Friday, June 30, 2006

Almost an Entire Month Gone, Only One Month Left

Hello all,


Time has really been flying. It is now the end of my fourth week in Japan and my time here is halfway over. We have been very productive this week. I have gotten much chemistry done, even though I have spent a ton of time on the computer trying to figure out how to see the rest of the country in four weeks. So far, it is not looking like I will be able to see the entire country, but I am going to see as much as I can. I have also been trying to decide whether or not I really want to l put Windows Vista (beta) on my computer. I already got Office 2007, and I am using right now because with this new version, I can post straight to my blog from word. Pretty cool.


This week has flown by, but we have gotten much accomplished. We have started on a new mesityl, and I think that I will be a pro; I have done so many (it is actually only my third). They are getting easier, because the procedure is almost the same for all of them, and I had already done the reaction a few times before I got here, and Gabi taught me well.


We started another small scale reaction for a different alcoholate, and this one is a better because it takes about half the time of the other one. A disadvantage is that one of the reagents is air sensitive, and I didn’t make a note of that when I watched Gabi to the reaction. This time I forgot and pretty soon I had a big mess because it was absorbing all the water from the air. But it is not a mistake that I will make again. We just started the workup, and should be able to finish it the beginning of next week. Hopefully everything will still work, I have my fingers crossed.


The most exciting thing was large scale reaction that we started of the same alcoholate reaction we have already done. There is nothing big about the reaction, but because of the air sensitivity issue we had with the other reaction, we decided that it should be started in the dry box. This meant I got to work in the dry box for the first time ever. For those of you who done know what I am talking about, a dry box or glove box is a sealed container that is filled with N2 and we use it to work with air sensitive materials that come in contact with any O2 or H2O. I have seen Gabi working in the dry box a million times, but I have never actually done anything. All I did was some measuring and I put a reagent in the flask, but it was still fun for me. Yamamichi had to do the rest because it was working with syringes, and I don’t think either of us wanted me doing that (one hole from the syringe in the gloves, and the entire thing would have been ruined).


I have decided on my plans for the weekend. I want to start my heading to Hagi, and then rent a bike and go to Omi-Jima Island and hopefully see it at sunset and maybe at sunrise if I am lucky. I think that on Sunday I will go to the Sandan-kyo Valley and see the Sandan-kyo Falls. They look really nice from all the pictures. I have all the bus routes so it should be pretty easy.


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