Progress

This week has been a busy one for both work and school. Life is becoming increasingly busy for me as we get closer and closer to midterms. I’m certainly not complaining, because I enjoy every second of it, but my sleep has definitely taken a hit the last few weeks.

At work I have been working on somewhat of the  beta version of a new database. This new database is for all of our finished products and raw materials that we have on the plant site. Through this database we can type in the ID number, or name, of any substance and see all of it’s GHS classifications that have been pulled from their SDS’s. Now as you may have guessed, this means that I had to pull up and read the SDS’s for a few hundred chemicals and enter the information one by one. This took me quite sometime, but I finally finished this week! Next we will be exploring the next phase for this database and see where we need to take it from here.

This week has also had me pretty busy in other areas of my life. Not only were there two gospel concerts I had to play at, I also had an absurd amount of homework and pulled an all nighter trying to get it done. This Thursday was also “Shine a Light on Slavery Day” which I helped coordinate as the Lyon college Campus Representative for the End It movement. The End It Movement helps bring awareness to the 20-45.8 million people that are still enslaved all around the world including the U.S. I helped by chalking information onto the library windows, organizing a prayer vigil, putting up fliers, and also standing at the cafeteria to put red X’s on peoples hands and tell them about the movement. The red X is the signature mark of this movement, and it definitely catches people’s eyes, which presents you with an opportunity to bring awareness to what’s going on in our world.

I also started working out this week at the company gym. As an employee I have full access to the facility and I can come and go as I please! I usually go after work in the evenings and I thoroughly enjoy running. This is my first time getting into the gym since I started college, and it has worn me out. Admittedly I’m not in the best shape, but I’m getting addicted to working out.

Overall though I’ve been very happy and excited to be working. The money I’m making is going to help me go to Scotland this summer and also possibly help pay for an apartment this fall! I’m very excited for all that’s going on and I can’t wait to see how God is going to guide me.

 

-Chandler

Settling In

This week was really my first week of working on real projects. While it remained mostly uneventful, I did spend a lot of time settling in and becoming more familiar with some of computer systems. We also talked a lot about confidentiality, which is why there may be several projects that I’m not allowed to talk about until they are released to the public.

This post is intended to be short since not much happened at work this week. I’m definitely learning some multitasking skills and some better time management, and that has been very helpful in my college life.

I recently found out that our cafeteria is run by the Lunch Box from Oil Trough, Arkansas! This may not seem like a very big deal, but the Lunch Box is run by the mother of a long time friend of mine. If I remember correctly she is one of the best cooks I’ve ever met, so I definitely plan on paying her a visit sometime this week.

Everyone at the plant continues to be very welcoming to me which is pretty great. When I get to work I generally tend to go straight to my office and start working. However, this is generally when everyone is in the break room eating lunch, so perhaps I might start getting to know my co-workers soon.

Hopefully I will be able to talk about some cool things going on soon!

-Chandler

New Kid on the Block

I started this week at Future Fuel in the Health and Safety department. With one week of work down I can happily say that everything is going wonderfully! My first day at Future Fuel started on Wednesday when I got out of Biochemistry. Although I was quite nervous as I pulled into the employee parking lot, all my fear went away the minute I got my plant ID. It sort of hit me all at once that I was about to start my first real job, at a real company, with real chemistry. It’s still not quite set in…

As if that wasn’t enough, while I was getting toured around the plant, I was shown “my office.” Sure, it’s just a section of a small room I share with another employee, but to me it’s so much more than that. It may be a small thing, but to me it represents a physical manifestation of the work I’ve put into college this far. I never would have dreamed that I would have an office of my own, but now it’s actual reality.

If you’re not completely aware of it at this point, everything on that first day was making me giddy. Even the stapler they gave me was exciting. There was one thing though that I will shamelessly say made me geek out hardcore, and that was the lab tour. Although I probably won’t be working in the lab for a long time, if ever, I was allowed to tour the analytical and research labs. The only way that I can describe that experience is that it was like Christmas morning if all you asked for was laboratory instruments. I honestly don’t geek out about a lot of things, and I didn’t think I would about the lab, but it was such an amazing experience. Auto-titrators were the main thing that caught my eye given the number of titrations I’ve had to do here at Lyon. One of the chemists even told me that they don’t have to standardize a single thing… If you’re a chemist then you understand the gravity of that statement for an undergraduate student.

Some of the initial work I’m doing involves working on a sort of database for substances used at the plant. This database is just kind of testing an idea, but it will allow us to quickly search for a substance and see its hazard classifications. It’s a lot of data entry, but reading about some of the chemicals has been pretty cool, so I’m enjoying it.

Very excited to start again next week and see where the semester takes me! Everyone at the plant has been very welcoming and kind and that has made all the difference.

-Chandler