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 greeneyedbbwchic
Joined: 5/28/2009
Msg: 1
Chemistry help...Page 1 of 2    (1, 2)
Anyone any good at chemistry?? I'm taking a general chem class in college and it is kicking my ass. I have to take this class in order to get into the nursing program. If I fail I have to retake it next semester, but I rally dont want to have to do that. I've been going to the school tutor, but nothing is helping. Any ideas??
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 2
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History
Chemistry help...
Posted: 10/26/2011 3:45:24 PM
A basic math class refresher would probably help. A lot of chemistry involves algebraic math concepts.
 zenpeacelove
Joined: 9/16/2011
Msg: 3
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History
Chemistry help...
Posted: 10/27/2011 9:40:20 AM
Best of luck with that. I had to take General and organic chemistry to get my Bio degree, and had to take it twice...lol...Always did great in lab, but had trouble with the lecture class...There is a lot of math in general chem, so brushing up on that helps...Keep on with the tutor and maybe try to study with classmates. Don't be afraid to ask the teacher questions either...You can do it!
 greeneyedbbwchic
Joined: 5/28/2009
Msg: 4
Chemistry help...
Posted: 10/27/2011 12:39:20 PM
Unfortunately...I'm so lost I dont even knowwhat to ask him. lol.
 greeneyedbbwchic
Joined: 5/28/2009
Msg: 5
Chemistry help...
Posted: 10/27/2011 12:41:03 PM
Help would be awesome...i'll try to message you when i get my next review...
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 6
Chemistry help...
Posted: 10/30/2011 5:53:08 AM
I'm a physicist and there seems to be better people to contact for chemistry questions than me, but I can one simple fact about learning any scientific or mathematical subjects. The only way to learn those subjects is work problems. You cannot just read the material and expect to understand it. You cannot have a tutor explain every problem to you and expect to understand it. Struggling with the problems and digging through the material repeatedly is the only way, with the emphasis on struggling. When you struggle with the reasoning required to solve a problem, once you succeed, what you did becomes so obvious that you will be surprised you found it so difficult. All of the outside help in the world can't do that. Sometimes, you just have to beat your head for a long time until the lightbulb lights up.

Go to the library and find other chemistry textbooks. Different authors present material in different ways, so you might find something presented in a different way that contains the key concept to some material that you're missing. Try doing things backwards that you would for a non-science class, i.e., go straight to the problems and then read the material as necessary to solve the problems. That seems to the way most students who are math and science majors work naturally.

My mathematical methods of physics professor in graduate school had a saying. Everything is impossible until you understand it, at which point, it's trivial.
 modivin
Joined: 8/21/2011
Msg: 7
Chemistry help...
Posted: 10/30/2011 9:12:26 AM
I just finished Org Chem and a few classmates tool Gen Chem right before that class. What helped them was "Chemistry for Dummies." You might also want to go online and figure out where the confusion is and work your way back to where you understood and when you started not understanding.
 Dreamer_in_SC
Joined: 6/13/2011
Msg: 8
Chemistry help...
Posted: 10/30/2011 10:08:07 AM
I have to agree with abelian on this subject. High school is the time when most expect to be spoon fed the answers. Under grads are expected to develop the skills to find the answers.

Grad school will test you even further by requiring you to test your commitment as well. The subject matter is not suppose to be easy and able to be simply copied from a book. You are suppose to fumble through it and make mistakes so that you can recognize when you make mistakes. It is why you work your problems out backward and then forward or forward and then backwards to check for accuracy.

You do not always get a phone a friend option. Even if you did then you would not develop the skills necessary to be decisive and confident in your ability to work through your inability to understand complex material.

You said you were going to go to the nursing program. If you do not understand Chemistry what happens when you have to give some medication to a patient that would cause a reaction to something else they have going on in their system?

Knowing how chemical compounds react together is a requirement don't you think? That is why it is a requirement for you to understand it before moving on. If you do not understand it then you have no business going further in your desire to be a nurse because it could mean the difference between someone living or dying for you to understand the subject matter.

So think about it that way. Failure is not an option and if you don't understand it then you are not a good choice to be a nurse anyways. I do not care how much you want to be something in life, if you don't have what it takes to get the job done and graspt the subject matter then you only have 2 options.

Option 1.) pull up your big girl panties and work even harder to understand something.

