It was nickel sulphate crystals which we made from nickel carbonate (green powder) and sulphuric acid. Pavallam and I teamed up together and she went and measured the nickel carbonate while I set up the apparatus.
We started off on the wrong foot with Ms Kana 'cause instead of using a 100ml beaker to mix the acid and powder, we accidentally used the 250ml beaker! So she came around and told us off and we were cringing (think of Pain and Panic from Hercules saying, 'We are worms! Worthless worms!' to get my point). Hurriedly went and correct the mistake. Took us a few bloody tries to get the Bunsen Burner up because here in HELP, they use the Bunsen burners that are connected to the gas line and non of us had any idea what to do so there was quite a bit of experimenting before we got it right. Wasted quite a few matches along the way. Which is weird because I've got these same matches in my house and they burn for about 12 seconds (I used to count) before they went out but apparently it works differently in HELP's laboratory.
I took the first shift to stir the mixture and make sure it was OK while Pav placed the measured amount of nickel carbonate into the acid a little at a time. At first, it was pale green, and I was a bit envious of the deep, emerald green Fiona and Yvonne had while ours was a light pathetic colour compared to theirs. After adding a bit more nickel carbonate, however, our solution turned a nice green.
After determining that the solution was in excess (which was required), Pav decided to return to the weighing machine with the weighing bottle containing the remainder of the unused NiCO3 to check the amount of powder we did use. Just around that moment, Ms Kana was shouting out instructions. 'When you have determined your solution is in excess, take the weighing bottle and weigh it again to find out how much you used!'
Since we were in the front table, I turned around and casually mentioned, 'That's what we're doing.'
'Good,' she said approvingly. 'That shows you are a thinking student.' Smirks all around.
Pav came back and after doing the math, she told me it was 2.96g and I turned to the board. 'Hey! That's the exact number Ms Kana mathed out!' (New word: mathed. Noun? Definition: to determine by mathematical equations)
So we were both bloody happy about it. Later when Ms Kana found out, she explained that it was supposed to be in excess, so that meant we had to use more than 2.96g, a fact that we oh-so-conveniantly forgot about. But hey, screw it. The solution couldn't dissolve anymore powder lah. So Pav took up the stirring while I checked the flame (couldn't be too hot and stuff). Once stirring was completed, I filtered the solution while Pav started cleaning up. Fiona and Yvonne were around the same track as we were.
After filtering, though, we had to saturate the solution by boiling it again. Ms Kana had made a joke earlier about how some of her students glare at the solution trying to make it boil faster via mental powers. Since there wasn't much to do, I was joking around with Fi and Yvonne and I held out my hand, palm towards the boiling solution, Merlin-style...
...and had the shock of my life when Ms Kana said suddenly, 'Oh, so the magic power comes from your hand huh?'
I gave that sort of nervous laugh you would've encountered before and brushed it off with some BS. After saturating the solution, I was starting to get nervous 'cause everyone else was pouring their solution into a Petri dish while ours had just finished boiling. So Pav poured it onto the dish and a thin layer of crystal floated on the top, as well as along the sides of the beaker. We were quite pleased since the book said to stop boiling and pour into Petri dish when crystals are formed at the side, but we needed to check. So Pav took the Petri dish to Ms Kana and her answer was, 'Clever girl!'
OK, will admit that we felt quite proud. Everyone gathered around to see our crystals and Ee Lyn complimented it as well. But later we scared ourselves silly when we heard Ms Kana go, 'And it's no good if it starts forming crystals immediately after it's being poured out.' Oh, bugger. 'If it's white it's turning into an anhydrous salt.' Check for white. No white. Phew. Then when she checked out dishes, she glanced at one, 'Turning into powder for sure,' and another one, 'That's going to turn into powder.' Bugger, the second one was ours!
So now we have absolutely no clue if our crystals will turn out fine or not because of all the contradictory words she said. Honestly, if she wasn't such a good teacher...even now I'm starting to get a weird, without-basis, but undeniably bad impression about her.
Physics we did some experiments which was pretty boring. After which I headed straight to Wisma HELP for Msian Studies and met up with Jeya, who told me that Ms Kana was actually her father's second cousin! I mean, wth? Is nepotism alive and kicking in HELP now? I mean, of course it's not really nepotism but c'mon, must we bump into relatives wherever we go?
Had a really good talk with Jeya. And was crossing my fingers for the pres. Before we started had quite a bit of time, so I turned around and talked to Dhiren, who was saying to me, 'We can still put in a virus into his (Mr Asri, I think) laptop.'
'Really?' I was interested. 'How?'
He shrugged. 'You just write a virus and stick it into his laptop.'
'How do you do that?'
'Just download a virus-writing program and just send it to him.'
Shock, horror. 'Can you do that? I mean, isn't it illegal?'
He smirks. 'Yeah, but I'm a certified legal hacker.'
Whoa. Apparently Dhiren is a legal hacker (certified) by some higher powers (didn't catch that bit) and his uncle owns this hacking company where they hack into someone's site and try to get around the system and later report to the company about how to prevent hackers like them. It's a IT version of security consultancy.
'Ah.' I said; I have heard about this before. 'White hat.' Felt proud I did research on Timothy McGee from NCIS and followed the white hat link.
'Ha,' he seems pleased that I've heard of the term. 'You know about white hats? What about gray hats?' (P.S. White hats are ethical hackers)
'Uh...people who are the real hackers?'
'No that's a black hat. Gray hats are people who hack for money.'
Ooh. I learn something new every day. We watched the other teams hand up their pen drives. Dhiren was telling me, 'Or we could just plug in a 10-megabyte file which is so big he'll not be able to open it. Nothing wrong on our side, but his computer will have problem.'
Gave him a look because I wanted to get the pres over with lah, not sabo the lecturer's comp.
The boys, especially How, seriously exceeded my expectations for the pres. Seriously! How was such a genius at presenting; he even included examples for the definition of a Malay bit. And he was interrupted halfway when Sir told someone off for using their phone. Call from instructor, apparently. How dissipated the tension by saying, 'OK lah, I forgive you.'
After our pres, three guys came up to do the Factors of Migration of Chinese. Lily and I both noticed that the two red-shirt guys (one of whom was called Clarence Ang, I think; saw him raise his hand during roll call) were really cute. Then How, who seemed to know what we were thinking or just playing, leaned forward and asked us, 'Hey, those two guys up there very cute right?' Lily retorted that How was gay. 'No lah, that guy in my class one!'
Later did I truly realise how crazy (in a good way) Lily is. Some examples of her craziness:
Presenting Fella: ...and they were bought to Malaya by Long Jaafar.'
Lily: Hey, Short Jaafar.
Presenting Fella: ...these are only small statistics because not many Indians came over and married local women.
Lily: Yeah, 'cause they married local men!
(Presenting Fella points to a map of China during his presentation)
Lily: He looks like a weatherman.
(Lecturer talking about Parameswara and how he was running from Siam 'cause he killed Temagi)
Lily: Mm, Temagi. Sounds like some sort of food. Teppanyaki. Temagi.
Now you see what I mean when I said she was crazy.