Cycle of University

Even though I have only been going to university for two years, I feel like every year I go through this cycle of how obsessed I am with chemistry.

Over the summer, like every student, I dump all of the info I learned, because seriously, if you give anyone a 4 month break, they’re not going to remember crap by the end of those 4 months.

However, September hits and all my chem profs be like “SO I ASSUME YOU REMEMBER EVERYTHING FROM LAST YEAR”

And I’m looking around like:

So my profs be all like: “Remember MO theory?  Well, you were working on homonuclear diatomic molecules, and NOW we’re going to be working on heteronuclear diatomic and polynuclear molecules!!  I’m assuming you remember how to draw MO diagrams.”

Me: The "Sure, Whatever You Say"

Sure, I kind of remember that!

Then we actually got into MO theory and there’s suddenly all of this orbital diagram drawing and the spaces between the atomic orbitals suddenly matter because the more electronegative the atom, the lower it is in energy.  And I’m just sitting there being all like:

The "I Literally Cannot Even Begin to Understand"

“Where did this sorcery even COME from?!”

And trying to extract that information from my memory usually goes like this:

The "Nope"

Seriously, youtube and ChemWiki were my best friends at the beginning of the fall semester because my Inorganic prof was assuming we knew a lot of stuff that I’m pretty sure we never learned.  However, just like the plot of a horror movie, my prof moved on to bigger and more terrifying things.  However, at some point in the semester, something usually clicks for me and I realize that I’m actually learning freaken cool  sciency stuff that finally makes sense and I really get into all of the new stuff that I’m learning, and I be all like:

The "Kind of Totally Freaking Out Right Now"

However, there’s always the small problem when somebody (AKA my siblings/parents/friends/extended family) ask me what I’m learning in school and I’m just all like *deep breath* “Oh let me tell you about the WORLD of chemistry!” and by the end of the conversation the other person is going:

26 Black People Not Amused By White People | Distractify

And I just look at them like:

The "Proud of You"

And then the school year ends.

I pretty sure my family believes that I no longer speak English, and I still have 2 more years worth of chemistry to do.

A thanks goes out to Jensen Ackles for perfectly describing my science feels.

Quick example of sciency awesomeness (this is a steam distillation set up):

 

It’s that time of year again!

Well, it that glorious time of year again where the second wave of mindterms is in full swing, finals are just lurking around the corner, labs are finishing up, AND EVERYTHING IS DUE. So it’s understandable that all the uni students are going:

I love Cam

It’s also time to get my life together for next year (planning classes) and I’m pretty sure that I don’t value my sanity anymore.  Actually, I’m pretty sure that I have none left, thanks to chemistry.  Sometimes, when I’ve been doing homework for too long, I think about what profs must think in September when they see all of the first years…I’m pretty sure this is an accurate description of what goes on in their brains.

Hannibal & Will

Sometimes I can hear the dwindling amount of sanity I have left say “fuck this shit, I’m out of here!”  It’s also these same sometimes that I wonder why I pay people to stress me out.  Hopefully it’s worth it in the end :)…

And if it isn’t, I’m screwed.

My O Chem Prof is Awesome

Despite the fact that I often bitch about assignments and profs, I actually do love attending university at my campus.  Since its a bit of a smaller sized campus, I can’t go anywhere without seeing somebody I’m friends with, or a prof whose class I’m in, or just a person I’ve seen in one of my classes.  One of the huge benefits to a smaller campus is that it kind of operates like a small town.  Everybody knows almost everybody (Seriously, I’ve lost count at how many times I’ve played the “hey, do you know this person?” game), and the profs are really friendly.

For example, my Organic Chemistry 2 prof agreed to see me after class in his office, despite the fact that he wanted to get home quick because his son (who I call Stormagedon, Dark Lord of All) was sick, all because I had forgotten my lab write up sheet that had an H-NMR spectrum on it.  So I was running like mad to my dorm room, saw a friend that was trying to withdraw from my O Chem prof’s general chem class, told her that he would be in his office, so she was all like “SWEET!  I’VE BEEN TRYING TO SEE HIM FOREVER” so we both grabbed our things and ran like mad to his office.  He signed my friend’s withdrawal papers, answered her question about smoothing 3D printed objects via chemical means, and you could tell he was super interested in 3D printing.