Or

Option 2.) Quit the nursing program and move onto a major that is not a life or death field once you graduate. The requirements are a little more basic and easier to complete when the field is not one that puts someones life in your hands after you complete your schooling.

All that frustration you are putting off is wasted energy that could be utilized to dig in your heals and push through your lack of understanding till you reach that one moment of clarity resulting in your AH HA moment that once found allows it all to make sense.

Just my opinions. Good luck OP
 greeneyedbbwchic
Joined: 5/28/2009
Msg: 9
Chemistry help...
Posted: 11/1/2011 11:32:02 AM
Well I am currently working as a LPN, and I have yet to kill someone. So obviously I have some idea of what goes on in the human body. Secondly, I'm not asking to be spoon fed the answers. I understand that I have to work the problems in order to understand what is going on. Some people teach different ways, so maybe somone else had a way of explaining something that made more sense to me...that's all I was asking for.
 shakeitupbaby2012
Joined: 8/12/2010
Msg: 10
Chemistry help...
Posted: 11/1/2011 12:37:04 PM
Abelian's and modivin's answer are quite helpful.

Man o man, how I wish that Chemistry for Dummies was around when I was in college the first time around. I went pre-med and I was determined to get through the program. Chemistry was a challenging subject at first. I very visual and things to to make sense to me to get it. I had a prof that lectured some and left the building and we were on our own to discover how to implement what he had lectured on in the lab and by experimenting with it all. I hate to say that for quite some time I just had to suck it up and memorize the formulas, but as I kept applying it in the lab, it finally started making complete sense. I worked at making sense of it all.

I love nature and I would think about how organic chem applied to nature, etc.

I visited a chemist and observed and talked with him about his work and that helped as well. Take it into real life is my suggestion, and simply work away at the formulas.
The Chem for Dummies would likely help you see in in a new light.
Abelian's suggestion of finding other text is good, but I'm very hands on and text isn't as helpful to me as finding someone in your class, etc. who has a different way of explaining it to you that may just crack the code. ;)
 vintagevanessa
Joined: 7/5/2011
Msg: 11
Chemistry help...
Posted: 11/2/2011 12:23:13 AM
I used to tutor chemistry when I was in college. I found that most of the students I tutored just needed help with the math and not the concepts. If this is the case for you, an algebra refresher is a good idea. If the concepts are also the problem, a tutor can help. If you already have one, find a different one. The tutoring center at my college had a walk-in center as well as individual tutors so students could benefit from different teaching methods. If your school has a tutoring center, try there. When I was taking chemistry, I benefitted from a study group. We took turns working out problems and explaining concepts to each other. Sometimes talking about a concept will make you think about it in a different way and that will give you a better understanding. For me, tutoring chemistry helped me understand it more than when I was taking the class because I had to explain it to my students. I hope this helps. Good luck. :)
 Dreamer_in_SC
Joined: 6/13/2011
Msg: 12
Chemistry help...
Posted: 11/2/2011 4:48:47 AM
Well I am currently working as a LPN, and I have yet to kill someone.


That may be the case but also means you must contact a Doctor to alter treatment. If you are an LPN are we to assume you are attempting to become a Nurse Practitioner?

That would mean it would then be you able to prescribe treatments.


Secondly, I'm not asking to be spoon fed the answers. I understand that I have to work the problems in order to understand what is going on.


I was not meaning to offend you, instead just offer my opinion at the big picture scenario.

You did not list where your issues with Chemistry stemmed from.


Some people teach different ways, so maybe somone else had a way of explaining something that made more sense to me...that's all I was asking for.


Where did you ask for that? I did not see you asking for anything. You textually voiced a frustration but then did not explain where your frustration stemmed from.

As far as people teaching different ways goes.... Not really... A person explains an issue they are not understanding and the person teaching attempts to discover a way to explain it that would allow that understanding to take place.

You have failed at your part of the teaching/learning process. For learning to take place you MUST be able to understand where your barriers are drawn in your understanding. You also MUST be able to explain those to someone offering to teach you so that they could focus on those specific barriers.

I am not sure if you noticed but there are quite a few fairly smart people that post to these forums. There are also some real nut jobs and bullshyt artists. You could spend days observing some of the cattle turds that are textually sculpted on these forums at times.

BE SPECIFIC! It is your only hope of obtaining worthy information. With the information you have given there is no legitimate help able to be offered other than typing out a preamble to a Chemistry book.

