Freaking out about Chem!! - page 2

Hi all, I just took my first Chemistry class on Wednesday and I feel like a complete idiot:) I am really struggling with conversions. Any suggestions? I am currently 4.0 and am really worried... Read More

  1. by   RNmaria
    Great POST!!!

    Pasha

    Quote from chris_at_lucas_RN
    Remember that if you are doing conversions, you are basically multiplying what you start out with by a series of fractions that really are "1," so you don't change the value of what you started out with, you are just changing its units.

    Kind of like a 100 pennies is a dollar, but so are four quarters, 20 nickels, ten dimes or one of those paper things. LOL

    Another way to look at it is, you have what you are starting out with, say, a gallon, and you know where you need to be, say, milliliters. You may not know how many milliliters there are in a gallon, but you do know that.....

    There are four quarts in a gallon.

    Each quart has two pints, so that means four times two, or eight pints in a gallon.

    You know that there are two cups in each pint, so that means two times eight, or sixteen cups in a gallon.

    Each cup has eight ounces, so eight times sixteen, which is 128 ounces in a gallon.

    Each ounce has about 30 milliliters in it, so 30 times 128 is the number of milliliters in a gallon. (3840 milliliters in a gallon.)

    If you take your time and remember what your units are (gallons, ounces, cups, etc.), you will be OK.

    Later, when you see the sense of this (and you will, when you think about what you are doing), you can just set up your ratios so you can cancel out your units. (you have to ignore those little marks--it's the only way I could spread out the bottom numbers.)

    1 gal . 4 qt . 2 pt . 2 c . 8 oz . 30 ml = (ta-da!)
    ``1```1 gal``1 qt`1 pt``1 c``1 oz

    The units all "cancel out" leaving you with milliliters. And we know that anything "over" one is itself.....

    Hope this helps!
  2. by   Compton
    Quote from KnittingNurseStudent
    Hi
    I am buying chem for dummies from ebay...I start the class on Monday. I am going to need all the help I can get!
    Heh... chemistry can be a very scarey subject. I found like said above. It it one of those subjects where you just need to practice. It is more of a math class than much else. Conversions can be really tedious but the dimensional analysis talked about above is how I got through it too. Just learn it right and try not to cut too many corners and then it is quite straight forward. Good luck everyone.
  3. by   PhoenixGirl
    Quote from L&Dsomeday
    WOW! Thanks for all of the wonderful suggestions! I studied like crazy over the past weekend and finally understood all of the convertions (in to cm, etc). I was really surprised when we returned to class on Monday and well over half of the class was still lost. Now our instructor has thrown algebra at us which is also really difficult for me. He even told us yesterday that he does not want to hear "I'm just not good at math" from anyone My dad is a CPA and now officially my tutor. The way he explains it really makes sense. Also I bought "The Complete Idiots Guide to Chemistry" and "Chemistry Made Easy". I really want to get that A and I think I am going to have to work my tail off for it

    Thanks again for all of the great responses!
    Tracy
    It sounds like you are studying hard and will pass this class! Don't give up, and don't fall behind, and I think those are the keys to passing a chemistry class. I had to take chm last semester (along with an accelerated bio class! yuck) and I just studied extra hard. Used tutoring as much as I could, and passed with a B in the lecture and an A in the lab. Chem was my only B, but I'm not disapointed, just GLAD to be done with it, .

    Good luck, I'm sure it will be hard work, but you'll do great and feel really good about yourself after it's all over.

    Rebecca
  4. by   charleybarley
    I'm also struggling in chem this semester- It is just so freakin impossible. Then when you finally get one concept down, they keep adding on to it, and it just gets more impossible. Right now we are on dilutions and titrations - oh I wish I knew how to do those!
    And then, of course, for the school I really want to go to, they require 2 chems! oh I will certainly die! I'm trying to weigh it out- spend another semester in complete hell and have a chance to go to my top school OR be done with chem, but then abandon my top choice? No idea!

    Well, Chem for Dummies sounds good to me too.
  5. by   Tweety
    Good luck Tracy. Something tells me you're going to be o.k. and get that A. One day you will look back and wonder why you freaked out.

    But you've got to relax. You're putting a lot of pressure to make the 4.0. You said if you don't ace this course you afraid you don't have what it takes to be a nurse and that is the wrong approach. Because it's not true. You can have what it takes without acing chemistry. Don't pressure yourself like that.

    I won't say anything else because I'll get flamed. Just keep things in perspective. Work and study hard. Get those A's, but stop freaking out, it's not worth it.

    I start an accellerated Chemistry class on February 7th. Wish me luck.
  6. by   Doug85
    Quote from 3rdShiftGuy
    Good luck Tracy. Something tells me you're going to be o.k. and get that A. One day you will look back and wonder why you freaked out.

