A student asked if the labs need to be written in pen. Apparently, the lab instructions say to do so. Actually, I forgot that was in there. It’s kind of a hand-me-down set of instructions from ancient times (a few years ago). I should probably take it out, but it's worth a short discussion. The thinking goes like this: If/when you ever get into “real” research, you will be required to put everything in pen so that your notes will be more “pure”, less likely to be altered, etc. After all, if you discover something wonderful and go tell the world, they will be less likely to believe you if your notes are full of corrections. But then, these days, you could probably type the whole thing up on the computer. The grading for written lab “reports” is always quite cumbersome, especially since this is just a first semester course, so I re-wrote all the labs so that your work could be written directly on a lab “form”. Other instructors push for a more formal write-up. I suppose pen is still preferred, just because it doesn’t smudge, and it encourages “commitment” to what’s being written, but I’m not going to enforce it. Alternately, student who have access to Acrobat can open the PDF of the lab document and “add text” to it (in some other font or color), save it and print it out, which is tricky, but looks VERY nice. But understand that if you just print a second copy for your lab partner, that's not acceptable. You collect data together but interpret it individually. If I see two identical labs, I'll just divide the grade by two. Hey, it's your tuition. Are you paying to learn how to photocopy?