SCIENCE LAB CHRONICLES
As a science stream student, we are bound to have one incident or the other, related to the Science Labs. Well, I am no exception either. As I had opted for science stream after my 10th, my meetings with the science labs became a regular thing. The cherry on the top was that in our school we didn’t have the option to choose any two from PHYSICS, CHEMISTRY, and BIOLOGY with our dear old MATHS. We had to take all of them. It was a very simple rule of the school – ‘My Way or the High Way’
So, here I was, studying everything which a science stream could possibly dump on my plate. Almost every day there were Lab classes and almost every day our class earned a feather in our caps for being one of the weirdest batches ever in the history of the school. (I think most of you, who have really lived their school-life, will remember being adorned with such similar statements or phrases)
So here I am, with a collection of small snippets from my Memory Lane related to the happenings in our Science Labs.
(Before I start, I would confess that I belonged to a class which was naughty and when I say that, I mean the whole class, not a small group. We all were unpredictable. You couldn’t make out just by looking at our faces. The most innocent looking child in our class could also be the weirdest of all. So these memories are not involving only me but even my classmates.)
Chemistry lab was a fun lab for us. There were so many things around us to work with. No chemistry lab is complete without a Bunsen burner. But to control the flame of that burner is a skill that few can master, and that is what most of us were lacking in. We just couldn’t bring out the adequate flame from that burner thereby resulting in either ruining the whole experiment or breaking the glass containers due to the excessive heat. It was fun to see sudden high flames shooting out from the burner or so low that the whole period used to pass but nothing used to happen to the substance kept on the burner. Sometimes when the gas supply to the burners was turned off and the teacher was away arranging materials for our experiment, the class used to play fake warzone games, holding the burners like guns and sheltering ourselves behind the shelves on the lab counters.
I remember that in spite of learning the experiments and reactions of the substances I seldom got the desired result. My first breakthrough in the experiments was when I made the ‘Oil of Wintergreen’. The whole batch had to make it and only some could get through that experiment. The funny part was that all of us were busy smelling the aroma of the oil instead of conducting the experiment until our teacher came and shooed us to our respective places. But how could we resist that aroma, after all, it was the first time that we had made something which smelled good. The outcome of most of the experiments was either a black darkened soot residue or most repulsive odor in the air.
A special mention should be given to Hydrogen Sulphide. Since too much exposure to its fume is dangerous, it was always kept outside the school-building in a safe zone. Only during experiments which required that chemical, we were taken to that place under the teacher’s supervision. Oh dear! The smell… that rotten-egg smell was something none of us wanted to bear with. But experiments had to be done as the teacher instructed to do so. The moment we used to start walking towards that area, the batch used to be engaged in push-pull, slight tussle to be the one escaping from this ordeal. It used to be such a comical sight.
Let me not forget to mention our Biology Lab. With microscopes and charts all around, our biology lab was smaller than the other two labs. There were models of body anatomy kept near the walls. Slides, microscopes, and dissection boxes were the main instruments used. Seeing through the microscopes and still not being able to figure out the thing under it, was the most frustrating experience. Finding out whether a particular root was ‘Monocot’ or ‘Dicot’ really caused a headache to every one of us. Not to mention the ‘Blood group’ test. Pricking your own-self was such a task. We used to ask our classmates to prick our finger as nobody could gather the courage to do it. Within a minute, pricking the finger used to turn into a game. The moment the child used to get ready for the prick and closed his eyes, two people used to prick his finger at the same time.
But all said and done nobody used to feel bad or offended about such pranks.
The worst was still to come and that was the dissection of the mouse at the year-end. Since it was a part of the syllabus, like it or not, we had to do it. So, the following incident relates to the Biology practical exams where we were supposed to dissect the mouse. We were all given trays with a mouse which had to be dissected within the required time. It was an exam and so everybody was focused on doing things right. There was a pin-drop silence in the laboratory when suddenly my friend standing on my left screamed loudly. She was shrieking and with a jerk, she pushed the tray away from her. I was left stunned with her scream and turned to look at what had made her react like that. As I looked towards the tray, I saw the mouse was awake. We had pinned the mice on their limbs and that mouse was pulling his pins one by one. Seeing that sight I also jumped back and screamed. The teacher and her assistant rushed to our spot and found out what was happening. There was a lot of commotion as all the students had started gathering around. The lab assistant took the mouse away and gave her another. My friend was shocked to the core. She was dissecting a live mouse thinking that it is dead. For few minutes her hand kept shaking. That was one episode which couldn’t be forgotten by us till date.
The physics lab was the biggest in size. There were no shelves or counters as in the chemistry lab, but huge tables to perform experiments. So we were under the direct supervision of the teacher and couldn’t move freely without him noticing us. However, that didn’t stop us to do what we did. We used to play with ‘tongs’, vibrating them next to each other’s ears to see who could resist the vibrations for a longer time; competed with each other to quickly burn the piece of paper under the magnifying glass; tinkered with the scales used for weighing different substances. Our favorites were those long rulers that we used like lightsabers battling with each other when our teacher was looking somewhere else. And oh what fun we had with the ‘Callipers’ measuring each other’s nose, ears, fingers and all. We used to run after each other to pinch the nose or lips with Callipers to measure them. We were really a bunch of wicked teenagers!!!
Those two years passed in a flash. But for those two years, every day along with my lively classmates, I kept on adding ridiculous chapters after chapters in my Science Lab Chronicles.
This blog post is part of #A2ZChallenge. My theme for the year 2018 is Memories. This post is for letter ‘S’.