If you are able to say you have finished the semester with your head held high that is a good thing. And even if you are in doubt about your grades, the semester is over, and now is the time to turn over a new leaf. Take a break and then come back with a fresh start.
I am happy to say I have successfully completed my first year at CSU Stanislaus! It is a great achievement and I look forward to returning to classes in the fall. I think I ended my semester pretty well, and that being said I also got moved out of campus today and am now happily back at home. I struggled at times during the semester and the year but I got through it, and that is all that matters. Finals are over, summer has begun!
Once I’ve re-organized my room, because it looks like a tornado hit after moving back in, I plan to relax a little, sleep in and have some fun. I’m sorry to say I will be taking a break from blogging during the summer, but plan to hear back from me when the fall semester starts. Hopefully I will have some good stories to tell you, and a new schedule of classes to talk about.
Have a good summer!
It has finally happened! While I may have mentioned that performing the experiment was the last phase of the Grand Experimental Challenge, I was wrong! The final part was the poster, and the presentation.
As in putting all of your data together, finishing up the calculations and presenting it.
My one fear is always presenting. I have this little thing of stage fright, or fear of public speaking. Let’s just say I’m not good at it. I get butterflies with just the thought of having to give a presentation in front of a classroom full of students. Yes they are my piers, but having 25 pairs of eyes looking at me is not exactly something I enjoy. Sometimes my voice starts to get quiet (or quieter then usual) or I end up doing things that are frowned upon when making a presentation such as not making eye contact or mumbling. Presenting is not an easy thing to do for me.
My partner and I worked hard in putting together our poster board. We wanted our poster to have some color, to pop out but not be so boring that the entire poster looked like a blur of words. Trust me, it isn’t a good thing. We ended up gluing it all together just hours before our presentation due to the fact we didn’t want our poster to be just words, and at first look that is exactly what it was. We had to find and print the pictures we thought would help spruce up our poster a little.
Lucky for me, and anyone else who has a bit of stage fright, we weren’t presenting in front of our entire class. We were in fact part of the Chemistry Poster Celebration! There were tables in the main lobby of the 3rd Floor of Naraghi Hall for those participating. During our time slot there was our General Chemistry 2 Grand Experiment as well as Physical Chemistry Experiments. There were snacks and refreshments to anyone who wanted some! *This is a note to all students who have to take general chemistry 2, a week before finals if you have time go see the Grand Experiments so that when this happens to you, you know what to do.
I was thrilled. There weren’t 25 pairs of eyes looking at me as my partner and I explained what we did, and what we found there was usually just a single pair. It seemed like a rotation of professors. Every so often one would come by, ask us what we did and ask a few more questions after that. There were even a couple students looking at posters reading the different experiments and comparing. It was a nice thing, not as much stress, and hey actually relaxing. The only problem was that standing around for two hours in not the most comfortable shoes in the world isn’t exactly fun. But with the stress of this project out of the way all I’ve got left are finals.
I don’t know if this has ever happened to anyone else, but Wednesday was the worst and craziest day of my life.
Since the semester is coming to an end all the professors want to finish up material and make sure the amount of tests they had prepared for the semester were completed. That being said, I knew that my chemistry and my calculus tests were Wednesday, as the dates had been on the syllabi and they had stuck to the dates of tests to the T. Now if it weren’t for Warrior day my physics test might have been on Friday. (For those that don’t know Warrior day meant all classes after 12 pm on Friday were canceled) and since my physics class starts at noon, there was no class Friday. There were a few people who tried to motivate the professor to have the test on Thursday, our discussion day, but there were conflicts.
So what happened? I had three tests all on the same day. Wednesday, all within a 4 hour time period.
Studying for these tests were a little hard, I wasn’t sure which was more important to study for. So I kind of balanced my mix. I tried rotating the subjects every hour or so, so that I was evenly studying.
The problem with that is that after hours of studying my mind felt like it was going to explode. I had all of this information I was jamming in my head to remember and no real break in between. I actually had to take a break, take a breath and take in the information so that I didn’t have to re-remember everything the next time around. I think the difficult thing is that when I study for tests I tend to panic a little. Every second up to the test should be some form of studying otherwise I’d feel bad for not studying, that I was wasting time that could be spent studying. It’s just a little overwhelming.
Now the day of the tests comes, and I think my only freak out is that I’m going to start mixing up information. What do I mean? I mean thinking about calculus while I’m taking my chemistry test. I almost was, really. Calculus was right before chemistry so as I was walking to chemistry I was still thinking calculus. Oh crap! That wasn’t a good thing. I couldn’t be thinking about antiderivatives, limits, and the area under a curve when I should be thinking about calculating the pH of a reaction or finding the solubility or even the difference between an oxidation and reduction. My brain was full of all of this stuff, the information was just jumbled.
Back to back test was hard, and as much as I hate to admit it, I kind of wish that the chemistry and physics test were back to back, because that hour of waiting was a little bit of torture. Trying to study a little more, knowing that it might not help, and just waiting for the hour to pass, it was torture. The one bright side was that I was sure I wasn’t going to mix up material for those classes because of the extra hour and slight bit of studying I tried to do.
Its days later, I’ve gotten all of my tests back and I think if you averaged them I got a C+/B- which based of the conditions wasn’t that bad, but having to study for tests all on the same day gave me a good couple brain farts. I made a stupid mistake in my chemistry workout problem that I knew minutes after the test, and I’m sure I would have remembered everything if I wasn’t so stressed out. My grades dropped from where they usually are because of this. Hopefully finals will be better; they aren’t all on the same day, which means a little more studying and a little less panicking.
Has this ever happened to you? Taking a test in every class you have on the same day? How did you handle it?
I’m not gonna lie, but I make a mean Banana Bread.
Making banana bread is just one of those things I tend to go to when I’m feeling stressed or want to work out my emotions. Its kind of strange in that way. The nice thing is that my house, and now my dorm always has bananas in it because I’m such a big fruit eater!
I figured I could share because, I mean who doesn’t love banana bread? And when its home made, its even better!
1 cube soft butter, not melted
1 cup sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 mashed/aged bananas
First you want to cream together the margarine, sugar, egg and vanilla. Then add one cup of flour and mix. Add second cup of flour, mashed bananas and baking soda. Mix thoroughly. Bake for one hour at 350 in a greased loaf pan.
Based off of experience you don’t want to forget anything, and I mean anything. Its happened to me, and I’ve been quite disappointed, the bread just doesn’t look the same once it comes out, or it tastes a little funny. Enjoy!
With the end of the semester coming closer and closer many things are going through my mind: Finals, tests, homework, studying, and moving out. Moving out is going to be the hard thing, especially since while I moved into the dorms with just about 2 cars full of stuff I also managed to make another trip or so a few weeks later with at least a trunk full of other things.
I did happen to move in with a box or so of perishable foods that I have been slowly eating, which somewhat narrows down the list a little, but the big things that I came up with are the worries. After move in day I brought up the griddle I got for Christmas, a blender, a set of drawers for a nightstand, a rug to decorate my room a little more and a couple extra things to hang on my wall.
Very slowly I’ve been moving things back. Clothes I wore during the winter I no longer need, art supplies I never have time to use, DVD’s that I’ve watched, and even a couple things that I realize I don’t really use or have a use for any more such as little decorative items or a bottle of shampoo that I had bought to be a backup and now I realize I don’t need.
This weekend is really the test. I’m bringing home a couple big things and hoping not to break them in travel.
First up is my TV and DVD player. See while the housing office up graded our TV service the big old bulky TV’s don’t get reception any more, and mine being at least 7 years old and still having a VHS player attached to it does not get these amazing channels, or any channels for that matter. I’ve really just kept it around to watch DVD’s and not over heat my laptop with such nonsense. I don’t need the TV anymore, and with the TV goes the DVD player, as well as the rest of my DVD’s.
Next is a few dishes. I brought plenty of dishes to school and I’m sure if I bring home a couple plates and cups my roommates won’t get to annoyed, it’ll just mean dishes need to be washed a little more often.
I am also thinking about making a boat load of pancakes before I leave for the weekend and just stuff them in my freezer so that I can take back the griddle and any extra bisquick I have. I think I enjoy making pancakes more then I do eating them now a days so hopefully I’ll have a little fun doing it.
Lastly might actually be my desk lamp. I brought it to school not knowing if I was going to use it, and for the most part I haven’t I get decently enough light during the day from outside, and the light in my room provides enough at night that I don’t really need an extra light, and the fact that I barely use my desk to do work might have something to do with it too.
I’m not exactly sure how many cars are going to help me move out, but hopefully all of my stuff will be able to fit inside the available cars. Wish me luck, because carrying back all of these things, I might just need it.
I always knew that being a science major meant the majority of my time would be spent in Naraghi Hall of Science during my time at Stanislaus State. My first two semesters here weren’t that bad. I had a single lecture in Naraghi and my other lectures were in Demergasso-Bava Hall or Bizzini, the labs were always going to be in Naraghi! I mean without lab rooms it would be just any other normal building on this campus, Naraghi is science, science requires labs, Naraghi Hall has labs. Now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure its majority lab rooms. I recall someone once saying that there were only four classrooms in Naraghi, the rest were labs, and offices and other such things.
