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I spent hours drawing all the little chemical diagrams. I really hope that particular skill ever comes in handy. Also, potatoes are poisonus? Was I just supposed to figure that out on my own or did I miss something in home ec?

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a question for you

I want to rewrite/condense all of my notes from orgo 1 and 2 into a study guide/complete infodump for my orgo 2 final. I’ve seen people do this and I’m wondering:

would anyone be interested in buying (say, ~$2-5 USD depending on how long it is) a comprehensive guide for orgo 1 and 2? if so, I’d compile all of my notes from both classes and rewrite them all nice and organised (maybe even with a table of contents?), throw in some practise questions, and then turn it all into a pdf file (or two) that I could send to people. I’d also post like a preview or something. idk if I’ll do it, but it would be good motivation to work extra hard on writing good notes.

maybe this is dumb, idk. I’ve never done this myself so I’d love some thoughts!! lmk if there’s anything that would be especially helpful to include in something like this (anything from types of questions, topics to focus on, formatting, etc)

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26.05.20 // 15:34 // Quarantine challenge day 57

Tue - What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?

I don’t really think of myself as a daring person, I guess applying for a placement was daring? It was super competitive and a really gruelling application process, and I thought I had no chance of getting it, but I did! It was cancelled because of the pandemic, but it’s the thought that counts I guess 😅

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Hi everyone! So this is going to be somewhat of a niche topic for many of you, but as a third-year chemistry major, I took two analytical chemistry courses, Quantitative Analysis and Instrumental Analysis, and I figured as for any other chemistry class, I’d write up a few tips given that I did pretty well and found both classes to be some of my favorites I’ve taken in the department. What I will say is that when you first get to these classes, they seem hard- extremely hard, in fact. On the first day of quantitative analysis, my professor sat us down and said, “Look, to get an A in this course you needed to be within 0.1% of the answer I give you,” which had us all Shooketh. That, frankly, was extremely intimidating. However, a lot of us ended up doing well and having fun in the class, I’m here to give you a few tips on how to do that.

Let us begin!

Quantitative Analysis

  • The first thing you need to know about this class is that it is easier than it sounds. The goal of this class, in general, is to determine concentrations or amounts of Stuff in various types of mixtures. Sometimes this mixture will be a solution, like tap water, or solid, like a literal rock you need to dissolve in acid. You’ll use a variety of techniques you will learn about in class to accomplish this, as well as observing demos.
  • Be very careful with your technique. You need to be able to explain the reason behind what you get, if you happen to get an inaccurate result. In my class, grades were based on results, and you only got decent results when you had impeccable technique. Be meticulous, be slow, and don’t rush to move on with things. In my lab, the students were essentially allowed to go wild- do what you want, at the rate that you want, as long as you’re safe. So go slow and be careful, but don’t fixate so much on little details that you lose the overall picture of why you’re doing what you do.
  • Multitasking is important. There will be times when you have to think ahead to the Next thing you need to do in the procedure, like if you need to dry something overnight or let something cool on a timed basis, so you should always be thinking, “Is there something I can be doing right now so that I don’t fall behind?” Writing to-do lists and crossing out things I’ve done always helped me keep track of what needed to be done.
  • READ THE LAB PROCEDURE. There are ALWAYS important details in the lab procedures that you HAVE to remember when you’re doing an experiment. Our prof had us write out our procedures and result tables in our lab notebooks so that we knew exactly what we were doing. If one of us had a question, he’d just direct us to the lab procedure because all of the information we needed to know was in there.
  • This class’s material is basically all gen chem, but advanced. It’s honestly not too bad if you had a firm grasp on gen chem concepts and ideas, and the math is basically the same. The only thing I’d regard as seriously tricky is the titrations and equilibrium section- be careful and work a lot of homework problems involving those!

Instrumental Analysis

  • I don’t know about other Instrumental Analysis classes, but I had A BUNCH of papers around 20 to 40 pages long in which I analyzed spectra and wrote about the theory and function of all the instruments we used/were supposed to use. This required being quite detailed and having a good understanding of each part of the instrument, why it was useful, and for what reasons we chose this particular analytical method.
  • When analyzing spectra, be as specific as possible when pointing out peaks. For IR spectra, is the peak broad or short? Why? For NMR, identify even the TINIEST hint of peak-peak splitting- there’s a reason for that!
  • Construct calibration curves carefully and keep in mind what solutions you made and what value/concentrations you’re looking for. GCMS chromatograms can give pretty inaccurate results if you don’t use an internal standard- just a side thought you might find helpful.
  • We spend a lot of time on electromagnetic radiation in class. If you don’t understand this very well, get used to it, fast, and study up on it, because it’s the basis of almost all the methods we use (IR, NMR, UV-vis)
  • Labs aren’t necessarily terrible, mostly because the professor or TA likely will not trust you with the machine and will walk you through the process themselves, rather than just letting you operate the whole thing yourself. These things are hundreds of thousands of dollars, so you will only break it over their dead body.

