Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Memorabilia-XII: Playing With Acid!

Recently, an ex-jaipurian shared this picture of our school chemistry lab on our FB alumni group. The picture brought back some really special memories. So I decided to record it here. Have blurred out their faces to give them some privacy though.

I was a very disciplined and studious kind of kid in school. So I didn't get into too much trouble in the lab (or elsewhere in the school, for that matter). But I did have one fun adventure here, the mark of which I still carry above my right ankle!

It so happened that we were conducting an experiment that involved heating some concentrated sulphuric acid in a test tube, over a bunsen burner. I was merely following the instructions outlined for that experiment, but the guys working next to me were a bit more creative. I'm not sure exactly what they were trying to do that day, but one of them suddenly moved back from his workspace, and the very next moment, I could feel something stinging the back of my legs at a dozen odd places!

Apparently, the concentrated sulphuric acid, in his test tube, had started boiling and bubbling out! He had immediately backed off to remove the test tube from the heat, holding the tongs as far away from his body as possible. But his "far away" happened to be right behind me! Before I could register what was going on, his test tube had already burst into pieces, and the boiling sulphuric acid splashed all over my lab coat and the back of my legs! That was what caused the stinging!

LOL! The acid burnt big holes through my lab coat, and even left some burn scars on my skirt. My socks were also burnt through, along with bits of my flesh from the back of my legs! While most of these burns were minor skin grazes, I did suffer one big deep burn just above my right ankle, towards the back of the leg. That one took a long time to heal, primarily because the teacher in-charge of the lab that day (a temp one... not our regular teacher) sent me off to the washroom, to wash the wound with water, whereas apparently, I should have first neutralized the acid with a base, as our regular teacher chided me about the next day!

Oh boy! You should have seen her face! She was furious at this display of complete lack of commonsense in the Chemistry Lab! What can I say! I was never a big fan of Science. I only opted for that stream in senior school to be able to study my favorite subject from my favorite teacher! :P

But this was some adventure! I think I had to wear slippers to school for almost 3 weeks after the incident! I also had to get a new lab coat, a new skirt, and a new pair of shoes! Yupp! You wouldn't believe it, but the few drops of acid that spilled on my shoes burnt tiny holes through them too! And the poor guy whose experiment blew up... I think he lost a tiny bit of one of his eyebrows! :D I wonder if it ever grew back again. He he! :P

Do you also have any such scars on your body whose story is etched on your mind forever?

Here's more in Memorabilia!

This is my 30th (last) post for 2013 April Spring Cleaning Challenge.
Link to the previous post: "Monday Blues!"

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