Friday, August 24, 2012

Game Change

It seemed to me since last semester that general chemistry was getting a bit difficult but then I realized that it could get a lot more. Yes, I heard about the myths of organic chemistry being ridiculously hard but I didn’t really think about the lab as much. This brings me to the breaking point of ‘my back to college week:’ my organic chemistry lab.

To being with, the format of the lab is totally different from a general chemistry lab. Work is done individually and at your own pace. I didn’t think it would be a piece of cake but the T.A.’s are there just to look at you. I have to know my way in and out regarding what I am doing with the chemicals in my hands. There are so many factors that can go affect my work if I do something wrong or start out wrong. For example, if I don’t clean out my glassware correctly water can interfere with any reaction and I am totally screwed.

Also, there’s new protection required. Gloves. Eyewear was already required in gen chem but for this lab I had to purchase gloves because I will actually be dealing with carcinogens, strong concentrated acids, and strong concentrated bases. The T.A. also mentioned that shoewear that covers your entire feet is recommended in case an accident happens. I am a fan of flats. I guess there are some habits to change when I have my labs on Thursdays.

I have to admit that I was intimated when I tuned in for my lab period. I didn’t expect for it to just fall down on me like that. On the other hand, I am excited to know that for once it’s only me. And (of course) it makes sense because I have to learn this for myself from scratch. As for the lecture, I am determined to be one step ahead every day. I will practice everyday whatever problems are in the textbook and work them out. I purchased a solution manual for a reason.

So the road to being a real (at least in a lab environment) scientist continues.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The End of “My 500 Days of Summer”

I haven’t posted in a while and I think I am a bit caught up in the whole idea of this blog. The worst part is that now that school is gonna start again I will fail to post even more. So I guess I will talk about what awaits me next semester.

I will be taking very rigorous courses.

Here is a picture of my textbooks as proof.

From bottom to top, we have an organic chemistry book, the solution manual to that, my cell biology book, biostatistics, lab manual for my organic chemistry lab, organic laboratory techniques handbook, and an organic chemistry model set. 

I have to be honest that when I went to the UNCC bookstore with my Dad I was very excited. I wasn’t excited for the prices but I was excited. I don’t exactly know of what though. I know that these courses will bring pain to me and endless nights of studying and memorization but I took the challenge to go on with it and try my best. I am even more excited for my organic lab because the materials called for a lab coat and gloves. I don’t want to be disappointed but this gives me the impression that what we will be working with is a big deal. This is another thing that I am excited about.

The chemistry lab that I was taking for the summer is over now. I do not know my grade yet because grades are not in until next week but I will know that soon. Without a doubt I earned an B, however, I still have my hopes up for a A due to a small curve.

To end with, this weekend we are going to pick up my mother and sisters from Atlanta. They will be arriving from their Mexico trip that took an entire month, the same time that my lab took in completing. I had to miss the trip in order to stay on top of schedule which was kinda sad to me. Good thing that I didn’t have my hopes up for this trip since I knew ever since I registered for the lab that this might be happening.

That’s it for now. I hope to post about my next encounters in this college life as a biology or even chemistry major.

Friday, June 22, 2012

A new study suggests that the superabundant microbes lining our digestive tract are ultimately our evolutionary partners, shedding light on the hygiene hypothesis. According to this idea, living in increasingly hyper-hygienic environments might contribute to recent spikes in childhood allergies, as these beneficial host-specific microbes are hindered by the plethora of antibacterial home products and cleaning chemicals. Learn more at http://hms.harvard.edu/content/our-microbes-ourselves

In other words, being messy is beneficial for our health specifically our gut health. 

Why Orgo?

 

It seems like the above photo explicitly explains what I will be doing next semester in my organic chemistry class. As it is explained by many other that have gone through this class it is a pain. 

Organic chemistry is study of the properties of the compounds containing the element carbon. Anything containing this element is an organic compound. Well almost anything. Inorganic compounds containing carbon include the bicarbonates and carbonates of metal ions, metal cyanides, and others.  

But why is this class important other than if I fail I would probably fail life? Well…

Organic chemistry also includes the study of the reactions in all these compounds which relate to life or chemicals that we use in our everyday lives including plastics, drugs, cleaning chemicals, and food. 

 

So they are really important. 

It is really important to know how a human stomach’s hydrochloric acid will interact with a new antacid medication. Of course. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Early Disappointment in Life

Last Sunday night, I was getting ready to eat pizza with my family when all of a sudden we decided to watch television and the first thing I hear is beautiful singing, followed by judging, and then crying. The second season to the show Pequeños Gigantes or Small Giants aired yesterday night on Univision. This is, yet, another reality show that started in Mexico and later began to air in the United States. You can call this show a combination of The Voice and Dancing with out the Stars. The reason for this is that there are three categories within each competing group: charisma, singing, and couple dancing. 

What intrigued me the most was that the people competing were children between the ages of 4 and 12. 

Everything was happiness, laughs, and cheers (after all they were all children trying to have a great time) until judging time came up. For the singing and the dancing parts, there were two kids competing for only one spot in order to form a group of four. Unfortunately, one of them would get left behind while the other will be left to part of a group that would later compete throughout the season. One of them would feel disappointed of not being able to pass to the next round. 

Is competition appropriate for children early at that age? Each time that one would be eliminated after competing they would break into tears and the t.v. host would have to hug them in order to comfort them and help them feel like winners. 

According to Jim Taylor, Ph.Don Psychology Today, “disappointment involves the feelings of thwarted desire, loss, and discouragement when children fail to fulfill their hopes and expectations-or those of others.” Disappointment is natural after a failure event but different children react to it in different ways. After competing, the children might be entitled to reduce the effort in future competitions, give up their dreams, or simply quit right after judging occurs. Ultimately, it would also lower their self-esteem. 

On the other hand, this show provides a opportunity to enhance their coping skills. Coping skills help them develop healthy attitude and beliefs that will help them deal with the real world later on. It even helps developing their self-esteem when they set new higher expectations for themselves after dealing with disappointment.  It creates a new perception of reality of knowing that disappointment exists and that nothing is just the color pink. 

As long as there is loving support provided by a trusted adult for each child competing, there shall not be any harm induced for them later on in life. According to previous information given during the first season, there is a psychologist available on the site to provide professional support if needed.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

tumblrbot said: WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST HUMAN MEMORY?

My first day of school in kindergarten. 

I wasn’t one of those children that cried when their parents left the classroom that morning. I was ecstatic to be there and to learn. :)

Hello.

I am a regular user of Tumblr as a random blogger and also as a fangirl. However, I have started from zero in order to start documenting and sharing various science news that intrigue me from across the world. This was one of my goals for this summer and I hope to be successful for this will be my first college summer. Another reason to start this new blog is that I do not have a job and what best way to spend my free time than by writing about science news?!