Date: Tue, 9 Mar 2010 11:30:03 -0600
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From: "Nail, John" <jnail**At_Symbol_Here**OKCU.EDU>
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Let me see if I have this correct R 11; students don’t think, so we have to do their thinking for them. The problem is that unless we require them to think, they never learn how to th ink. But then, students, can’t be taught to think, even though universitie s often have ‘thinking skills’ as a foundation of their academic assessment plans. I guess we should stop teaching ‘Critical Thinking& #8217; classes or expecting students to produce anything other than information th at has been learned by rote memorization.

I’ve sarcastically argued for 20 years that it should be mandated that everyone must have a crash helmet and an unused condom with them at all times when they are outside of their homes, as you never know when you can be run over crossing the road or contact AIDS f rom a momentary loss of judgment.

I expect that this will be a federal l aw in about 5 years.

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Sent: Tuesday, March 09, 201 0 10:05 AM
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Whew.  THANK YOU, Rob.  I was really getting depressed reading this thread.  This was a wonderful entry.  Face it, you can't teach young people to think.  You have to wait until they've had at least two car accidents to even broach the subject with any hope.  And the majority will NEVER learn to think.

We have to think for them until they've developed the right habits and discipline in the lab.  Those habits hopefully will carry them through relatively unscathed until they are old enough to actually connect actions and consequences, assess risk, and take proper precautions.

Monona Rossol

In a message dated 3/8/2010 6:11:04 PM Eastern Standard Time, info**At_Symbol_Here**ILPI.COM writes:

Don't forget the classic tiny puddle of water on the desktop that is not re ally water but the deliquesced remains of an NaOH pellet from yesterday's experiment.  "My, this feels warm and soapy, ow, ow , ow, gaaaaaahhhhh!"

There are plenty of reasons to wear PPE when you "aren't doing anything" in the laboratory.  While in my experience it is less o f an issue with gloves, it is an absolute must for eye protection - if you are i n the lab, you wear eye protection (correctly), period even when you aren't d oing anything.

I point to the student mentioned in paragraph 3 of this incident,: ty/explosion.html   He was my student in the previous semester and he made sure to thank me for training him properly.   I have plenty of other serious examples I won't elaborate on here.  Suffice it to say that safety culture is wha t PPE enforcement is all about.  That means a hazard assessment of the entire laboratory, not just the particular experiment that day.

That said, as long as gloves, like eye protection or any form of PPE, are *required* under a clear and defined set of circumstances, how they are pai d for is No Big Deal.  Just be sure that no student forgoes PPE because of cost concerns by the student, the department, or the administration.

The final comment/scenario I'll add here is the 'ole run it by the lawyers one.  If Something Happened in the lab (even something that didn't inv olve gloves, but called into question the overall safety program/attitude) and t he plaintiff's attorney were to ask  "Why weren't gloves available?  What?  But, a pair of gloves costs 10 cents, and you wouldn't even pay 10 cents to protect the students?", how do you think that kind of grandstanding would fly with a jury regardless of whether they were "really" necessary?

Rob Toreki

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