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During Your Finals, Did an Examiner Help You?

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There were so many interesting things I learned during my apprenticeship as a drogist, an herbal pharmacist in Zürich from the spring of 1957 to the spring of 1961! I previously wrote that I had also learned some perfumery. Besides pharmacology, herbalism, etc., there were the so-called technical manufacturing of items such as paints, floor waxes, and cosmetics, all of which I needed to know how to produce by hand in a small laboratory.

During the two days of my final practical exams, I had to produce quite a few different items—all from scratch. My herbal assignment was an anti-pectoral tisane and my technical item was window putty. My cosmetic assignment was to produce cold cream. I had arrived at the final stage of the production and the whole composition just stayed liquefied. It wouldn’t turn solid, no matter how long I kept kneading the mass with my pistil.

I was getting desperate as the time was running out. My examining expert slyly looked around to see if we were being observed by others. He then whispered loudly with a grin, “Quit churning your pistil!” I stopped and in a few moments the cold cream was solid.

Did you get some help from your examiner during your final practical or oral exams, which then helped you to pass successfully? Wasn’t that a gift and a blessing?


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