One final down, three to go.

I did my Biology lab final yesterday. It started about 50 minutes late, and I finished by 4:45 PM. I respect Professor Neupane, because I can tell he is a nice / smart man. That biology lab exam was no joke. It was pretty tough, and did not involve just rote memorization, so I liked it… and hope I passed with enough points to score an overall “C” in the class. I think I’m too far away from a “B” to hope for such a thing.

On the lab final, we had to do a series of calculations using the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium theory, prepare a gram stained slide, identify the gram (positive or negative), identify the kind of bacteria, and give explanations for each observation, in addition to writing out all the steps taken in the gram staining process. We also had to graph absorbance levels in 3 test tubes with a chemical concentration of DCMU (from zero, low, to high), and tell what the slope implied based on his description of what the chemical was doing (sounded to me like it was inhibiting photosynthesis, which would influence what color the final solution was). I can’t give the answers away here, so I’ll just post what I remember. We had to draw 6 cells in various phases of mitosis or meiosis, draw a dihybrid cross punnett square, and a chi-square to test degrees of freedom based on hypothetical results given to us after counting 400+ kernels of corn, with 4 different allele types. We had to observe specimens under a microscope, draw them, indicate their size in ocular units (showing calculations), and I also showed mine in micrometers, and then name the kingdom of the organism. (I’m sure I messed that up since I did not read anything about kingdoms yet). Good test. I was impressed.

I have an online math final due by May 9th. We can take it unlimited times, and I took it once. I was glad to hear the other person in the class who is the top guy, from what I can tell, got about the same score as me his first attempt. The instructor says it usually takes students two or three tries. I’m gonna try again soon. (Today or tomorrow). There’s also an in-class final on Thursday evening. I’ll miss Mr. Seffrood. He was a cool professor. I liked that he gave us the proofs. It was a little odd at first to see it written on the board that way, since my high school math teachers never did that, but when I saw them and thought about them, it helped. He also told little jokes, and put cute pictures on the quizzes and exams, and had the power point clicker game for extra credit which I won a few times, so I had fun in that class.

For Biology, I still have one more final which will probably be a doozy. It takes place immediately following my Chemistry final, on Wednesday morning. So, I have to walk into both tests totally prepared. I am sure I’ll take the entire time in Chemistry to go over my answers, so I can’t see having any cram time whatsoever. The Biology tests are usually intense, so… we’ll see. I can’t say I thoroughly enjoyed the class since I hated the textbook but Neupane was a great lecturer.

Chemistry is oddly, the one I feel the most comfortable with. I think most people in my class feel the opposite. I guess I am getting a high B in the class, and feel like I might be solidly stuck there. He curves his exams, whereas Biology does not. I’d love to get the “A” but am scared to hope for it. At the very least, I am certain I will pass the class, and unless I really mess up, I should get a “B.” I looked over my third exam and know why I got what I got wrong, wrong, so, hopefully that helps me on the final to slow down and read the questions carefully, and not take them for granted. I blasted through the multiple choice, not paying attention and made some stupid mistakes on exam 3. I could have had an “A” if I’d taken more time to think about what was being asked. Reese makes good chemistry exams. He’s also a smart / nice instructor. His lectures were usually pretty funny along with being informative, which was a big plus. He also tried very hard to encourage better study skills in the students, and also encouraged us to get to know other people in the class. I enjoyed talking with him about random topics when I’d run into him on his smoke breaks. Really cool person, overall. He works incredibly hard inside and outside of class for the students. Very inspiring.

Overall, I’m at the end of my first semester, and feeling really unsure of my future, but all my instructors were pretty awesome this semester, so I can’t complain about that. I enjoyed classes overall. Even Biology. lol!

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