This dreary Victoria morning, through a combination of waiting and travel time, I wasted two hours on a new math student who failed to show up at Camosun College. Most tutors have had this experience. On the bright side, it reminded me to put more effort into moving my business online. Online students are still capable of not showing up or of cancelling at the last minute but at least I do not have to waste time travelling to their homes or to some other location. This latest incident also suggests that I should heed the advice of those veteran colleagues who insist upon receiving payment in advance.
So what does this have to do with chemistry, art or cheer?
As I have mentioned elsewhere, mathematics and physics are my specialties. When I tutor chemistry I do so with some reluctance because I know there are some excellent tutors like Nigel Straney who are much better at it than am. My chemistry work is mostly a convenience for my clients. A student I may be working with on math and/or physics will often be taking chemistry at the same time. Usually they find the latter much easier but on those occasions when they do require assistance it makes more sense for them to come to me than to arrange for a chemistry specialist.
When I got home this morning I made a pot of tea to cheer myself up. The aroma of the Earl Grey got me thinking about the chemistry behind our sense of smell. That in turn reminded me of a bright sunny day this past summer when I took this photo while on a routine walk with friends along the water in Oak Bay. Closer inspection revealed that someone remembered some isotopes and reactions from high-school chemistry. The photo at the top of this article is a link to an explanation of how that piano and two others came to be in public places.