Disclaimer though: these tips are based on my own experiences in these classes, and they might not apply to your classes. I studied for these classes mainly by doing my assigned homework and rewriting my notes, but if that doesn’t work for you, I’d suggest that you try flashcards for terms, diagramming, and generally whatever methods helped you most in general chemistry to think about concepts in quantitative analysis. It really all depends on how specific your professor wants you to be and what concepts they want you to focus on. And don’t be discouraged if it’s hard- chemistry’s hard! Hopefully you guys will have as enjoyable (well..that’s debatable lol) experience in these classes as I did. I hope these tips helped as well!

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24.05.20 // 15:47 // Quarantine Challenge Day 54 & 55

Sat - Would you rather get away with lying every time or always know that someone is lying?

I tend not to lie much, even white lies to spare someone’s feelings. I’ll tell the truth, but I do think there’s a way to tell the truth without it being mean or harsh! I’d rather know when someone is lying, though I can see why this might not be the brilliant skill it seems to be….

Sun -  Would you rather read minds or accurately predict future?

Predicting the future. If I want to know what someone is thinking, I’ll ask them, and I don’t want to accidentally stumble across something i’m not meant to see in someone else’s head. Predicting the future would be nice to be able to better prepare for things, but I do enjoy a slight sense of mystery in my life! 

I ended this week with a surprisingly fast run (and a surprisingly painful side stitch) and doing more physchem. I’ve made a dent in this module, and I really hope I continue this productivity towards exams! 🌻

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22.05.20 // 16:51  // Quarantine Challenge day 53

Fri - Would you rather speak all languages or be able to speak to all animals?

Speak all languages, I love learning languages but I’m very bad at it and I don’t enjoy being bad at speaking them! After my exams i’m going to try and learn some Italian though! 🌻

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21.05.20 // 17:14  // Quarantine Challenge day 52 // Book 8/8

Thu - Would you rather have free Wi-Fi wherever you go or have free coffee where/whenever you want?

Free WiFi, I think good, ethical coffee deserves the price you pay for it, especially when it goes towards the people who grew/roasted the coffee! But always having WiFi would be a massive bonus!

I’ve finished my new year’s resolution! This book is my best friend’s favourite, and I’ve been meaning to borrow her copy for years but never had the time to sit down and read it - until now! Probably the most beautiful book I have ever read, so poetic and philosophical and emotional and soft and I cried and cried and cried at the ending. 🌻

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19.05.20 // 18:39  // Quarantine Challenge day 50

Tue - Would you rather win $50,000 or let your best friend win $500,000?

Best friend for sure, either she showers me with gifts because she’s rich now, or she sticks it all in a savings account and doesn’t have to worry about money ever again, it’s a win win situation (unlike me having to do physchem…) 🌻

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as much as I love literature, classics, art, history, language, etc., I feel like they are romanticised so much more than stem disciplines?

math is elegant. tons of fascinating patterns exist in nature and numbers can help us understand them!

biology is poetic. there are so many tiny intricacies to how life (like us!) exists and grows and overcomes adversity!

chemistry is lovely. studying the material of the world helps us comprehend the universe’s mysteries!

engineering is delightful. it combines other disciplines to solve problems and make our world a better place!

computer science is stunning. you can use invented languages to create stuff that didn’t exist before!

stem should be romanticised too 🙈🌸✨🌱🦋🌙

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17.05.20 // 08:47 // Quarantine Challenge day 48

Sun - If you were a superhero, what powers would you have?

I’d love to be super flexible, I pulled a muscle in my leg the other day and running on it has made it super painful 😓 I’d also love telekinesis, I just think that would be super useful! 🌻

I’m loving my new v60 coffee brewer, rip my plans to cut down caffeine in quarantine…

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14.05.20 // 15:02 // Quarantine Challenge day 45

Thu - If you were ruler of your own country what would be the first law you would introduce?

Universal healthcare! The NHS is the best invention in British history!

Decided to try and be more creative in my bullet journal now I have the time, so I’ve come up with some spread ideas - the first one being a blog post page to note down ideas for this blog! 🌻

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13.05.20 // 09:46 // Quarantine Challenge day 44

Wed - Does your family have a “motto” – spoken or unspoken?

We have a couple of unofficial “rules”, mostly as a way of remembering my grandparents that are no longer with us. They consist of things along the line of “You always have room for pudding” or “Cause mischief”.

Also I figured out I can use my benzene model as a cupholder and that made me laugh

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12.05.20 // 15:22 // Quarantine Challenge day 43

Tue - Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

Both? I get my energy from hanging around a select few people, if I spend too much time with others then I need time alone to recharge 🌻

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09.05.20 // 12:33 // Quarantine Challenge day 41

Sat - Take a picture of a title for some of your notes

My notes are always very concise, I kinda wish they were prettier but hey, they get the job done 💁‍♀️🌻

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08.05.20 // 14:17 // Quarantine Challenge day 40

Fri - Take a picture of your binders

My big binders are all in a box at home with my first year notes, so currently I’m just putting completed notes in the purple binder above and my handouts in a big pile on the floor which is fine I guess 🌻

Currently working my way slowly through revision, here’s some physchem from last week that I forgot to post! (Photos taken at my volunteering post which is classified as key working, please stay at home if you can! 💛)

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