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Topic: Am I in over my head?  (Read 5968 times)

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Offline jensgt

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Am I in over my head?
« on: January 27, 2014, 12:08:28 PM »
I transferred from a community college to the University of Maryland.  I took GenChem and Ochem there, I got A's in all 4 semesters.  I just started my second semester at UMD and started Inorganic Chem today.  The professor said that for the first 3 weeks we would go over material covered in General Chemistry.

He started with Schrodingers Equation, Wave functions, all kinds of stuff I have NEVER heard of.  I copied down everything he wrote on the board but was frustrated the entire class because we did not cover any of this in General Chem at my community college. 

Should I get a tutor? Or just keep going and hope I can catch up through lecture. 

Offline Corribus

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Re: Am I in over my head?
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2014, 01:46:52 PM »
In most chemistry curricula, inorganic is taken after physical chemistry.  Either way, sounds like a tutor wouldn't hurt.
What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were like a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?  - Richard P. Feynman

Offline SadBloke

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Re: Am I in over my head?
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2014, 01:53:07 AM »
I'm in a similar boat... I'm currently taking PChem and Inorganic and find them both very difficult. I usually really enjoy chemistry but have found that these classes are not my forte. I'd advise you to stick it out and "give it the 'ol college try." You might be surprised in the end, especially if you're being graded relative to the rest of the class (curved). In the meantime, start hitting the books and try to do as many homework problems as you can and ask questions. If you can afford a tutor, it never hurts.

Offline jensgt

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Re: Am I in over my head?
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2014, 06:48:30 PM »
Well the first homework was doable...so that is good.  i think I let the schrodingers equations and all the symbols scare me early on.  What we did on the homework was not all that difficult.  There is a generous curve in the class, as noted in the syllabus.  I think you just need a 66% to pass.  I should be able to do at least that I hope. 

Offline 408

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Re: Am I in over my head?
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2014, 08:03:23 PM »
There will always be some adjustment time when going from a stream at one place to another.  Just stick it out and hit the books when its unfamiliar.  And for what its worth, its the schrodinger equation, unless you want to go into quantum or physical, you will hear about it a few times in undergrad, and then later if you do synthesis, never again.   

I have a PhD and professorship offers, and have not needed that thing since undergrad. 

Offline PhDoc

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Re: Am I in over my head?
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2014, 03:11:24 PM »
People who transfer from two-year colleges to four-year colleges will undergo and "adjustment period" lasting 10-30 weeks in varying intensity. You may have been "King of the Hill" at your 2-year college, however you'll have to work 10-15 hours per week in that challenging chemistry course at a 4-year college.

It simply amounts to hard work and your own level of diligence. You're not over your head unless you don't push yourself to improve.
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Offline orgo814

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Re: Am I in over my head?
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2014, 10:33:38 PM »
You are definitely not in over your head. There are a lot of different branches of chemistry.. just because you are weak in one area does not mean you will be weak in another. For example, organic came very naturally to me.. I am the top organic chemistry tutor at my university and will likely be teaching the labs in a year! Physical on the other hard was a different story.. thermodynamics was easy for the most part but quantum was something else. It just did not "click" with me. I was able to decent in quantum with hard work but it certainly was something that did not come natural to me (mention normalizing wave functions, point groups, or R branches to me I may want to tear my hair out). So, don't give up. They are all survey classes so that you can figure out which branch of chemistry you like the most.

Offline Big-Daddy

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Re: Am I in over my head?
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2014, 06:29:19 PM »
And for what its worth, its the schrodinger equation, unless you want to go into quantum or physical, you will hear about it a few times in undergrad, and then later if you do synthesis, never again.   

I have a PhD and professorship offers, and have not needed that thing since undergrad.

What field of chemistry is your specialty, if I can ask?

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