And maybe because Naraghi only has four classrooms that this year my chemistry lecture was in Bizzini, which seemed strange to me, but I wasn’t going to complain. Even my chemistry discussion was in Bizzini, which also threw me off a little but, it gave me more time to walk, and I have to say I actually don’t mind a little walk to a different building, I got to enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Now after talking to my advisor about next semester I’ve gone through and mapped out my schedule for next semester. If all goes to plan I’ll be taking Organic Chemistry, Basic Physics 2, and Quant Analysis (Chemistry) along with their respective labs and/or discussions. As I was going through this I realized what had happened. Besides the fact that I am taking only sciences next semester, I am also spending ALL of my time in Naraghi. No lecture in Bizzini, no discussion in Bizzini, and as I said Naraghi has those lab rooms for a reason. Naraghi will be my one and only destination, besides possibly food places, dorm rooms, and places to have fun, but when it comes to school work Naraghi is my only destination.
So, if you happen to be looking for me at all next semester, I’d first check Naraghi Hall of Science because that is most likely where I will be. Good bye other buildings, I guess I will see you in semesters to come.
Well I guess my good news is that I finally have my computer back. It is fixed and running just as new. Hooray!
I am super happy to have my laptop back! No more problems, no more struggles, and its all mine!
I think the other thing is, is that even though I was happy to not have to walk back and forth multiple times to go to the computer lab to do my homework. I still had to get used to the other laptops keyboard. The set up was just slightly different, and so every so often while I was typing I would accidentally hit the mouse and it would move me somewhere else. It got a little annoying and a little frustrating.
Some slight bad news is that because I’ve been using other computers for the past couple weeks the data I have collected during labs and the write-ups are all on these other computers. The smart thing would have been to put all of the data on a flash drive. And hey, I did, but… but I realized that I left the flash drive in the bay area. But, lucky for me I was slightly prepared and had emailed myself the data that I had collected. What a relief!
I will just have to wait a couple more weeks to get the rest of the information.
A rather large upside to having my laptop is that I no longer have to email myself the pictures I take for myself and for this blog. I can just hook up my camera or phone and they upload themselves. Since I was using my mom’s laptop I didn’t feel right putting anything extra on her computer or installing extra programs just so that it would be more comfortable for me. Extra items take up space, and since I was using one of her work computers it didn’t need something like iTunes on it.
I really hope nothing like this happens again. Having a laptop I realized is a privilege, not a right and just like having a car, if you break it you have to learn to live without it for a while.
I have been holding back long enough. It is now time to go back and talk about the Grand Experiment. Now if you don’t remember this was a three step process.
Step 1: Come up with a question Step 2: Design an experiment
Step 3: Do the Experiment.
I have to say I don’t actually know if my experiment was chosen to be done. We weren’t exactly told, and I would think that different lab classes had different experiments to perform. My experiment wasn’t on the sign up form in my class, but I do hope it was picked.
Now my lab partner and I chose the titration of Vitamin C. Each lab class was given 3 weeks through the semester to work on the Grand Experimental Challenge. The first week was spent figuring out what the lab procedure was going to be and what materials were needed. My partner and I decided to test the Vitamin C in Grapefruit juice and apple juice and their respective concentrates. We were looking up different titrations online and trying to figure out which one was the best for us to do. We found one, told our instructor which chemicals we were going to need from the stock room and which materials were needed as well. We of course had to provide the juices ourselves.
So two weeks later came, and we were walking to lab with juice in our hand. We had tried to get the same brand of juice thinking that it would make them easier to compare or something, but my problem was that I couldn’t find the apple juice concentrate to save my life, so I ended up buying organic apple juice which had no ascorbic acid in it (which is what we were looking for).
Now on the day of the experiment we were all ready to go with what we had planned out and the experiment we chose. Then to learn there was a lab made up for us, I guess that makes it easier because of the materials required are all the same, since there were a couple people in the class testing vitamin C, they were just using different products like oranges and orange juice instead.
We had four different solutions to make before we could actually start our titration. There was a potassium iodate solution which was what was used to titrate the juices, a potassium iodide solution and a sodium hydroxide solution that were both added to the juices in the flask, and a starch indicator solution which was used to indicate when the solution was done titrating.
