Smart Drugs

I don’t know how it took me until my 3rd year in university to find out about “Smart drugs” or memory enhancing drugs or whatever you want to call them.  Actually, the only reason I know of these things is because I know a nursing student who is like a walking encyclopedia of drugs and random information.  They sound like little miracles in pill form–especially since Finals Week is imminent.  However, just for kicks I was reading about them and some of the side affects were that they can be addictive, and since they allow you to go without sleep for a long period of time that’s probably bad for your brain in the long run.

Surprisingly, those side effects aren’t what made me stop investigating these drugs even for kicks.  I mean the whole sleep thing didn’t really bother me because I usually go like 2-3 weeks on 5 hours of sleep per night and then I have 1 day where I just crash and end up sleeping for 16 hours in total.  For the “can be addictive” I asked the nursing student who said that it’s different for everyone.  Some people do get addicted, others don’t.  What side effect bothered me the most was this potential loss for creativity and taking these without contacting a doctor can lead to serious problems depending on the medication you’re taking and your health condition.  If you want to see the article where I read this, it is right here.

While it is tempting, and I don’t take that many other drugs, but I’d rather not lose my creativity be it artistic or in problem solving.  Also I watched Limitless and I do not want people coming after me for drugs if I get some.  Obviously, there are better, less potentially dangerous ways to attempt to boost your concentration or get stuff done, such as:

  • My favorite is writing out schedules of how my day will proceed/ what I’m going to do.  The only problem that I’ve had with that is that I overestimate my ability to get stuff done and I don’t always complete my list.
  • Prioritize tasks- what is the stuff that you REALLY need to get done.  Like you might die if you don’t get them done TODAY.
  • Take time to chill –  I usually hook my chill time up to meal times so I can take 1 hr long meal breaks instead of 30 min food breaks.
  • Write down EVERYTHING.  This seriously helps me so much, because if I don’t write something down, I am doomed to forget all about it.

Just some suggestions.  Also, if you’re in uni, I’m going to assume whatever students association you have runs a sort of wellness week–TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE OF THAT.  I did and I got to pet dogs and kittens–best stress buster of all time.  I had so much trouble not just squealing in pure joy because they were all so cute.

Creation vs Evolution Debate

I was watching Bill Nye’s and Ken Hamon’s debate on Creation versus Evolution.  I know by internet standard that it’s kind of old but I’d only watched the highlights of it, and I figured I should watch it while I was doing my chem homework.  (By the way if anyone hasn’t watched it and can work and listen at the same time I strong recommend listening to it, because it’s super interesting.  It’s right here if you need the link.  By the way, that is the full 2 hr and 45 minute thing.)  I did find it did have my attention for most of the time and it was quite engaging.  I obviously identified more with what Bill Nye said, but I did try to understand where Mr. Hamon was coming from.  Unfortunately, he said that we make these assumptions but for some reason he doesn’t make the assumption that the entirety of the bible is true?  Also he said that “energy or matter will never produce life”  Now I take “life” to mean organisms and I felt like he forgot that trees take energy from the sun, convert it into food, oxygen, etc.  and the plant grows and produces seeds. Animals then eat plants and therefore energy sustains life.  Heat is basically energy and let’s just talk about Pluto for a second.  To my knowledge, there is no life on Pluto because it is so cold because it’s so far away from the sun.  That’s some pretty good evidence for energy helping to produce life because life needs an energy source to draw from….plus heat make environments more inhabitable.  Yes there are cold places on earth, but notice that there is less biodiversity there than compared to somewhere around the equator.

I may have some things wrong about religion because I don’t really understand why people look to religion as the answer for the things that are around them and how they came to be.  I just don’t find “because God created it that way” to be that satisfying.  I don’t care what religion other people choose to believe in. I can see that it was kind of like a moral code (ie/ The 10 Commandments) and I can see for all the lack of technology people had way back when, that some mysterious deity being the answer to why things are the way they are, made sense.  I can see it as something that people may turn to for comfort in times of sadness or stress.

What I don’t understand is how people can just passively accept “because God made it that way” and not question it.  Why would you do that?  How is that satisfying?  Don’t you ever wonder WHY God made it the way that he did?  To my understanding, people probably don’t because everything God has done/made is perfect.  Which really makes me wonder  why some extreme religious people get their panties in a knot about homosexuals.  If God did everything perfect, it was a perfect decision to let humans have free will.  Due to God knowing all, I’m going to assume He would have known homosexuals would have come around at some point, and He was okay with them existing because that was his perfect design.

I could have some aspects of that wrong; I don’t know everything about Christianity.  I mean seriously, I thought for a while there that people drinking wine and claiming it was the “blood of Christ” was theoretical cannibalism.  I did try to get in on the whole religious thing, but it just felt like I got brainwashed and I did not enjoy that.

Obviously, as a science-y person and as a hopeful future science teacher I believe that science should be taught in science classes and not religion.  HOWEVER, I still think that people should be exposed to religion as well as science, but the place for that is not in a science classroom.  Religion can be taught in some other class or maybe have it’s own class because there are a lot of religions out there.

My Art Prof is Awesome

So today in my Art class I was working on a drawing that was on a light grey piece of paper and we had to define 3 objects: one was an egg, the other was a shiny object and the last was a glass object.  This is what my set up looked like

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So I’ve always had this problem where in drawings (especially drawings where I use conte) where I just can NOT hit black.  I think I’m pressing hard, and I think I’m getting pretty dang dark, however in reality I’m making a medium to medium dark grey.  But I’m a master at anything from white to medium grey.

