Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Dr. Skooks, 68, Chemistry Professor

Dr. Skooks, Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry died yesterday after being crushed by an avalanche of precariously placed books high over his workstation.

Dr. Skooks (rhymes with books) received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry at The Ohio State University and accomplished a prestigious post-doctoral appointment with Harvard Professor and Nobel Laureate E. J. Corey. After this appointment, he applied to one school, Purdue University, where he remained throughout his career.

There was no shortage of comments about the man from former graduate students. "I was one of his first graduate students. He was a frigging bastard. In at 6 am and he wouldn't leave the lab until 10 pm. And, he'd be up your ass the entire time."

His personality apparently underwent a drastic change as he matured in his profession according to another of his students. "I was his 40th Ph.D. student. He was quite a guy. Demanding but had his priorities right. Coach of his son's little league team, stuff like that."

Dr. Skooks published hundreds of papers on the synthesis of natural products, a highly competitive area of organic chemistry. "He was a fast thinker." said another of his students, "when he wanted a problem solved and you weren't going fast enough, he'd prod you to find the answer faster than you could handle."

He had some odd rituals according to the lab. Everyday at noon, after he came back from a swim, he'd pop some corn in the microwave. "That popping corn was the warning, when you heard that, Doc was about to make the rounds and he wanted to learn something from each student every day of the week. Scared the shit out of us."

All students quoted wished to remain anonymous. Dr. Skooks apparently instilled a lifelong sense of fear in them.

One fumehood in his lab will be labeled with a plaque with his name on it and it will never be used again.

1 condolences:

Alex said...


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