Now here comes the fun part, well, actually not really. Our first couple trials seemed to be malfunctioning. We started out using the apple juices as our unknowns. The problem was that we could put one drop of the potassium iodate solution (liquid sitting in the burette above the flask) and it would immediately change. Just in case you were wondering that isn’t exactly what is supposed to happen, not with a single drop at least. So we tried again. And the same thing happened. What was going on, we didn’t actually know. We weren’t sure if it was the brand of juice or the type of juice, so we tried the organic apple juice concentrate. But the same thing happened, barely a drop of the potassium and the unknown changed in an instant.
A short chat with our professor later and a look at the ingredients and we realized what the problem was. The apple juice was not a good source of Vitamin C which is why it was changing immediately because there wasn’t anything there to be tested. She came over helped us with a trial for our grapefruit juice and it worked perfectly. Thank goodness. What we learned and had actually forgotten about what that the ascorbic acid we didn’t want in our juices was actually what we were testing for. The scientific name for Vitamin C is ascorbic acid. Whoops!
After our little hiccup we ran about 6 different trials for the two different grapefruit juices and got some good data collected. The thing about a titration is that you add so much of a solution into your unknown and along the way have to swirl it around some. If you have done the titration correctly the unknown in the flask should change a color. In this specific titration we were looking for a dark purple/blue change in color through out the entire thing. Its one thing to have a blue spot on top of everything, but if it disappears within a few seconds you aren’t done you want to make sure it isn’t going to change back to its original color.
It all started about a month ago when I had come home for a weekend and my mom said that she had some Giants tickets. Someone at work had given her 4 tickets, which then turned into 5 tickets and a parking ticket. With the four tickets it was most likely going to be my parents, my sister and her fiancé going to the game. The fifth ticket was my glimmer of hope.
I can tell you that I’ve been looking at tickets to a Giants game since November when they were being sold for a short amount of time. Now that the Giants have won the World Series twice within the past three years the ticket prices have gone up. I went to quite a few games in 2011, and really didn’t have time or the money to go to a game in 2012. It is now 2013 and the chance to go to a Giants game that I’ve been looking into for months (not this particular game, but any game) and of course I really want to go. These tickets weren’t bad tickets, these tickets weren’t cheap tickets, these tickets are to yes a beginning of the season game, but still. If it was the only chance I had to go to a Giants game the entire season I definitely wanted to go.
But wait! These tickets were for the day we came back from spring break. These tickets were for a night game that didn’t end until about 10 PM and if, IF! I didn’t have a class the next morning at 8 o’clock and it wasn’t a test day I would have gone to this game. Seen the players I had been longing to watch, sit in the seats that were 15 rows behind the 3rd base line and watch this game while freezing a little. The decision not to go was because it was test day, because I had driven back to school just the night before, and because I would not have come back until midnight and probably would have slept through my alarm this morning and missed my calculus test.
I did keep up with the game, although I’m sure it would have been amazing to see Hunter Pence hit that home run in the bottom of the first inning giving the Giants a leading score of 3-0 against the Rockies. It would have been pretty amazing to see the Irish Dancers before the game since it was also Irish Heritage night.
The score, the seats, and the Giants for the win, and I wasn’t there. Maybe next time I say, maybe next time I’ll actually go to a game.
Its amazing how fast this week has gone, although since I thought Thursday was Wednesday I guess it wouldn’t be hard to believe.
My week has been extra busy, or at least decently busy.
This year my mom wasn’t as sneaky with hiding of things. I think she’s finally realized all of her hiding spots have been found out. Although she does keep us guessing. There was one little thing that wasn’t quite in plain sight that she realized I hadn’t found.
My friends and I went bowling Monday which was loads of fun. We had been waiting to go bowling for the longest time, but every time we walked in there was a bowling league going on. We had finally learned our lesson to call first so that we didn’t drive there and get disappointed. We called, and had to move our plans around some since there was yet again a league, so bowling was a little later in the day then we expected but it was still a good time. Bowling is just one of those things I need to get a little better at. It takes time to get those skills.
After that I was a working girl (to some extent) working for Grandma once again, and working for my mom. The nice thing about working for my mom was that I didn’t have to be up and anywhere super early, it was a different story for my grandma. By the end of most days I was tired and exhausted, and I’ll admit a couple days I took a nap. For a week I had planned to sleep in I didn’t sleep in as much as I had wanted.
The most exhausting was still not having a laptop. I had sent it in the day I got back home, and as of Friday afternoon they were still trying to figure it out. They thought it was going to be simple, said it was going to take 3-5 days but now its a little more complicated then that, and I’m a little irritated.
These last couple days I’ll hopefully relax a little, and get back in the mind frame of school such as studying. I brought all of my books with me to study and to keep information fresh in my mind, the bad part is I haven’t even touched the books really. On to studying, and back to learning. Hope everyone else is enjoying their break and having some fun!