I’ve noticed that chemistry majors are very competitive with each other. E.g. My friend Stinky.
He was always arguing with me about chemistry stuff during lab. I’ve known this kid for more than 10 years… yet, he still talks down to me when chemistry is concerned.
I’m a little different. If I see someone that knows something that I don’t, I’m that person’s best friend. I wanna know what they know… I’m not gonna argue with that person…
So, our project for Organic Chemistry II lab was to synthesize Cyclohexanone (C6H10O)
I read through the procedure, and I suggested using less cyclohexanol, so we could use an excess amount of base. Doing that would make cyclohexanol our limiting reagent which would give us a good yield of product.
He said “nahhh, I don’t think it matters, I think we can use the amounts the procedure says”. Ok bro…
So we followed the procedure, and when we checked our reaction mix on infrared spectroscopy, we had starting material left! In fact, it was a hydroxyl group that was left. (The alcohol left over from the cyclohexanol)
So seeing this, homeboy was still in denial, he told me that we didn’t have to redo the reaction, we can talk our way out of having the starting material in our reaction mix when we presented our project.
I told him, “No. I’m going to redo the reaction, with or without you, and I’m using less cyclohexanol and more base”. Finally, he acquiesced.
So, the day of reaction two, he comes in 15-20 minutes late. I actually wish he didn’t come in because I really didn’t need him. He’s more nuisance than helpful. All he does is talk about his dogs and how amazing his GF (probably the perfect girl for him because she’s the only girl that would date him).
Obviously, the second time around (following my direction) we got a clean IR spectrum. No alcohol, just a carbonyl group.
Stinky will never admit that I know chemistry.. and probably know it better than he does. He always chalks my good grades up to someone who is just obsessed with their grades, which I am… but I don’t just get good grades because of just that. I get good grades because I bust my fat ass getting those grades. I get good grades because I understand concepts and theories… I relate chemistry to everything in my life, and I just love chemistry!
I really wish I could have more classes with other science majors. Chemistry majors are too competitive with each other. They all want someone to fail so they can hop in their spot.
My Orgo II class was at 8:45 AM. A class that early in the morning, no one is answering questions… no one is speaking. I am the person who feels as if I need to answer the questions the professor poses, if I know the answer.
I can hear this girl groan in the back of the class whenever I answer a question. Bitch, if you knew the damn answer, you should’ve answered. STFU!
It comes to a point where the teacher expects nothing but excellence from me, which is a lot of expectations… but I’m here for it, bitch!
From day one, I made myself known in the chemistry department. I didn’t come here to fuck around… I came here to take part in research and build my career.
Stinky is not the “let me get to know my teachers and join them in research” kind of student. He’s the one who just wants their bachelors degree and thinks he’s going to get a great job without taking part in any research.
My dude is 28 years old, or 29. He graduated with my sister’s class… are you that dumb to really think that the world is that easy and a job in chemistry is going to be that easy to get it you haven’t done a stitch of research?
He actually used to be a physics major… but thank god for my physics guy that he changed his major and he won’t ever have to deal with Stinky. Stinky says that the physics department is too competitive and filled “with douchie people who just like to show how smart they are.” I think he changed his major because he couldn’t keep up; maybe he just wasn’t as smart as his counterparts. Stinky is just an asshole. He loves to use his diabetes as an excuse for it too.
I understand, I’m a T1D too… I know sometimes I’m just not in a good mood because my sugars are elevated, but these times are few and far between. I have respect for people and I’m not just gonna be a bitch to everyone just because.
Ok, so the physics department is smaller, so it’s going to be more competitive… but the chem dept is also very competitive. There are only a small number of lab positions you can get in my dept. and from experience I know that teachers sometimes don’t even fuck with you if they don’t want.
When I first transferred, my goal was to begin research right away. I emailed the professors that were researching the topics I was interested in (peptide synthesis). Only two profs responded.
The first one just told me straight up… no. I told him that I was a non-traditional student and I think he made his decision right there. He said, “good grades, but we have no space in my lab”. Then why did you even make an appointment with me?
I felt dejected after that, but then I realized… I’m going to get a thousand no’s until I make connections in the college.
I was only able to join Max’s lab because he had me as a student. Even though I had an A in his class, I went to all of his office hours. He saw me wake up every Friday morning when I could’ve slept in, and come into his office hour even though most of the time, I knew the material and I really didn’t need to. He saw my passion for chemistry and he saw that I understood the concepts beyond what he taught us in class. If you don’t make a connection with your professors, it’s really hard to get a position in a lab.
At the end of the day, I WILL DIE before I fail a chemistry course. I WILL DIE before I fail as a chemist period.
Chemistry is my life… it’s the thing I was put here to do. It took me a long time to realize that, and I’m not looking back.
I finally found something that I love and that I am good at… no one will ever take that away from me.