Thursday, November 17, 2011

organic chemistry - midterm

So it's a little later than mid-term in Ochem, but I thought I'd provide a "how its going" post so I can come back once its all over ... and be thankful its all over. Yes, it's interesting stuff. Yes, it's probably important that I know what's going to react with what and how. But holy crapsticks batman. There's a lot of material here. And it's intimidating material. And they tend to ask you the most difficult questions when it comes time to answer questions.

There are people in my class who are doing exceptionally well. I have no idea how they are pulling that off. This all seems like a "cross-class skill" (D&D reference for the nerds in the audience) for me, and I have to spend twice as much XP to get it. OChem lab tho? I totally have that. My lab reports dance and sing and have figures and tables... and regularly receive 96% A+'s... I can swirl things that don't mix together into a chromatography column without spilling a drop, work with 10M acid without getting nervous, and distill with the best of them.

Apparently, I can apply things into practice, but I have trouble visualizing them abstractly. It's just that... well, sure, I understand how and when an SN1 reaction will take place, but... I personally think I don't study enough. If I could study five hours a day, I'd probably understand everything and be able to perform better on the exams.

But gosh darnit, pre-med involves a lot of "other" stuff... stuff that takes up all that time that I could be studying. And I'm not talking about tv or other such related pursuits. I literally work my butt off every single day of the week. Saturday and Sunday I work at the hospital as a transporter, gaining valuable patient contact experience and paying the mortgage. All week I have classes, Tuesday and Wednesday classes are all day. Thursday and Friday I work in the research lab for most of the day. Monday I only have one class, but that's also the day I write lab reports, do laundry, go grocery shopping, make phone calls, pay bills...

I'm not whining. Well, ok, I guess I am. A little bit. I'm just saying I wish I had more time. Or that I could somehow go without sleep like most of my colleagues. All-nighters are not a good idea at this stage in the game... I can't just sleep all day the next day, I need to stay sharp every single day so I can do my best.

Anyways. I guess my point is that I can do one or two things brilliantly, a bunch of things pretty well, and a lot of things kinda crappy. That being said, I'm doing pretty ok at Organic Chemistry, wishing I could do better. Three more weeks of this term, after which I'll be a certified EMT, which will open up some really cool volunteer opportunities. The only thing left to figure out is shadowing, and hopefully I'll meet some docs in my job or volunteer experiences.