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[#7] – Chemistry 102 – Introductory University Chemistry II

September 3, 2011 2 comments

Today’s post marks the second half of my introductory chemistry experience.  After living through a less than ideal outing of Chem 101, I was motivated to try harder, and to do better, in Chem 102.  I had begun to adopt my much ignored, and often overlooked, high school motto: “Fortuna audaces iuvat,” which is Latin for: “Fortune Favors The Strong.” (Or at least, I think it was my high school motto … Either that, or I saw it on a bumper sticker once)

 

Batteries (a.k.a. electrochemical cells) were one of the many things that we studied in this course.

 

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Preamble:

Alas, as I was still a naive first year, my outlook was plagued by a false sense of entitlement.  I believed, erroneously, that the harder I worked, in terms of effort, the better my grades would be.  I did not take into account the most important thing of all … working smart; studying intelligently.  One could read the textbook, scrutinizing every word, until the cows come home, and yet, not know a thing about how to successfully solve problems come exam time.  In order to achieve a truly remarkable grade in courses such as chemistry, a fair amount of time must be spent doing practice problems.  I wasn’t aware of this, at the time, however.  It was remiss of me, I know; I am all the more wiser, though.  Continue Reading >>

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[#2] – Chemistry 101 – Introduction to University Chemistry I

July 5, 2011 4 comments

Today’s post will be centered around my first ever university chemistry course (a.k.a. Chem 101).  In all honesty, Chem 101 was my toughest class in first year (barring Stats 141, which I will talk about at a later date) – I found it very difficult to make the transition from high-school chemistry to university chemistry.  Even to this day, I’m still not completely certain why this was the case; however, I do have a sneaking suspicion of where I went wrong, albeit not a definitive one.

A standard periodic table for a standard chemistry course.

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Preamble:

Chemistry (more specifically, inorganic chem) was always one of my stronger subjects in high-school.  I enjoyed learning about it all throughout my grade-school years, and even managed to obtain my school’s highest mark award for grade 11 chem.  Given this background, it should not be surprising that I was rather disappointed with my relatively poor performance in university chemistry …  The following should shed some light on the reason(s) for my discombobulation in this course! Continue Reading >>