May 31, 2020

Scary Sciences Not the Only Labs at PC

posted on: Wednesday March 24, 2010

Kerry Vaughan ’12 / Commentary Staff

Back in the good old days, when our parents had to walk to class in the snow uphill both ways, course registration was quick and dirty. Quick in the sense that you generally had to run from table to table to sign up for the classes you desired, and dirty in the sense that people weren’t afraid to get violent when it came to getting the last seat in a section. Interestingly enough, today, thanks to Cyberfriar and high-speed Internet, course registration has become slow and dirty. Slow in the sense that it takes a solid eight minutes for the page to load after you type in all of your CRNs, and dirty in the sense that you generally wind up throwing something at your laptop when you don’t get into any of the classes you need. So, if it should happen that you don’t get into one of the classes you wanted to take, or if perhaps this semester you find yourself struggling to find the value in a class-free afternoon, you may wish to consider taking one of the many labs offered at Providence College. Like movies? Like music? Like admiring the work of others rather than doing your own? If the answer is yes, there are two labs at PC that are just for you. Music theory lab is the perfect way to get your inner Beethoven on. You’ll listen to and analyze some of the greatest music around, which will give you the tools to one day compose some of your own. Of course, if you’re looking to be the next Spielberg or Scorsese, there’s always film lab. Grab some popcorn and a friend to watch and critique some classic American cinema. Just don’t fall asleep during the movie! (Someone might draw on your face.)But maybe you’re looking for something else, something that teaches you more about the mind and body. Psychology lab and biology lab could be exactly what you need. Psych lab is a great way to familiarize yourself with various case studies, and to perform some experiments of your own to further confirm the mysteries of the mind, and how crazy the human person can sometimes be. Speaking of crazy, biology lab is the perfect way to fulfill your I’m a doctor on Grey’s Anatomy fantasy. Grab a lab coat, some goggles, and gloves and shout, “SCALPEL,” as you prepare to hack into a frog. Just bear in mind that it’s only a fantasy; your patient is a dead frog drenched in formaldehyde, and Patrick Dempsey is not going to make any guest appearances.Like having your Eighth Amendment rights violated by way of cruel and unusual punishment? Like working with explosives, reproductive toxins, and carcinogens? If you answered yes to any of the following, you may wish to consult a doctor and/or check yourself into the nearest psychiatric ward for further evaluation. But if that proves too much trouble, you can always try organic chemistry lab, one of the only remaining legal forms of torture around. Indulge in four action-packed hours of distillation apparatuses, Grignard reagents, vacuum filtration, chromatography, and NMR. Nothing says Friday afternoon like orgo lab; it’s the perfect way to say hello to the weekend. Who needs a social life, or dignity for that matter, when you can spend days in the laboratory, synthesizing chemicals that can otherwise be purchased and shipped from a catalog in half the time?As registration approaches, be sure to ask yourself: How much do I value my weekday afternoons? If the vicious practice of weekly mid-day naps and impromptu trips to the mall seem to be plaguing your life here at PC, sign up for a lab. You have nothing to lose… except maybe some dignity, and a $100 lab fee.

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