It's impossible for Hansen to possibly be any more in love with (as mentioned in another r view) her "creation!" She acts like it's everybody's only class, assigning ungodly amounts of work (useless, busy work) and expecting victims to treat chem lab like a part time job. You get out of lab just to be thrown into more lab work. Maybe if this class were not so redundant people would see the value in it.
Wow. I don't know if Chem Lab changed radically over the past year or so, but I definitely didn't take the same class as those who gave it raving reviews, claiming they learned so much. I spoke to a lot of the people in my lab last semester as well and they agreed -- there was little to nothing redeeming about this course. It's designed so you feel like you're constantly thrown into its vicious, tedious cycle week after week and makes the semester drag on and on. Even as somebody who received an A in the class (it's not hard to), it felt like a COMPLETE waste of time doing so. So. The vicious cycle: 1) Go to lab lecture, which is basically just Sarah talking about stuff you've probably learned or will learn in General Chemistry. Be forced to "work with the people around you" in an attempt to make it engaging (it's not). Take a 15 minute quiz that, half the time will have a 70% average. Watch points get deducted over the most anal errors, thus making you feel like you're absolutely awful at chemistry (you're not that bad, stay strong, friend). 2) They take attendance at the end, so guess what? You're not getting out of lecture. 3) Go to lab. 3-4 hours of pain, depending on if Hansen wants to tack on EXTRA labs/lab stuff to make her class seem more legitimate and less like a high school chemistry lab. The room has poor air circulation, but somehow it's always a bit nippy, and the TAs are half snarky, half nice. Once you finish (YAYYYYY!) you get out of Havemeyer, your spirits raised... until you realize you have to do it again... but only after... 4) Completing pre-lab (the most USELESS assignment ever, designed to force you to thoroughly read and copy down all the lab instructions... that have been altered by Hansen... and compare that to what's in the actual manual and write them all down). 5) Completing report sheets, that you will inevitably lose points on somewhere. 6) Dry lab! Because your time in the lab wasn't enough to convince you guys this class is taken [way too] seriously. 7) Writing assignments. (...really?) 8) Repeat for the next few months. I'd like to point out, all the work would be 100% fine in my books if it felt like it was reinforcing something, or clarifying my understanding of chemistry. But nope! It just felt like my time was getting sucked away from other classes and into this. I don't know what Hansen thinks, but this class is NOT her students' only class (nor, based on the conversations I've had with many, remotely close to their favorite). Prepare to have a sense of "Ughhh, not again..." overwhelm you each week.
Worst experience I've ever had with a professor. I agree with the above review of the course overall--very tough and time consuming--my right hand hurt so much from writing lab reports that I actually tried using my left hand as much as possible. Besides the course, though, I found Sarah to be threatening and pushy. She takes her creation (this course) too seriously and has complete disdain for anyone who has questions or concerns. She outright yelled at me on a couple of occasions--a situation I have never had with any other professor thus far. As well, the TA I had was an undergraduate (I am a postbac) and I found the age and maturity gap very difficult to work with. They clearly have their own stuff to deal with and never return emails, even general questions.
MILLIE IS AWESOME!!!!! Pray that you get her for your TA. Seriously, she will help you with everything in both lab and lecture, schedule outside time to go over things with you, loan you books to help, find you other TAs to talk to if your question isn't in her field of expertise, and bring you candy on Halloween! And she doesn't get mad when your class breaks a gazillion mercury thermometers. Millie is a very kind grader, but mostly just works really hard to make sure you understand everything so she doesn't have to take points off. Transfer into her section as fast as possible!
This class was the bane of my existence. There is so much work, it is ridiculous. (See workload) The professor didn't speak English too well and spoke so fast that it made the entire lecture pointless...My TA could barely speak English and therefore was of no help in the lab. The labs dragged on for hours, only to be supplemented by more hours teaching yourself what the hell the labs are about and then doing the report and studying for the quiz. They also make you copy the procedure for every experiment out of the lab manual they give you and onto a seperate piece of paper in your notebook. Why? Who knows? The post lab questions were absolutely ridiculous. They had nothing to do with anything done in the lab or the lecture and required further research to be answered. This class is pointless. Only take this if you are a premed (because you have to). Engineers considering a major: If you have two majors lined up, and one requires chem lab, I would strongly recommend taking the other. DO EVERYTHING IN YOUR POWER TO GET THE LABS FROM PREVIOUS YEARS FROM AN UPPERCLASSMEN!!