So as my prof was walking around, he looked over my shoulder and said “alright, so now you need to really push your darks and get black.  To which I replied:  “I know it doesn’t look like it, but I AM trying.”  So my Art prof smiled and he was going to walk away but then he had an after thought and leaned back and then the best moment happened of my week happened.  He went like this:

To which I was like:

And apparently a Star Wars reference is all it takes for me to get to black!  It took a little while, but I DID IT!

Also, if you didn’t notice in the picture above, that dog food dish looks more like a metal top hat, and so my prof commented on it and he was all like “It looks like something from James bond”  To which I was like “OH MY GOD THE GUY THAT THROWS HIS HAT.” and my prof was like “HE’S IN GOLDFINGER”.  It was great.

I really am proud of my drawing, so at some point I’ll post it.  I know it’s got mistakes, but the glass actually looks glassy and I was so impressed with myself.

I’m a (slightly) terrible person

Ok, to fully understand this story I first have to mention a back story here.  I forget what grade I was in when we had to learn how to solve a problem where you had to work out some math on the numerator and the denominator and then you would eventually end up dividing it out.  Anyways, I wasn’t great at it in the beginning so I would occasionally get a zero in the denominator and of course I’d be like “What on earth do I do with this?” and then my teacher would be like “You can’t divide by zero.”   So I’d be like “What?  Why on earth can’t I do that?” and I think I must of either annoyed the teacher enough or the teacher just didn’t want to fully explain everything to me so my teacher just said “because if you do, you’re going to create a black hole.”

So naturally, due to my over active imagination and terrible math skills whenever I got a zero in the denominator I would have my own personal crisis.  I seriously thought that in those cases the fate of the world rested on my shoulders and if I didn’t get rid of the zero somehow we were all going to die.  I was a very gullible child, by the way.

So fast forwards to today. I was volunteering at the public library and I was working with kids because the person who usually did that job was away and I didn’t know where she was.  So a bunch of kids at my table were asking where this person had gone and I had said “I don’t know” but apparently that wasn’t a satisfying enough answer for them and they kept on asking until eventually I just blurted “She went to Hogwarts.”  For some reason they all accepted that as perfectly logical once I informed them that it was a magical school.

I turned into that teacher that tricked me so many years ago.  This is why I’m going to be teaching high school students because if I taught elementary students they would probably go home telling their parents unicorns are real or something and then I’d probably get into trouble.  I don’t think I’d be able to resist telling elementary students something like unicorns are real and all they need to do is go outside and look hard enough.

Textbook

Every now and again I have to use my Analytical Chem textbook, and every once in a while I find gems left by a rebellious writer who’s committed to making chemistry interesting.

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To whoever that rebellious writer was, I salute you.

Labs

My lab got cancelled today!  It’s kind great, but at the same time I’m kind of sad because that means that all the scheduling for this lab gets pushed back a week.  Now here’s where I think that the universe has a cruel sense of humor; almost every lab I’ve ever taken, I have been in the lab section that is always the last to check out.  I try to schedule myself into the lab section which I think isn’t going to be the last one to check out but usually, by some twist of fate, my lab gets cancelled and BOOM! I have an extra week of labs.  EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR.  I’m just hoping that maybe for one semester there’s one lab were I may be the first lab section to check out.

On another note, in my Transition Metal class we learned about the Laporte Selection Rule for d-d transitions and my prof was all like “It’s more of a guideline than a rule…” and then all I could think of was this:

But I didn’t get to enjoy the Pirates of the Caribbean for very long because my prof then proceeded to break the entire class’s brains (all four of us).  I really think my prof just recently thought to herself “fuck it!  I only have 4 weeks to mentally break these people!” lol as if she hasn’t broke me already.  I’m still holding out hope that there might be some easy stuff at the end of the course, which isn’t realistic considering that said prof promised to make the transition metal course more difficult on purpose.  But a girl can dream.

Additionally, a cool thing that happened this week was that in my art class, we were given this assignment where we had to “draw” by ripping up dark grey, light grey or white paper and gluing it onto a black piece of paper.  We probably spent like 2.5 hours on this and after the class ended I had this massive headache, but the cool part was that the right side of my brain actually hurt more than my left side of my brain.  Which means the creative side of my brain was working overtime and the massive headache was just proof of my right side of my brain being more active than the left side of my brain.  I thought that was a pretty cool silver lining to that cloud and I told one of my friends and she was like “…I never would of thought of it like that…but that’s pretty cool that you can sit back and look at your headache that way.”

Lastly, I have to talk about my Analytical Chemistry class.  So this class happens at 10:30 am, and it’s always a luck of the draw if I happen to be fully functional before noon (but lately, I’ve been getting better for being functional because I’m not staying up until 2:00 am doing homework).  Anyways, so my prof was writing a chemical equation for EDTA (which is a compound used for purifying stuff in industry…it’s also used for chelation therapy and preserving foods…ANYWAYS) so I happened to be somewhat tired and I felt a yawn coming on and it didn’t feel like a really loud one so I was like “alright, no worries, nobody is going to notice this one” and I commenced the yawn.  However, the yawn was WAAAY louder than I intended it to be (…like the whole class heard it…) but apparently the yawn sounded somewhat like I was going “YAAAAAAAA” and I was cheering for EDTA/the chemical equation and the prof just whipped around and was like “THANK YOU” and the entire class just started laughing and a bunch of people looked at me.  My friend that was sitting beside me was just like:

Meanwhile I’m just like: