Chemistry students take midterm in full PPE to protect against noxious concepts

Humor by Ben Lees
Nov. 30, 2021, 11:38 p.m.

General chemistry courses are moving through their last round of midterms, and students are gearing up for the grueling tests. In many cases, literally: safely handling the dangerous questions on the midterm exams requires — among other things — gloves, goggles and a lab coat.

“Those midterms are nasty stuff,” one chemistry TA said. “Direct skin contact with Gibbs free energy can result in severe burns within seconds, and crystal field theory can only be safely released under a fume hood. We only allow our students to handle the midterm after extensive preparation. Throughout the quarter, students have been practicing working with similarly dangerous problems in lab sections — with comprehensive PPE, of course.”

The course’s instructors hastened to add that the practice midterm, in contrast, posed no danger, despite some students’ concerns over being exposed to it without adequate protection.

“Yes, we allowed students to use the practice midterms without PPE,” said a lecturer for Chem 31M this quarter. “But the real exam is written with a substantially different conceptual composition. Don’t assume the actual test is safe just because the practice midterm didn’t hurt you.”

Editor’s Note: This article is purely satirical and fictitious. All attributions in this article are not genuine, and this story should be read in the context of pure entertainment only.

Contact Ben at humor 'at' stanforddaily.com.

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