Posted by: Ingrid | January 21, 2011

Educational Observations

We are two weeks into the semester and already I am missing my free time.  All of that lovely glorious free time that was wasted on travel and Christmas-ing (okay, not really wasted) when I could have been taking bubble baths, surfing the internet, and scrubbing baseboards with a toothbrush has now been claimed by Chemistry and Pharmacology homework.  Wasn’t I supposed to be taking a third class in there?  Well, I was, but made the executive decision the day the class started to drop Developmental Psych, sight unseen.  I think I will comfortably have my hands full with two classes.  A third would have just been a little too much plus I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy my husband’s day off since I would have had class from 9-1 each Friday.  I’m okay with my choice.

I am finding a decided difference in motivation switching from the intricacies of the human body and the intense pace we kept up in A&P all last semester to chemistry.  Just look at the difference in notes!  Chemistry is on the left and has neat little fill-in-the-blanks.  In A&P I couldn’t even daydream – I had to scrawl notes everywhere and then try to memorize them all!

The problem is, I really really liked Anatomy even though it was a ton of work.  At least I could rest assured that things stayed the same.  Sure it was imperative that I know that the lining of the bladder was transitional epithelium, but I was guaranteed that it wouldn’t morph into cilliated epithelium while my back was turned.  Chemistry, on the other hand, seems to be unpredictable.  For all that significant figures make sense, there seem to be so many nuances to whatever rules we are following that I can’t for the life of me figure out how many numbers I’m supposed to procure at the end of my problems.  Then there are things like the fact that Atomic Number is abbreviated as Z and Mass Number is abbreviated as A… Whaaaa???

Last semester I was convinced that my A&P book could double as a lethal weapon.  My Pharmacology book is even heavier with even more chapters in it!  And then there was the whole chemistry textbook dilemma.  What do you do when you’re told to buy a book but that the teacher doesn’t really like the text?  Behold my two text books.

Since our Chemistry prof was serious about us not reading our textbook, I decided to return the $135 used text book on the left for the $2 old edition from Amazon on the right.  Since all we have to do is some bonus questions from the book, if we want to do them at all, and she gives us the numbers for both editions, I decided that I didn’t need the fancy-schmancy new edition with a new cover for $133 more.  I cannot believe how expensive textbooks are now!

I really am glad to be taking classes.  As much as neither class this semester really thrills me or makes my heart beat faster (Quick!  Is increased heart rate a parasympathetic or sympathetic response?) I really do enjoy being in the classroom and learning, even if what I’m learning is how to balance nuclear reactions (which sounds so much cooler than it actually is).  Fortunately, in all of this, Isaac is being quite supportive and checking my math with every calculator he can get his hands on!

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