Friday, January 29, 2010

Dr. Macedone - Crazy, Fun Chemist

So, my chemistry class was actually super fun today. We're doing a lot with acids and bases right now. Today we were reviewing weak acids, and how to find the pH of a reaction given only the equilibrium constant. I probably would have fallen asleep in lecture (it was really nothing new to me today) if my teacher wasn't so funny. He seriously knows how to keep your attention and knows how to make you laugh! Anyone who has had Dr. Macedone will tell you the same thing. I honestly think I will miss that class! Here are some funnies from today that the class was in stitches about:

A few minutes into class, he was doing a demo where he shows us acid/base reactions can be reversed once equilibrium is reached. All of the sudden he looks at the jar the solution is in, pauses, and says, "Is it a flask? Is it a beaker? NO. It's a FLEAKER!"

Well, he goes on to do the demo by dropping dry ice into the liquid. It goes from purple to orange. Then he runs to the other end of the table, grabs a thing of Sodium Hydroxide, laughs, and tells us he can reverse it. He pours some in. It turns purple for about half a second, then goes back to orange. Macedone does one of his random moves, and pours more in, and it happens again. He stops, and all of the sudden yells, "RICHARD! I need 0.1 M of Sodium Hydroxide STAT!" Richard all of the sudden goes sprinting from the back of the room, out the door, and down the hall. (Everyone was laughing their heads off at this point) A few minutes later he came back and told him no one was in the Lecture Prep room. Macedone sighs and slumps off. All of the sudden he says, "WAIT! I have a key! Richard go back I have a key!" Richard goes running off again. Macedone' "If he doesn't come back in a few minutes, we need to go looking for him." Richard comes back, Macedone looks at the bottle and says, "Great! 0.1 M! OH! This is 1.0 M! STRONG stuff!" Pours a small amount into the orange mixture. He tells us with just a tiny amount of NaOH he can reverse the reaction. It turns purple for a few seconds, then starts to go orange again. Macedone then realizes there is still dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide) still dissolving, and starts to tell it to stop. It stops right when it turns green and doesn't go to orange. Macedone laughs, points at it and says, "Ah hah! I WIN!"

As lecture goes on and we start talking about weak vs. strong acids and how Hydroflouric acid is weak because it doesn't dissociate completely in water, but yet can burn right through your finger with the smallest amount, and if you are exposed to too much, can kill you in a matter of a few hours, and how Hydrochloric acid is strong because it completely dissociates in water, yet you can get a small amount on your skin and it won't burn clear through it will just hurt really bad for a while, one girl raises her hand and asks, "If you jumped into a pool of HCl and immediately rinsed it off in a chemical shower, what would it do?" Macedone sits there for a few seconds looking puzzled she had asked that question, then said, "Wow. It is definitely casual Friday." He then goes on to answer her question by explaining that even though it may be washed off, it has already set off a chemical reaction with your skin, and it will keep burning, and eventually kill you (not as fast as HF). Then he stops looks puzzled says, "We have wandered WAY off topic!"

While we were measuring the pH of random liquids, he asked us why the pH rose a little in the acidic solution after adding distilled water if water is supposdley neutral. A student raises his hand and says, "Because the government is controlling us and not telling us what they are putting into the water!" Macedone, "Yes. And that is why you wanted to take Chemistry. To learn the truth."

Of course, it was way more funny actually being there just because Macedone is, well, Macedone. I'm so glad I have a great chemistry teacher!

