The (School) Year in Review

May 20, 2008

I don’t really know if this is at all necessary. But I have a new keyboard and feel like typing on it, so this seemed like as good a topic to write on as any.

I don’t have anything particular in mind at the moment. Overall, this semester has been a really, really great one. In every way I can imagine. Something about me just kind of flowers in my sophomore year (here’s looking at you, High School). Let’s just hope that things continue to get better along the way!

The main thing I learned academically this year was that although ‘chemistry’ as it’s traditionally thought of is not for, the world of chemistry is rather large and inclusive. It’s not all about synthesizing some new polymer or mixing together a new catalyst. I can learn lots of cool math (like, who knew, all the things I learned in linear algebra in the fall semester [matrices, eigenvalues, determinants, etc.] would show up the very same semester while learning about quantum mechanics!) and then apply it in a field that seems to be lacking in mathematics. Well, not so much lacking. More that the mathematically minded don’t normally end up in the field. They’re more likely to end up in physics (math, physics, is like, a duh combination).

Which works out well for me, because it leaves open a whole field to explore with less competition than I might find in physics. And really, there isn’t that much of a difference between physics and physical chemistry. As you might guess from the name.

What else did I learn? That I’m still the wallflower that upperclassmen like to ‘adopt.’ That happened on two fronts this year: rugby and the chemistry seniors. It’s kind of funny how that continues to happen. I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing. Most likely it’s just a neutral thing and I should enjoy it when it happens and work to reconcile it when it doesn’t. I just can’t help but marvel at how certain patterns in my life continue to show up over and over again, like some sort of crazy motif.

Um, I’ve learned a thing or two about teaching. Like the fact that I’m only okay at it (which is kind of sad, because I’m considering it as a possible future profession). And I get easily bored. I tutored Organic Chemistry I this past semester. And I can only teach someone about a substitution reaction so many times before it kind of gets boring. I suppose if I chose teaching as my vocation, I would find enjoyment and variety in teaching the material in a new and more approachable way every year. But for now, meh. I guess I have another two more years to play around with tutoring. And then I’m seriously considering doing a two year stint in Teach for America (I know, it ain’t no Peace Corps, but I think I might be better suited for a less hands-on volunteer activity).

Uh, well, I think that’s it. Now I’ve got that whole summer research program to look forward to. And wonder if I’ll be ‘completely different’ at the end of. Probably not. But stranger things have happened. That’s a certainty!


One Response to “The (School) Year in Review”

  1. dave in the west said

    Well, if you think that your college years are a reflection of your high school years, you’re in for a load of fun next year! lol

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