May 26, 2008

MSOE Organic Chemistry Challenge!

I recently joined a team on Etsy, called MSOE, or mad scientists of etsy. They run monthly challenges and this month's challenge is organic chemistry as art. I have a degree in Biochemistry, but I took organic when Reagan was president, and retired from the field many moons ago, so it took some thinking to come up with what I would do.

I wanted to do something with jewelry and molecular model type structures, but hesitated because molecularmuse does it so fantastically.

I remembered one fantastic day in organic chem lecture. One weekend at a party, a guy hit on me and one of my best friends on the same evening using the same lines ( his lines failed him miserably on both of us). When we compared notes later, we realized what had happened, and were more than slightly annoyed. I realized that Mr. Ladies' Man was in my organic chemistry lecture. My friend, who was an English major who had taken Astronomy for her Science requirement, agreed to come to class with me. We sat right behind him talking about the party, and watching him squirm as he came to the realization we knew each other.

That day the lecture was about cyclohexane's two forms- the boat and the chair form. Decades later my friend will still occasionally refer to the chair and the boat, perhaps in homage to the abilities of my professor, Dr. Kingston (she loved his British accent!)or maybe because boat and chair were the only familiar words in the entire hour! So, with a wink to molecularmuse, who can take one look at my item and know there is no need to worry, I took some sterling wire and formed two hexagons and bent one to be the chair and one to be the boat- they make an interesting if mismatched pair of earrings!

Here's to you, Jenny! I hope you still remember the boat and the chair with a smile, like me, even if you don't remember the name of Mr. Ladies' Man either!

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