My friend had then left and he sat down and patiently explained to me what the mess on my H-NMR spectra was and why it was like that.  Since the H-NMR was part of a lab assignment, and that lab had been a paper lab (just what it sounds like, you work through problems for 3 hours straight) this prof asked me how it went, and I was all like: “Well, I don’t really like paper labs because its loud and I swear I get ADHD because there’s so much going on around me and it doesn’t help when I’m working with someone I don’t know because I typically think backwards compared to everyone else.  Like I did a mark sheet in my educational computing class and the prof asked me if I read Hebrew because it was all backwards.”

And my prof was all like “…You think backwards compared to everyone else? ME TOO!”

And there I was all like:

Woah!

Thinking: “Hold the fuck up.  What?”

My prof: “Yeah, I don’t understand how people can’t see a two dimensional drawing in 3D.”

Me on the inside:

one of my favorite gifs EVER :D

“I HAVE FINALLY FOUND MY PEOPLE!!!”

I think I just stared at him for a couple of moments, and I think he was talking about more chem stuff that he didn’t understand why people couldn’t do, but I was too happy to even hear what he was saying.

I don’t think my O chem prof realized just how happy he made me by saying that.  Seriously, that was on Friday and its been a whole 24 hours later that I finally found somebody that thinks like me, and I’m still super happy.

This is What University is For

I have to say that yesterday was the best, most relaxing day I’ve had in a long time.  I believe one of my friends summed up the day the best: “Today is what I always thought university would be like when I was in high school”.

Believe me, I started out with the intentions of catching up my Inorganic Chemistry review outline at the city’s public library, however, the guy friend I caught a ride with was all like “WE SHOULD WATCH A MOVIE TONIGHT AT THE THEATER!” and so we decided that we all needed to watch the second 300 movie, because what better way to relieve stress than to see an epic battle (not to mention ab heaven).  By the way, its an alright movie.  If you just want to see lots of epic fights, CG’d blood, and learn some of the back story to the first 300 movie, then go right ahead and watch it.  Oh, and the opening scene has boobs in it for some reason.  I’m not sure why those were needed but, whatever.  Probably just for the male audience.  I still don’t understand why guys are so turned on by boobs, the guys I’ve talked to can’t even really explain it either.  I’m all like, “What is so fascinating about boobs?!”  and my guy friends were all like “Dude, its BOOBS.  Like…real BOOBS.  They’re all squishy…and…fun…and…boobie.”

Otherwise, I would say that the first movie was better (not to mention more iconic with the “THIS IS SPARTA!!!” scene).  This second movie had moments where it felt too much like a video game.

Anyways, the best part of going to the theater was not movie, but more so the comments we made during the trailers and the movie.  For example, when the Godzilla trailer came on and it had a moment of pure silence in the theater, and they were showing the sheer monstrosity that is Godzilla, my friend yelled out “IT’S GODZILLA!!!!” and the entire theater started laughing.  Also, when the sex scene came, I turned to said friend and said “Jeez, this sounds like what comes out of my can mate’s room every night” right when she was taking a big gulp of pop.  Needless to say she was cursing me and laughing along with some other friends, because we all know how true that statement was.  Seriously, people.  If ya live in dorms, you WILL hear sex noises.

We came back to the dorms, got yelled at for being loud then crashed at my dorm room and stayed up til 1:30 am.  And yes, the party did include french braiding one of my friend’s boyfriend’s hair because he has long hair, much to his embarrassment.  Seriously, though, any guy with long hair is just asking for that to happen to him.  So let that be a warning to any guy with long hair.  Girls WILL find you and your hair WILL be braided, sooner or later.  My friends also mocked my can mate (who, luckily, had gone home for the weekend) by loudly mimicking animal sex noises, which included turtle sex, and howler monkey sex.

What did I tell ya?  YOU WILL HEAR SEX NOISES IN DORM ROOMS.

Overtired+coffee

Today I found out that I really shouldn’t stay up until 2:00 am 3 consecutive nights in a row (I had to write a 27 page post lab report) and then show up to an Inorganic class wired on coffee.  Apparently, at that point I am no longer able to determine what charge a central metal atom has on it, unless it is +1 or smaller (btw, transition metals usually aren’t negatively charged [but as always, there is an exception to that]…so really I was only capable of determining a +1 or 0 charge).  I found out that apparently when I’m overtired and wired at the same time, my usual filter that I have for lectures just disintegrates.

I most likely had this facial expression on the entire class:

For example, after scramble-frying the entire classes’ brains with a somehow even more complicated explanation of H-NMR (MOAR SPLITTING from Phosphorus, Carbon…elements with abundant isotopes). And this prof was all like “Alright does everyone understand?”

