Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Transition states

In chemistry, transition states are high energy states, corresponding to the structure at the high point between reactants and products. These structures are stretched and bent beyond the normal bounds of molecular structures.

It's been a week of transitions here, and it's been high energy as a result.  As of Monday morning I took over being chair of the chemistry department.  (Think service — she who does the paperwork — not power here.) I'm already two meetings and three crises deep.

The Egg's show closed, sending him cartwheeling into a couple of weeks of summer vacation.  He started work less than 24 hours after he finished his European choir tour.

Crash graduated from Wonderful Jesuit University in May, a month so busy I didn't get a chance to write about it, or maybe I'm just in denial, as honestly it seemed as if we'd just dropped him off a month or two before.

Yesterday, he packed up the tiny red car, a task which required stretching normal space I suspect, and left for Kentucky with The Egg at the wheel.  (He has a nine month long (paid!!) stint with Actors Theatre of Louisville's professional training company.)  Six hundred some-odd miles and eleven hours later he arrived in Louisville.  He has rented an apartment, he starts work tomorrow.

When I asked him yesterday how he was doing, he commented that the transitions are always the hard part for him.  If molecules could talk, they'd say the same thing.


  1. Love your connections with science! Just now beginning to understand the meaning of 'quantum'. I've recommended your blog to my church community. Thank you for your insights.

  2. While I love my post-professor retirement career in pastoral ministry, I do miss the chance to play with molecules and mathematical calculations. Just looking at your transition state diagram brought a big smile to my face. Condolences on being named department chair.

    1. I'm smiling thinking of this wonderful next career. And thanks, the chair's chair is rarely a comfortable spot...