Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Caffeine Extraction

Although I ended up being in a group full of guys, I do feel we do a great job of communicating and dividing the work evenly between the five of us. Tea time!! So what we basically did today was to make tea using four tea bags of Trader Joe's Irish Breakfast black tea and then extracting the caffeine from the solution using Methylene chloride. Then the caffeine solution was isolated using a rodovap, and pure caffeine was then obtained in a powder form. I would say today was a success and tomorrow we will run different test methods to check the purity of the caffeine we have extracted today.

As for the Ivy League Connection, I feel that it has helped me come to my senses and realize there is more to the whole applying to college process. I mean there is a lot to think about before actually applying to a certain college. I have to think about if the college has what I am looking for in terms of the class I would like to take. Also, I would have to think about what colleges offer programs that will help me on the long run both financially and academically. Another thing the ILC has provided for me is the extra push to think about applying to colleges outside of California and the whole UC system.

It is funny how most of the students enrolled in the summer program have an idea of what college they want to attend and what they're going to major in. When I first arrived at Columbia hearing kids talk about their future with so much confidence had me a little frightened. I came to Columbia having no idea what school to go to or what to major in. In school and during college tours people always say that its okay to not know what you want to pursue because most people end up changing their majors at least once and it is why I never bothered to really think about what I want to study in college.

However, the ILC has made it clear that the purpose of this whole experience is to start thinking about what colleges to apply to and what to pursue once in college. Being in this class surrounded by people who already have an idea what to do after high school helped me come to a decision of pursuing something within the science field. ( Maybe Biology of Biochemistry!)

1 comment:

Don Gosney said...


Literally minutes before you posted this I commented to your blog from yesterday about caffeine. Perhaps your ears were ringing.

From your opening statement in this blog I got to wondering whether the extraction of caffeine was a gender specific task. I mean, was the fact that you were the only female in the group have an impact on the process?

We need more of our students (and more people out in the real world) to ignore their gender, to ignore their faith and ignore their ethnicity when deciding how or what to do. It only matters, Sofia, because you make it matter. You’re all just people and you need to stand up for that equality and not for any special treatment or consideration based on some special aspect of your life.

Trust me, Sofia, when I tell you that if you were to check back with many of those confident students who know where they’re going to go and what they’re going to major in, a lot of them will have changed their minds from what they think now. Just as your mind has been altered by your experiences this past month all of you will have life changing things put in front of you that will influence you even more.

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