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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Biology and Chemistry

It's on now. I have now had two classes: Chemistry on Tuesday (lecture), and Biology (lab + lecture) tonight. I am excited! I really like both professors, and I think I'm going to do well. The mean age of the students in class is "fresh out of high school" with a few of us old-timers there trying to learn something new.

And some of it is new. Some of it is common sense. My first homework assignment for Chemistry is to read the first chapter and to learn the metric system. For Biology, it's to not blow anything up in lab and to read the first chapter in the huge book. And to never miss a lab. And to learn the metric system.

One of the coolest things both teachers taught us on the first day is the dimensional analysis method - something I wish I'd learned in my first math class because it would have made my math classes afterward SO much easier. It's a form of factoring out units when converting from one unit to another (like years to seconds as in how many seconds in a year or like how many atoms are in glucose). But it makes doing those calculations almost breathtakingly easy.

I have a Chemistry lab and lecture tomorrow and then homework is on for Monday! Labs start in earnest next week. I'll be spending a lot of time in labs looking in microscopes at extremely small things, and combining elements together to make things "react". This is what all boys live for.

It's a pretty big change, going to school, not just for all the school stuff, but just for getting out of the house for a change. I don't care for the frantic drive TO school as I try to migrate from the day's work efforts to the night's learning efforts. But, the drive home at 9pm is pretty quiet and I pass right by downtown, all lit up and beautiful in only the way a big city can be.

Off to try and get some sleep for once. The mountain cedar has been terrible for both Dawn and I the last few days. I swore left and right this morning I had the flu, but it's merely the agony of cedar fever. It really robs the day of its energy and robs the night of clear sequential sleep.

One positive-ish note. I'm likely going to be losing weight going to school - it creates a large buffer in the midst of the day where I can't really eat, and makes me be more proactive about what I eat. Plus all my classes are on the second and third floors of these tall science and administration buildings that I have to scurry to each night as we move from lecture to lab classrooms. And, ultimately, I will be eating out less because I am busy. All this is good. See, school IS good for you.

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