Busy week

Things have been SO busy lately! Hopefully things will slow down this weekend a little! I have felt like I have been running around like a chicken with it's head cut off! Here's what I've got to finish by Tuesday:

1. Physiology test
2. Chem 106 test
3. Chem 107 lab report
4. Finish packing and cleaning tonight
5. Wake up at 6 am (on a Saturday) to start getting the car packed
6. Pick up our keys, unpack a load, come back to our old apartment, finish packing, finish cleaning, all before 10 am
7. Get completely moved into the new apartment by Sunday night...preferably tomorrow night
8. Do a butt load of homework to catch up on the things I haven't been able to do because of the whole moving thing
9. Finish visiting teaching
10. Get my visiting teaching report made up
11. Figure out what classes I need to take this summer aka which Physics classes I'm going to take - yes that would be plural
12. Try not to go crazy

Lots to do the next few days.. I'm excited to get this moving business done with, but super nervous for my exams. On the bright side, I'm actually starting to slowly like Chemistry. Quite a bit...never thought I would say that! We'll see if I still like it when we hit titrations haha. I just hope I can keep all of the Rate Law equations straight for the first exam! Now back to trying to catch up on studying...

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Bigger Picture

Sunrise from the top of Mt. Timpanogos
So, school has been rough. Not a good sign since it's only the end of the second week. It's rough because of my chemistry classes, as usual. They get so frustrating! Sometimes I sit down to try to derive equations and solve for the factor by which a catalyst speeds up a reaction or such, and I just want to cry. It's so frustrating! Then you compound it with everything else that has been happening (getting ready to move, the usual health stuff with Mike, you name it), and it gets overwhelming at times. Very overwhelming. I have tried to keep telling myself things should get better soon, but they seemed like they weren't...until tonight.

However, through this all, I have learned, and still am learning, many things. I read one of my friend's blogs tonight, and she talked about how when we ask, "Why Me?", instead of focusing on the negatives, we need to realize the Lord knows what we need, and sends us these trials for our good so we can grow and develop.

That helped me put things into perspective with what has gone on lately. Even though we may not love our trials, we do grow from them, we become better people because of them. I for one, have once again realized the Lord does hear and answer our prayers time after time again. For example, the other night, I got down with the Lord and pleaded to send someone my way that I could be comfortable just pouring out to, venting to, crying to, someone who would just be a best friend and help me realize the bigger picture of things. No joke, within 24 hours this prayer was answered. My best friend from childhood recently moved down here with her husband. We planned to do something last night about a week ago, but I didn't really think anything of it, except I was excited. When Megan and Jordan came over though, I realized it probably was not even close to coincidence they moved here when they did. Megan and I can talk forever and not get bored. We can not talk and everything is good. I didn't realize how much I missed her (my family moved from Driggs to Rexburg when I was seven) until last night - we have known each other since we were babies! Even Mike commented on how incredible it is that we get along so well. In addition to this, I have run into probably at least three or four old friends on campus the last two or three days, some of whom I haven't seen in almost two years, and we were able to do some quick catching up, while sharing some much needed laughs.

Today I have really been thinking about what Mike said about Megan, how I have run into so many people the last few days, and then when I read Jaymie's blog, I realized the Lord puts more people into my life to help me along than I probably realize, and that rather than getting caught up in the "why me's," I just need to get out and surround myself with good friends and/or service. I love how the Lord answers my prayers, even if it's not exactly how I think it's going to happen, and how just when everything appears to be at it's darkest, suddenly a shining ray of light and hope appears on the horizon.

It's always amazing to me how the seemingly little things (such as inviting a friend over) seem to turn to much bigger, but better, things. We tend to see the here and now, but the Lord really does know what is best for us. He knows the bigger picture.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Back to Being Responsible

Sigh. Late nights, sleeping in, playing all day, snowboarding, hot tubbing, having no responsibility, and being lazy are at an end. Christmas break is over, school is about to begin, and it's back to the real world.

Break was great. We spent the first week and Christmas at my parent's, the next week and New Years' at Mike's parent's cabin in Park City. We did tons of things, which will all have to wait till a later post. Christmas was BY FAR the BEST one we've ever had...some amazing people did Secret Santa for my family, and it was unbelievable! I will have to post pictures of that later too. :) As for now, I guess it's time for bed so I can wake up early to hopefully be to the bookstore early enough to beat the crowds for books.

School, here I come...again...