If you can not accurately discover and convey where exactly you are having troubles and what exactly your issues are then I would say to start there at that point. That is where your issues stem from. Fix that problem first and the rest will follow. Your troubles seem to be in Identification of issues and not so much in understanding solutions.

Just my opinions. I was not trying to insult you with my earlier post or this one. I was simply offering the only help possible with the information that you provided which was a work harder or quit the program form of help.
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 13
Chemistry help...
Posted: 11/2/2011 10:18:30 AM
A couple of comments:


Secondly, I'm not asking to be spoon fed the answers. I understand that I have to work the problems in order to understand what is going on.

That may be, but sometimes students will underestimate the effort required to understand something. From my own personal experience going from high school level physics through graduate school, I went from being able to work all of the assigned problems between classes to not being able to understand the questions. It's a real shock to read the first assigned problem and wonder if that material was really in the textbook or covered in a lecture. That sort of thing can make you wonder if you're overreaching, but it's generally just not expecting the increase in the effort required to understand the material. This is especially true in science and math and especially true for people that had things come to them easily at lower levels. So, you may have to allot more time to this course than you thought it should require.

Some people teach different ways, so maybe somone else had a way of explaining something that made more sense to me...that's all I was asking for.

That's true, which is why I suggested going to the library and looking for different textbooks. I'm very picky about how material is presented and for me the general rule is that fewer pages = better. More words only get in the way. Some people do better with explanations that are wordy. Find a textbook that fits your way of learning and use it as a supplement. At the level of chemistry you are taking, a Schaum's Outline for chemistry should help a great deal. Your instructor should have office hours. Use them to get help with that which you specifically, do not understand. Someone here may be able to explain something as well. It appears we even have a few chemists. Work with other students. You learn more by explaining something than having it explained. You might be surprised by what you can explain once you get on a roll.
 greeneyedbbwchic
Joined: 5/28/2009
Msg: 14
Chemistry help...
Posted: 11/2/2011 12:37:54 PM
Dreamer...I get what you are saying. To be honest with you I have been lost from day one. So I can't really give you a point to where my issues stem from. I guess I was just looking to see what some other people may have done to help them. My plan is now just to learn what I can and retake it again next semester.
 Dreamer_in_SC
Joined: 6/13/2011
Msg: 15
Chemistry help...
Posted: 11/2/2011 3:30:16 PM

Dreamer...I get what you are saying. To be honest with you I have been lost from day one. So I can't really give you a point to where my issues stem from. I guess I was just looking to see what some other people may have done to help them. My plan is now just to learn what I can and retake it again next semester.


Then you are in luck. I can help you I think. Since you said you have been lost from day one my suggestion would be to start at the back of your textbooks. Read the whole Glossary. Those are all the terms and their meanings that will be contained within the rest of the pages of the book. If you understand those things then you remove that barrier out of the way of the material needing to be learned.

An ex girlfriend of mine was an LPN taking night classes to advance. Having a medical dictionary on her desk helped. With many textbooks they put a list of those things in the back so that it is not your lack of understanding what the words mean that prevents you from learning the material.

That would be my suggestion and it does not just apply to Chemistry classes either. It will work for your other ones too. I Always read my books by starting in the back
 greeneyedbbwchic
Joined: 5/28/2009
Msg: 16
Chemistry help...
Posted: 11/2/2011 8:12:49 PM
Ok so here's a question...what do you do if your book doesn't have a glossary lol
 Hibernian1960
Joined: 9/13/2008
Msg: 17
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Chemistry help...
Posted: 11/2/2011 9:02:02 PM
Would look up meanings of words on the Internet and make my own.

Good question, tough to get anywhere without knowing the nomenclature, like working as a nurse without knowledge of anatomy.

Think of it as a "body of knowledge" with its own peculiar layout, maybe? Best of luck- I personally loved Chemistry, but it didn't always love me back, particularly in lab.
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 18
Chemistry help...
Posted: 11/2/2011 11:15:12 PM

Ok so here's a question...what do you do if your book doesn't have a glossary lol

The physics and math sections of wikipedia are very well written and from the chemistry pages I've seen, those seem to be well written, too. Try that.
 passionteman
Joined: 3/7/2005
Msg: 19
Chemistry help...
Posted: 11/5/2011 11:54:33 AM
Easiest thing would be to throw the concepts you are having problems understanding on here and let's see what the Chemist genius on here can do with the explanation part of it. ;)
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