Me:

This is my new favorite reaction gif. I’ll be using it a lot.  "Am I studying for this exam like I should be?"  "Am I gonna pass the e...

prof: Has anyone started studying for the quiz that is going to happen in 5 days?  Remember I want you to remember up to Radon, plus there will be the new material on the quiz as well.

Me:

This is my new favorite reaction gif. I’ll be using it a lot.  "Am I studying for this exam like I should be?"  "Am I gonna pass the e...

The good thing is, is that I remember up to Germanium already, and we only have to memorize the s, p and d blocks.

Also, today I had a really quick Inorganic chemistry lab.  It was glorious! Only one hour!  The draw back to that lab was that we were working with Cyclooctadiene, and for those of you that have a social life, that translates into:  a clear, colourless liquid that smells bad.  Seriously.  We had 3 fumehoods going, most of the windows were open in the lab, and it still smelt fairly strong.  When we were finished the lab and I walked outside, my nose started to hurt because it was finally able to have an intake of fresh air.

 

Dorm life

Dorm life can be good…crazy, but good.  In first year, dorms was pretty much where I met at least half of my friends.  The other half was through classes.  In first year, I also had the fortune of rooming in one of the tamer halls, where my next door neighbors weren’t having sex all the time.  My hall was full of all of the smart, just-want-to-have-fun kind of girls.  Don’t get me wrong, there were still most of the typical groups you could expect to find in a dorm hall.  For example: the weirdos (my group), the transporter ( a chick who no one ever saw in the hall, bathroom or cafeteria, I only saw her in one of my classes and even then I only realized that she was in my class at the end of the semester), the good musicians, the bad musicians, the tricksters, etc.  In first year, there isn’t really a divider line between science and art students just yet.  Everyone is too desperate to make new friends to care about that.

If your first year was great, like it was for me, then second year can get….interesting, lets say.

First, you will be easily able to tell who in fact is an art student and who is a science student.  The science students will also be able to tell who is in an artsy science (psychology, political science) and who is in a more of a “sciency” science (for lack of better word).  Art students also do this at my campus…for example out of the three major artsy arts (fine arts, drama, and music), I feel like drama people just come up with the CRAZIEST stuff for group projects that even make me wonder what is going on.

Secondarily,  if you weren’t neighbors with someone who has sex at least once a week, you will be in second year dorms.  Hearing sex at least once is a guaranteed part of the dorm experience. Actually, just dealing with loud people at least once a day is a guaranteed part of the dorm experience.  My can mate (person I share a semi-private bathroom with) is one of these loud, talkative people.  Sometimes I sit in my room, listening to her talk all day and I legit think that she is some twisted alien from hell that has a bottomless pit of gossip to talk about.  There are some days where I need to see the Hulk smashing Loki into a floor to make me feel better about my can mate.  Actually scratch that, every day I need to see this gif to help me deal with her.

Hulk Smash (Loki)  I feel better already.

For some reason this chick has taken it upon herself to release herself of bathroom duties such as re-stocking the toilet paper when it is her month to do so.  Don’t even get me started on her cleaning schedule.

I would like to say that I can understand why most people do the things they do, if they use reason and logic…but there will always be those bizarre people that seem to have crawled straight out of Satan’s ass.

Lesson learned?

...like trying to smell the color 9.

IR Spectra

Every time I successfully complete an IR and walk out of the room where the FT-IR is located, this is what I feel like:

Greatest entrance ever -- The Emperor's New Groove (gif)

*Que “Stutter” by Marianas Trench*

Today’s lab involved doing 3 IR’s in KBr pellet form with Ferrocene, Acetyl Ferrocene and a derivative of Acetyl Ferrocene (which I think is called 1-ethanol ferrocene).  So you can imagine how much I was grooving on my way out of the IR room.  Additionally, nothing makes you feel more like a boss when you can interpret IR spectra just by looking at it, and not looking up what all the peaks mean.

For normal people, this is what an Infrared (IR) spectrum looks like:

140306-181648 Ignore that huge peak in the middle, that’s just carbon dioxide.

 

Also for normal people: Yes, you are pretty much interpreting a squiggly line into a compound.  Also, those things that look like valleys are actually called peaks.

 

Also, every time that I get close to the end of a lab (usually at the recrystallization stage) this is me:

It's dinner time!  The Emperor's New Groove is now available in a 2-Movie collection!

Sometimes I wonder what lab profs must think of me when they see me in this kind of a mood, but then I remind myself that I’m an introvert and I don’t actually show 75% of the emotions that I feel around people I don’t really know.