Another post to reflect upon university life (after about 22/23 days). So how’s university life going? Well, now I’m at home (for four weeks). I finished at 11am today so came home after that.
Currently just writing this post after which I shall turn to the thermodynamics group task that I need to submit. Hopefully it won’t be too bad since thermodynamics is now beginning to make sense but I still struggle with enthalpy.
This is where the four-week Christmas vacation kicks in! As much as I miss Warwick and the people, I cannot wait to begin my marathon study sessions. I have planned my vacation to ensure I head back to Warwick in January feeling content and prepared for the mocks.
I am not sure if I mentioned in any of my earlier posts but I am officially a Warwick student blogger!!! I have, so far, made two posts: one discussing how to deal with tough lectures (can’t believe this was my first post) and another one discussing my vacation plans. You can find the posts here: http://studentblogs.warwick.ac.uk/ along with blog posts by other students sharing their experiences.
This Christmas, I am particularly looking forward to writing my lab reports. I have written two such reports before as well: one for the Nuffield Foundation placement, and another for my extended project, so I feel rather confident (but nervous at the same time). I am hoping to get two lab reports done. One on qualitative ion analysis – an inorganic chemistry experiment that I discussed in one of my earlier posts. The other one on the lab I did yesterday.
Yesterday’s lab was the Harcourt Essen reaction. It was HARD. The experiment didn’t involve any exciting colours changes so no beautiful pictures this time however a lot of emphasis was placed on precision. This was annoying since I am a very rough chemist. More like cooking in the kitchen lol (and we all know I can’t cook so you can imagine the consequences). Also, we had to ensure there was no contamination but this is something I deal with quite well. I used a micropipette as well which I think was quite cool.
But now, moving onto the slightly embarrassing side of the whole experiment, I failed my pre-lab three times therefore had to effectively beg the chemistry department to give me another chance (just had to explain to them that the term ‘physical chemistry’ scares me so I messed up). That was a difficult beginning but this isn’t where it all ended.
In the lab, I had to do the experiment FIVE TIMES to get the data. Here’s why:
1st attempt: I messed it all up. Instead of adding thiosulfate to my solution, I added peroxide.
2nd attempt: I used the micropipette incorrectly. There was more air in the pipette than thiosulfate.
3rd attempt: I ended the experiment sooner than I should have. I had even washed all my glassware only to later find that I didn’t have sufficient data.
4th attempt: I was supposed to add peroxide to my solution. I added acid.
5th attempt: I did it all correct. I was supposed to record 15 readings but I recorded 16 just to annoy the experiment that had annoyed me the whole day.
I was in the lab the whole day. Didn’t even have my lunch because I was determined to get my data. Luckily I had a nice demonstrator (as always) who didn’t get angry at me for messing it all up.
And that’s how labs ended for me. But I loved my time in the lab that day where after doing it about three times, even my demonstrator complimented me by calling me an ‘expert’. That made me laugh! And in the end, I realised this:
Well, I hope you have a lovely Christmas and a productive vacation!