Sunday, May 27, 2007

Why It's Good For Children To Play With A Little Fire

So they don't become a college student who inadvertently burns down the Bio building when trying to put out a teeny tiny fire on an inflammable lab table.

For lack of blogging activity lately, I'm pulling out a draft I wrote a while ago.

Since I've been ranting about the retardednesses of doctors, I might as well continue with the story of how I saved the Bio Lab building from being burned down by a fellow Asian pre-med student. We were working on our lab projects for Bio 44X/Y. It was late at night and there were only two of us in the lab. People frequently accidentally set the glass dishes of alcohol on fire by putting a just-off-the-bunsen-burner hot glass rod in them. The other girl did this, and the flames shoot up quite high. I went over to get the big glass cover dish to snuff it out, but it's really not a problem to just let the alcohol burn out, since the glass and lab tabletops are pretty much indestructable. But before I got back, she was trying to snuff out the fire with a paper towel.

Now holding a flaming paper towel in hand, she was really freaking out, running around (fanning the flames) looking for a place to drop the flaming paper, and dropped it into the big garbage can... where there's a whole lot of other paper towels. Oh boy, but still a pretty small problem. Conveniently, the labs have these trays of squirt bottles with distilled water in them, next to trays of squirt bottles with ethanol. So I grabbed a bottle of water and started squirting. The girl decided it would be a good idea to copy me so she ran over and grabbed a bottle of ethanol and started squirting on the flames. Whew boy, does fire like alcohol. "No no no! Just STOP! Let me do it."

I should have thought of something to say afterwards to perhaps help the poor girl figure out how to put out a fire next time.

These kinds of things make you ponder while sitting in a doctor's office, even with something like a Stanford diploma on the wall, whether your doctor has ever tried to put out fires with paper towels and alcohol, and what that means for your medical care. You certainly hope this pre-med did not become an ER doctor or a surgeon.

But hey, maybe she had Lyme disease and her brain wasn't working. I can certainly understand that. :P


Lara said...

hilarious story, but kind of a sad and scary moral to it. some people - even doctors - just completely lack common sense.

Lady M said...

This is too funny. Book-smart, but practical-silly.

fourthbreakfast said...

Ha! I know plenty of people like that, though I think it's just as dangerous if their inexperience is on the personal maturity side, where they're taking down hearts/egos, not labs.

This is one of those "It's a Wonderful Life" moments you can log. What would have happened if you weren't there? :)

dancing dragon said...

glad to amuse... there are more scary pre-med stories from where that came from. ;)