I am going to catch SOOO much crap for this cookie thing

Tonight, going on right now in fact, is the first organic I exam. I tried to catch all of my workshop kids to hand out cookies, but I didn’t quite get around to everybody…I’ll be interested to see how the average scores of the cookie-eaters compare to those of the non-cookie-eaters. In any case, all of my work with the kids sort of comes to a head tonight, and in a few days when they get their grades back. I’m a little nervous, especially considering that yesterday, 1.5 months into the semester, they didn’t seem to understand that resonant lone pairs are in p orbitals. Unfortunately I wasn’t blessed with any pure chemistry majors this semester.

These days, at least at this particular swollen, gigantic research university, it feels like non-majors don’t even chemistry a chance anymore. Most of my kids went in with a horrible attitude and are only just now beginning to crawl out of their self-dug pits of despair. I feel sorry for the people who aren’t in workshop and who don’t work problems, because working problems and getting them right is the only way to build confidence. And, if you’ve dug yourself into a hole, building confidence is the only way to climb out of it. What’s so wrong with being right?

To the non-majors:
Yes, chemistry does take work. And no, you probably don’t have a pretty enough face to succeed as an “Integrated Strategic Communications,” “Public Relations,” or “Merchandising, Apparel, and Textiles” major. Just face it, you want to be a (insert bio-based profession here)…or at least you think you do. So suck it up, do the work, build confidence, and you will succeed. That’s a promise. And who knows, you might actually find it interesting once you actually understand!



  1. I gave up on most of my students actually being interested in our science. Can’t blame them for not wanting to put up with 4(.5+)years in our major and the (sometimes awful) classes it involves. Having excitable people who are good teachers helps a lot. (Which is why I doubt anyone is doing badly in Daunert’s class.) Unfortunately, no one in 230 this semester has that advantage. If you actually want them to learn anything, you have to state things very explicitly and very often. Don’t expect them to study on their own until the week before the exam.


  2. Repeat yourself until you’re blue in the face! If you think threatening will help, there’s a rubber mace here you can beat them with…


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