Introducing Marisa’s Orbital- When Life Gives You Lemons, Make More Buffer

Editor’s note: As part of our continued effort to bring undergraduate student’s opinions and thoughts to this blog, we’d like to introduce our newest addition to, Marisa Sander’s column, Marisa’s Orbital.  We’ll be featuring her latest post on the tab above, but you can find all of her old posts through the category we’ve given her (select Marisa’s Orbital fromthe category pull down menu on the right).  We look forward to many great additions from Marisa in the future.

When Life Gives You Lemons, Make More Buffer

I realized I should probably have an image to accompany the new phrase, so I drew this while waiting for my DSC experiments to finish on June 19th. It was a fun way to spend a free hour.

I’m sure we’ve all had our “bad” days. Research goes horribly wrong, we lose our TI-89 (sigh), and sometimes we don’t perform as well as we would have liked on an exam. And then there’s the potentially dreadful day when Mountain Dew explodes over our $2,000 Macbook Pro just 2 days before a national ACS meeting with unbacked and unprinted posters…

While I was able to salvage my laptop’s hard drive, the sugary beverage leaked through the keyboard and destroyed my Mac’s internal hardware. I was devastated. While making a buffered solution for my DNA sample in research the following morning, the phrase, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” popped into my head. Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to apply a buffer that could counteract the acidity of the lemons? Perhaps something along the lines of “when life gives you lemons, make more buffer.” Just as buffers are used to maintain equilibrium in pH, making the best out of a bad situation, or “lemonade from lemons,” will restore the balance of life.

Luckily, I was able to obtain and print my posters before departing for the ACS meeting last spring. I allowed neither the anxiety over my laptop, nor the imminent biochemistry and inorganic exams directly following the meeting to stand in my way; I enjoyed the conference and the awesome time spent with my friends (and I fit in some studying in the evenings). It was definitely a worthwhile experience that I will never forget.


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