C&EN ONION EXCLUSIVE REPORT BY ChemBark
Chestnut Hill, MA
In a remarkable reversal of the normal student-advisor power dynamic, second-year Boston College graduate student Mike Reid has assigned his advisor the task of constructing PowerPoint slides for an upcoming local meeting of the New England Section of the American Chemical Society.
"I was blind-sided." remarked Stanley Morrow, the Chester Abernathy III Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. “I had just walked into the men's room to answer the call of nature, when Mike put his hand on my shoulder and told me he needed a set of 20 slides for his talk."
Reid lamented not being able to construct the slide deck himself, but noted the extensive demands on his time. His current duties include teaching two lab sections of Chem 230, keeping up with the literature, and pretending to run the experiments suggested last month at group meeting that will never work and the boss will probably just forget about anyway.
While initially surprised, Morrow says that the assignment is an important sign that his students trust him with their work and value his input.
Morrow reports he has not yet started making slides, but will do so as soon as Reid responds to an e-mail about his preferred colors for text and background. Morrow has also e-mailed BC's IT help desk for assistance on installing ChemDraw, and has searched YouTube for several tutorial videos on how to use the program.
"I never knew how tedious it is to make all of these figures I publish," Morrow said while shaking his head at the screen of his six-core, dual-GPU Mac Pro.