:15 a.m for breakfast. We arrived at our own time, but had to meet in front of the DC (dining commons) at 9:15 a.m so our cluster could catch the next bus to the Davis Recycling Center. The bus arrived 5 minutes late, but that's alright...the drive was even shorter.
When we arrived, we were 20 minutes early (our RA just loves arriving way before schedule), so our tour guide wasn't at work yet. Finally he got there. I forget his name, but he was a rotund African American guy that sported a fresh new beard. He gave us neon orange safety vests also. Strangely, I kept mine. Oh and we also got pencils made out of recycled material!
And so, the tour began. There were enormous amounts of aluminum cans, paper, glass, cardboard and know...recycleables. There was a massive conveyer belts that was monitored by 4 guys who sorted out all of these recycleables and dumped them into specific bins. The bins looked tiny on the surface, but when we walked downstairs, I actually saw that the "tiny bins" lead to a 10x10 cell that was fenced with 60 foot high railing. There were probably 20,000 cans in there and it was only half full. After the 15 minute tour, we watched the Wall-E trucks scoop up recyclables and put them into a machine that spat at 1400 lb cubes of compressed trash. Pretty cool.
So, the field trip ended at 10:15 a.m...45 minutes earlier than planned. We basically killed time in front of the DC until 11:00 (lunch time). After lunch at 1:00 we headed to Software Orientation class where we learned how to use ChemDraw and another program like it. I drew aspirin. I'll post the picture later. We also got to simulate how the molecule would react in different environments and temperatures. It was pretty spiffy. Class ended an hour and a half early again so we just went bowling.
It was fun to bowl with everyone just because they were asking me so many questions. It was funny. Lol. Arthur asked me to teach him steps and everything. It was pretty interesting. All in all, everyone had a great time.
Afterward, we all went to dinner and basically I just hung out at the dorm the entire time talking with friends. Oh, and at around 7 or so Stephanie biked around campus until 9.
That's pretty much it. Lol.


  1. Cool. They asked you a lot of questions. It's nice being the center of attention, eh?
    What was the educational rational for visiting the recycling center? Was there any discussion of the chemistry of recycling?
    Do you think ChemDraw was any easier for you since you already knew about ChemSketch, or did you have trouble adjusting to the different program? How did you choose aspirin? Did you know that "One of the best known aromatic acetates is acetylsalicylic acid, or aspirin, which is prepared by the esterification of the phenolic hydroxyl group of salicylic acid."?

    MORE SCIENCE!!! I am sooooo jealous!

  2. Thanks Moni! We miss you. Hope the bike is working out well despite that fact that it's small for you.


  3. I'm not sure about the rationality of the visit. Although the construction and destruction of polymers was mention there really wasn't a discussion. In fact, Danny asked us about that.

    It was definitely easier. ChemSketch is awesome, but ChemDraw is something else Mike. I think you'd love to spend hours on it.

    They basically assigned aspirin to us. I wish we could choose. Oh, and I did make butane in my free time. Very simple.

    I remember esterfication from the MIT lectures! :o

  4. Miss you guys too. :3
    It's all your fault though.
    It's almsot midnite and here I am blogging.