Mark of the Chemist

In the early days of chemistry they didn’t have things like “laboratory safety protocol” and other such hindrances to the fun of blowing things up and producing toxic gases in the name of science. As a result, new chemists would often wind up jamming pieces of glassware through their hands as they set up their equipment. The tell-tale scar became known as the “mark of the chemist”. Thankfully this kind of thing doesn’t happen too often these days, but majoring in science does leave its mark on your life.

Being a science major, certain things are understood; I won’t be able to go to happy hour with you because I have lab, I always carry a graphing calculator, I am obsessed with “the curve”, and I frequently sport goggle marks. It also means that although I only have 10 credit hours this term, I am actually inside of a classroom or laboratory for 20 hours a week. I spend several hours a day reading and memorizing, and am never without my thick stack of flashcards.

Being a science major has its bright side, of course. I get to play with microscopes and mix toxic chemicals together, reduce complex natural phenomena to mathematical equations, and marvel at how amazing our universe really is. I am encouraged to ask questions and investigate my interests. I get to play in the dirt and bang on rocks. There is also a great sense of comradery amongst us future professional scientists. We appreciate the challenges and long hours that we all face, and no one ever makes fun of your goggle marks.

How has your choice of major impacted your day to day life?

2 thoughts on “Mark of the Chemist

  1. mikbri54 says:

    I am a Liberal Studies major and concentrating on Non Fiction Creative Writing. I use what I have learned at PSU, and in life, every single day I live. I believe to communicate, to reach out to others, is the most important thing we can offer one another.

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