Appendix B. The Laboratory Notebook

Re-minding is a tedious process. Starting with a virtual blank slate for a mind, it takes two years to learn to walk, another five or ten to condition the animal body for effective communication, and another twenty or sixty or even eighty years to assemble the requisite thoughts, notions, values, skills, observations and visions to form a complete human being. And just when you have everything in its place, your animal host gets itself trampled by a herd of water buffalo or killed in battle or it simply wears out and the whole process has to start over again with a fresh animal host.

Students at Hampden-Sydney College are required to keep a notebook documenting their achievements as caveman chemists. The notebook serves the purpose of preparing them for the work, organizing it, and documenting it. If they ever desire to repeat a project in the future, the notebook should provide a sufficient level of detail for them to do so. If a project does not turn out, the notebook helps me to help them to figure out what went wrong. It also serves as a souvenir for the children and grandchildren.

Caveman chemists are encouraged to follow the Hampden-Sydney format: