August 23, 2015

Do You Get Partners in CHEM132? What to Expect and More!

I took CHEM132 Fall of 2014. This is how the format of the class was when I was taking it. It may have changed since.

One of the most commonly asked question regarding CHEM132 is, “Do we get partners in CHEM132?” And the answer is, yes for the most part. The first lab is on density. For that one, everyone in my class/section worked individually. But for all the other labs, we were allowed to work with a lab partner. The lab partner you get is the person who stands (there are no lab stools) next to you at your lab table. Where you stand though is either up to you or your TA. Your TA may assign you your spot based on your last name/alphabetical order, or your lab partner may just be the person you end up standing next to on the first day of class. It really depends. In my case, it was the latter.

Oh good! We have lab partners! That means I won’t have to work as fast right?
Unfortunately, no. In my opinion, the labs were created for partners in mind. There were times when my partner and I were rushing to finish the lab in the 2 hour 50 minute time slot. So work fast.

Why do I need a CHEM lock?
The CHEM lock is used to lock your lab drawer, which contains your equipment (beakers, stirring rod, watch glass, etc.). When you aren’t in lab, your drawer is locked with that lock. But when you are in lab, you unlock your drawer. There are lockers outside the lab in the hallway for you to store your backpack/coat. People in my class used their CHEM locks to lock their hallway lockers during lab. 

But what’s so special about CHEM locks?
CHEM locks have the word “CHEM” engraved into the back of them. You can buy them at the University Book Store, or at the Chemistry Fraternity in the 2nd floor of the Chem building at a cheaper price. They are designed so that a master CHEM lock key can open them.

So I can’t use my boring, old lock from home?
Pretty much.

I accidentally broke my (insert glassware here), how do I get a new one?
You need to have a breakage card from the University Book Store. You bring your breakage card to the stockroom. Your card is basically money. You ask for a new piece of the glassware you just broke, and instead of them charging your credit card or you giving them cash, they just snip off a few squares of your breakage card (they represent money).

How is the format of a typical Chem132 lab like?
In my experience, people usually walk into the lab a few minutes earlier than the start time, put on their lab coats, staple their lab reports together. The TA then starts class. The TA writes two prelab quiz questions on the board, and you answer them on a sheet of paper. The pre lab quizzes are then collected. The TA also collects the lab reports for last week’s labs in the beginning of class. The TA will then go over some important concepts for the lab, and then you start the lab. At the end, you hand in the carbon copy of your data to the TA, and you clean your work space. You may also get a cleaning assignment, like refilling the soap bottles or wiping down the sink. After that, you lock your drawer back up and you’re free to go!

Do I need to bring my lab coat and goggles back and forth with me to lab?
Yes. The drawers in Chem132 labs are rather small. They fit your glassware and that’s about it. You can’t store your lab coat or goggles in your drawers. I have heard that some people can fold up their lab coat really nicely and manage to make it fit into the puny drawers, so you can try that. Also, the lockers in the hallway are for you to store your backpack, coat and other belongings during the lab. After your lab session is completed, you need to empty out your locker so the student in the next session can use it; you can’t keep stuff in the hallway lockers when it's not your lab session.

If you work fast and finish early, can you leave early?
My TA let us leave early if we finished early. However, that was rarely the case, and most of us finished right on time. Even if you are a fast worker, I wouldn’t plan or expect to leave early from lab.

Is there a curve in CHEM132?
Yes, but the professor did not disclose how much the curve was.

1 comment:

  1. I am 5'8'', and I am happy with the size of lab coats for men I chose. I would have worried about the scrubs being kind of tight and short if I would've went any smaller.


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