Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Organic chemical structures

I always seems to be doing assignments and not studying. Why is this? I'm only taking two courses, so it shouldn't be all about the assignments should it? Anyway, I find myself studying simply to get through the TMAs with very little time to study for the fun of it.

I did manage to finish the Geology TMA two weeks in advance and then polished off the rest of the text book over the weekend. The geology course is not what I was expecting when I signed up for it. I was hoping for more "This is a piece of gabbro, this is where it comes from." or "This is plate tectonics." But so much of it is deep and molecular. They got into mineral structures really quickly after doing a block of map reading.

Maybe they're right to do it this way as we only have a year to do it in, but I don't half feel rushed, like I'm trying to do a second year course without having taken any first year courses. Which is crazy, because I did get through S103 last year, so I do have my scientific grounding.

The thought of the exam for both courses is a little horrifying.

Today I started the TMA for Planetary Science & the Search for Life. Usually I try to spend my lunch hours studying, just to fit in any little bit of time I can and it's normally quite helpful time to get started. But today Imanaged to spend 45 minutes staring at the same three pages trying to work out five chemical structures. Think I figured out three of them. This is pathetic when the choices are only carbohydrate, lipid, nucleic acid and/or protein. Even the amazing Wikipedia is being less than helpful at this point.

We're not even supposed to use external sources, everything you need to know is in the book - or so they say. I'm not at all convinced that the molecules in the assignment feature in the course text. True to all OU assignments, however, without figuring out the first part you can't answerthe following parts either, because all the questions are interlinked. Evil.

I came across Molecule of the Day, in the midst of trying to find out what type of organic compounds were coming up in the assignment and completely side-tracked myself.

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