Review Comment

G Chem 1601

January 19, 2004

Doerrer, Linda Silver_nugget
G Chem 1601

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

I'd like to give another perspective on this class, being that it is possible to have a life, AND pass this course with a pretty good grade. I assure you, I did it. However, by no means am I implying that this course is easy or that there isn't a lot of work. After all, this is chemistry, and they like to make you work your butt off to preserve the high standards and reputation of the science department here. I actually heard that professors at other colleges were utterly baffled at our midterms. That said, you don't have to do every single problem in the book, or every practice problem she assigns for the midterm. The homework she assigns is excellent practice for the exams so dont kill yourself reading every little word and doing every problem in the book. The woman knows what she is doing, so if you have questions, dont memorize the book, go talk to her.

About Prof Doerrer, she is absolutely the most wonderful professor teaching one of the the most painful semesters you will have if you are lucky enough to be pre-med. She is understandable, extremely helpful, FUNNY, and soooo nice. SHE KNEW EVERYONE'S NAME IN A 160 PERSON CLASS. You can talk to her and she will tell you some of the coolest things about chemistry...or assure you that you are not stupid and you will be ok. She completely made me regrett not majoring in chem. Anyway she is also a very capable teacher. As hard as the material is, she does an excellent job of teaching it, using jokes, analogies, whatever, and keeping you up, making you laugh, and getting you not to hate her after you just got a 50 on your second midterm. and all of this at 9 AM, not an easy feat.

I honestly could not imagine a better person teaching me Chem than Prof. Doerrer. The material is baffling at first, but then it makes sense (sort of) and you feel like you are Einstein.

The lab portion is really hard too, but once again, its possible to do well without giving yourself ulcers. And the lab staff is WONDERFUL. Overall I guess Barnard understands how hard and brutal chemistry is so I'm glad they've given us the best, funniest, and nicest professors to help us get through it.

Workload:

Its Doable, and you dont have to stay up til 2 am every morning to finish it. Once a week should be enough. i guess im kind of kidding, however you need to DO IT, it will save your ass. Every problem she gives is excellent practice for the exams. Stay on top of things I urge you, otherwise you will get confused. Put effort into the problems, and make sure you understand them, it will pay off. If you dont get it, go see her, she has office hours dedicated to the problem sets. get into the habit of doing it from the beginning, its for your own good, you either see her or cry when you have to figure it out on your own. Also go to the review sessions for the exams, going in i felt like i had no clue about anything yet came out an hour and a half later feeling pretty confident. The book is really good too, it helps fill in the holes and clears up loads of confusion, plus its simple, concise, kind of interesting, and pretty humorous at times. Lab is hell, I won't lie to you. apparently it helps lift most people's grade up. god knows how, but it does. the first 6 are pretty horrible, so go get help for them, trust me about 15-30 minutes will bring you from a c to an a. im not lying, ive done it myself. Do the experiments correctly, they are totally into accuracy, as my D+ will attest to. you dont have to memorize the manual, just get an idea of what on earth you are doing, youll get out of lab quicker for it. and as for the lab manual, god i hated that thing. the lenghts they go to to make you figure out the most insanely difficult concepts only to tell you how to do it 3 pages later. if youre confused check the part about caclulating the % error, it will expain how to do the problems...but why they chose to tell you once you've already labored for 5 hours to figure it out is beyond me. anyway once the quantitative labs are over, lab actually becomes fun, and boy does your grade improve. you now get to play with pretty colors, do some cool investigative experiments, figure out the contents of mysterious substances. I know im making this sound overly exciting, but after 6 weeks of calculating .0001 accuracy, you will too.
So all in all, follow the manual, word for word, they like their lab reports the way they like them, and the more you follow the manual, the better your grade will be. if you go to get help, they will teach you how to better follow the manual so you get an a. learn from the notes they make on your reports, a got a few A+'s doing so when my average grades were nowhere near that. and remember, it's 30% of your grade, so dont slack off.

The exams are pretty hard too. If you took ap chem youll get an a on the first one and spend the rest of the semester just as confused as everyone else. but if you do the homework you'll be less confused. DONT IGNORE THE ONLINE HOMEWORK, i know it's only 2% of your grade but you'll get brownie points for effort and i swear if i hadnt done them i probably would have gotten a c inthe class. Everything in this class is extremely calculated by CHEMISTS, people who know how to be very calculated. nothing that is required is superflous. it is actually beneficial and essential. if you dont do the homework you'll be skrewed, its as simple as that. one little problem set a week will carry you through, you really need to learn and practice all along, there is absolutely no way to cram, even if you get the answers afterwords and practice the homework youve missed, its not the same. Im not a science nerd nor did i get an A+ in this class, but i am telling you if you learn early on to the the work, you will get through this class and enjoy it. Prof D. is an absolutely wonderful woman, the lab staff is too. The material is often very interesting, and incredibly rewarding, you will probably never get such a sense accomplishment as you will after this course, and you will be eternally grateful to Prof D. for teaching you things that everyone should know about, like the fact that one cfc atom will stay in the ozone layer forever, continually destroying ozone molecules...so don't pollute.

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