    But you've got to relax. You're putting a lot of pressure to make the 4.0. You said if you don't ace this course you afraid you don't have what it takes to be a nurse and that is the wrong approach. Because it's not true. You can have what it takes without acing chemistry. Don't pressure yourself like that.

    I won't say anything else because I'll get flamed. Just keep things in perspective. Work and study hard. Get those A's, but stop freaking out, it's not worth it.

    I start an accellerated Chemistry class on February 7th. Wish me luck.
    This is solid advice, I agree 100%.
  7. by   hospitalstaph
    Quote from charleybarley
    I'm also struggling in chem this semester- It is just so freakin impossible. Then when you finally get one concept down, they keep adding on to it, and it just gets more impossible. Right now we are on dilutions and titrations - oh I wish I knew how to do those!
    And then, of course, for the school I really want to go to, they require 2 chems! oh I will certainly die! I'm trying to weigh it out- spend another semester in complete hell and have a chance to go to my top school OR be done with chem, but then abandon my top choice? No idea!

    Well, Chem for Dummies sounds good to me too.
    Wow this is exactly how I feel! Just when I understand one thing we move on. Yikes! Also you probably won't die if you take two semesters of Chem, it will just feel like it:chuckle . I am just going to try my best and hope I can make it through the semester with no tears shead. I looked on Chemtutor.com last night and it seemed a little easier to understand. Good luck to everyone!

    Tracy
  8. by   hospitalstaph
    Hi there everyone!

    Just wanted to update you on the horrible class that they call Chemistry. Our class started with 60 students and is now down to 34. I suspect we will lose atleast another 5 after the next exam. I got a B on my first test and I was happy with that. This is not at all a class that you can afford to fall a few days behind in.

    Anyway, just wanted to thank everyone for the kind words, help, and good wishes. I am not freaking out anymore, just sweating slightly

    Tracy
  9. by   KnittingNurseStudent
    I am glad you are doing well! Hang in there! It can't last forever...can it?
    I too am taking chemistry. We had our first quiz and I did ok. Our test is Monday. It's alot of work....very challenging! Also, our lab teacher barely speaks English!
    Good luck!



    Quote from L&Dsomeday
    Hi there everyone!

    Just wanted to update you on the horrible class that they call Chemistry. Our class started with 60 students and is now down to 34. I suspect we will lose atleast another 5 after the next exam. I got a B on my first test and I was happy with that. This is not at all a class that you can afford to fall a few days behind in.

    Anyway, just wanted to thank everyone for the kind words, help, and good wishes. I am not freaking out anymore, just sweating slightly

    Tracy
  10. by   hospitalstaph
    Quote from KnittingNurseStudent
    I am glad you are doing well! Hang in there! It can't last forever...can it?
    I too am taking chemistry. We had our first quiz and I did ok. Our test is Monday. It's alot of work....very challenging! Also, our lab teacher barely speaks English!
    Good luck!
    Barely speaks English???? How on earth are you even passing with that type of instruction? Our instructor makes a lot of rude comments like "Where is your common sense people?" and "Did you read the chapter?" I have heard him say this to people that I KNOW are studying very hard but just are not understanding some of the concepts.

    Can't wait till this semester is over

    Tracy
  11. by   fotografe
    CHEMISTRY FOR DUMMIES -- best 14 bucks I ever spent. Explains it all simply and with humor.



    Quote from L&Dsomeday
    WOW! Thanks for all of the wonderful suggestions! I studied like crazy over the past weekend and finally understood all of the convertions (in to cm, etc). I was really surprised when we returned to class on Monday and well over half of the class was still lost. Now our instructor has thrown algebra at us which is also really difficult for me. He even told us yesterday that he does not want to hear "I'm just not good at math" from anyone My dad is a CPA and now officially my tutor. The way he explains it really makes sense. Also I bought "The Complete Idiots Guide to Chemistry" and "Chemistry Made Easy". I really want to get that A and I think I am going to have to work my tail off for it

    Thanks again for all of the great responses!
    Tracy
  12. by   Tweety
    Tracy, glad to hear you made a B after all that freaking out.

    I struggled through my first exam too. I'm awaiting my grade. It definately is a struggle. Best wishes for continued success.
  13. by   nursemat
    great job !!!!! I am no brain or anything but i have always gotten A's in science classes because i study my but off... it's not that hard you just have to put the time in. whatever time it takes if it takes 4 hours a night thats what you have to do.

    When I took calc II i worked on a single problem once for 7 hours what an awesome feeling when I finialy got it right

    now if i could just learn to spell

    Mat

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