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Vent about chemistry class.....

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
So it's the third week of classes and already I feel overwhelmed.

So I am taking chemistry I for the science major. I took chemistry in high school, but that was five years ago. So I was planning on taking baby chemistry (an intro course for non science majors) just as a refresher, but my advisor thought it would be best to jump right in to CHEM 121 science the baby chemistry wouldn't count towards my degree.

Today we were going over the different geometric structures of molecules. Oh...my...gosh. I feel like I just ran a marathon! There's about fifteen different structures we have to know so I'm trying to see things in 3D when they can only be diagrammed in 2D and memorize all of these exceptions and "if this happens, then it'll be like this instead"s. I mean this is week 3 of chemistry I! Surely I shouldn't be so frazzled at this stage? I'm not lost yet, but I feel like I'm holding on by the thinnest of threads.

And I HAVE to make an A in this course. It's a required pre-requisite for vet school. Not to mention it's the first of 5 chemistry classes I have to take, all of which build on each other. Jeez!

Anyway, just needed to vent some of my impending doom feeling, .
post #2 of 17
Oh gosh Good luck..I remember how hard my Chem class was in high school and that was seven years ago....Holy potatoes Ill keep fingers and toes crossed for you.
post #3 of 17
Is there a way you can get one of those 3d molecule sets for home to help you with homework? I think they're sold with board games or educational games in stores.

http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&key...l_8lvoxcrm4a_b
post #4 of 17
Try different memorization techniques? 15 or so doesn't sound so bad, but than I have a good memory for stuff like that.

How are your visio-spatial skills? Can you normally look at an object or picture and mentally "turn" in it you head? Men tend to preform a little better than women at this skill (we tend to be better in language and reading than men, though) so you may need to find a technique that works better for you than one that's aimed at men.
And sort of related, do you know if you're verbal, visual, kinesthetic, or mixed learner?
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by emrldsky View Post
Is there a way you can get one of those 3d molecule sets for home to help you with homework? I think they're sold with board games or educational games in stores.

http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&key...l_8lvoxcrm4a_b
I was thinking about it. It would help a lot and I could use it for later classes...especially organic chem.....

Thanks for the link!
post #6 of 17
Chemistry is really bad..I got a C in inorganic chemistry and it's my only C I've ever had in college. I have no advice, I really can't study for science classes. I learn by reading the material but in most science classes, professors just put up a chart or graph and then talk about it on powerpoint, and don't even expect people to do the reading. I just stare at the chart and have no idea what they're talking about..And not to mention the fact that even if you have done the reading like I had- it's the problem solving that counts on the tests...
Sorry if I made you even more upset lol..
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
Try different memorization techniques? 15 or so doesn't sound so bad, but than I have a good memory for stuff like that.

How are your visio-spatial skills? Can you normally look at an object or picture and mentally "turn" in it you head? Men tend to preform a little better than women at this skill (we tend to be better in language and reading than men, though) so you may need to find a technique that works better for you than one that's aimed at men.
I'm actually pretty good at it. I think my main problem is I just overwhelm myself. Separately, I understand all the concepts. I just tend to look at things in a "Oh how can I possibly understand all of this?" rather than looking at things on a smaller, more manageable scale. Looking at the diagrams on paper I CAN see them three dimensionally, but then my mind goes off on a "Oh no!" moment and I get myself all worked up .
post #8 of 17
^But you didn't answer any of my questions. If you can identify how best you learn it can make picking up this information easier. For example, those molecule sets would be great for a person who is a strong visual and kinesthetic learner - they could see and handle the model and memorize it that way. It'd be near useless for a person who primarily learns verbally and thinks in words and concepts.

I'm a highly visual learner and thinker - I think in pictures. You can tell me something and either I won't process it or I'll forget it. If I see someone else do it or pictures I can learn to do something myself without needing to actually do it myself first to learn it. I have mixed visio-spatial skills - I can flip 2D objects as if they were 3D and am quite good at those on IQ tests, but I can't figure out maps. Recognizing all of this in myself made it a lot easier for me to absorb larger amounts of info.

Figure out how you learn best, make a method for it, and hopefully you won't be overwhelmed as easily.
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
^But you didn't answer any of my questions. If you can identify how best you learn it can make picking up this information easier. For example, those molecule sets would be great for a person who is a strong visual and kinesthetic learner - they could see and handle the model and memorize it that way. It'd be near useless for a person who primarily learns verbally and thinks in words and concepts.
I'm a mostly visual learner, but in a photographic memory kind of way. For example, I'll remember where on a page of notes something was and be able to recall it. Or I will remember something that was written close to it and go from there. Usually the best way for me to memorize something is rewriting it several times. Not kinesthetic at all, and aurally for some things (history and the like).
post #10 of 17
Chemistry is great - you will get that hang of it, and you'll be fine!! Once you know how the atoms connect, then angles they form... peace of cake. Those kits do help, but get a quality one, made for university students, NOT a toy one... You need to make sure the angles hold into place... I would get one made of metal. Or.... you can just but a software and install it on your computer .
It has been years, but I did go to university for Chemistry in Brasil - for 5 years, so........ if you have any questions, PM me, and if I remember I will do my best to answer!! Have fun - Organic chemistry is awesome!!
post #11 of 17
Ok, then. Try sketching? or find really good pictures. You may even be able to look on youtube for short videos of them being rotated (stranger things can be found there...).

Good luck in your class. I'm sure once you break it down so you can learn the material you'll do fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinalima View Post
Or.... you can just but a software and install it on your computer .
I could have sworn there were free programs for this? I know there's some for linux. ...there's even one already installed on my pc, I don't remember doing that.
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
Ok, then. Try sketching? or find really good pictures. You may even be able to look on youtube for short videos of them being rotated (stranger things can be found there...).

Good luck in your class. I'm sure once you break it down so you can learn the material you'll do fine.

I could have sworn there were free programs for this? I know there's some for linux. ...there's even one already installed on my pc, I don't remember doing that.
I agree - BTW - those models, they will be more useful later on, for Organic chemistry.... for now.... just breeeeeeath.... Look for software for your computer... You will be fine. Seriously... promise... ok???
post #13 of 17
Chem can be really difficult. With all that "how many valence electrons does this element have" and "what make a polar covalent bond" and all that. But Chem is my minor. If you need some help with anything, just PM me. I'd be happy to help.
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinalima View Post
I agree - BTW - those models, they will be more useful later on, for Organic chemistry.... for now.... just breeeeeeath.... Look for software for your computer... You will be fine. Seriously... promise... ok???
Thanks for the well wishes, . And breathing is definitely good advice for me,
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerOnTheProwl View Post
Chem can be really difficult. With all that "how many valence electrons does this element have" and "what make a polar covalent bond" and all that. But Chem is my minor. If you need some help with anything, just PM me. I'd be happy to help.
Thank you. And don't be surprised if I take you up on it, !
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatNurse22 View Post
Thank you. And don't be surprised if I take you up on it, !
I'd probably like it as much as you would. I haven't gone over the basics for years. Recently, all my classes have been on organic Chem. It'll be good to refresh my memory.
post #17 of 17
If you don't have the time or money for a kit, just use toothpicks and marshmallows with a protractor. You can eat them afterward!
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