I know… I like Organic Chemistry

As my previous blogs have indicated, I took Organic Chemistry all summer. Well, I am now back into the swing of things at UNH. This fall I am in Physics, Animal Behavior, Ecology and English. I am also TA’ing chemistry, tutoring chemistry, working in a neuroscience research lab, volunteering at the hospital 4 hours a week, and am secretary of the Habitat for Humanity club. Wow! SO busy! I love it though, being busy constantly gives me peace of mind.

For my first English assignment, we had to write a short story, depicting an image from our life. I wrote a bunch, but one is very relevant to this topic. Please read and enjoy!

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Typical college students live for the freedoms and chaos of summer, the relief of being out of classes for a few months. I guess I’m not your typical college student, because summer is the irritant that causes my palms to sweat and my twitchy leg to start shaking involuntarily. Just the thought of summer causes my mind to race, trying to plan every minute of each long day; but its impossible. Summer to me is an inevitable recipe for boredom, and I hate being bored. 
            My solution to the palms sweating, legs twitching, boring (some may call it relaxing) summer was to take organic chemistry 9-5, four days a week. For 12 weeks straight. When I told my friends, family and teachers, everyone called me crazy and said, “Why the hell would you do that to yourself?” This is the class deemed most horrible by all science majors, for it is countless memorization of thousands of reactions, and scribbles of lines and hexagons that mean nothing at first glance. It seemed as everyone but me knew the pain that it would cause.
I soon deemed myself as crazy too because I liked it. I liked sitting in a cinder-blocked, overly air conditioned building with crisp fluorescent lights, rather than the spacious, sunlit beach.  For me, my professor, Dr. Dele was able to bring the warmth from the beach into the classroom with his flamboyant Hawaiian shirts and thick Mozambique accent. He made my time there enjoyable.
 It wasn’t so much the structures and reactions that I was learning that I liked, but the feelings that I got when I had finished a problem. To me, organic chemistry was a different language, it was learning what went where and why for that specific case. For some reason I understood this language better than most people.  Leaving the classroom my mind would tense, straining to process more structures than I knew existed. It was a constant challenge, and also a constant feeling of achievement as my brain expanded and morphed into a direction I did not know possible. Organic was a mental rollercoaster that brought me from feeling like I had all the answers in the world, then quickly turning to knowing nothing. It was a high I had never felt before and especially one I never expected to feel from a damn science course in the middle of the summer.
Walking out of my final I felt confident that I had known every single answer. This feeling of assurance opened my eyes to the potential in myself. The world was mine and oddly, one of my happiest moments was the same moment that others deem as pure hell. I can truly call myself crazy.

A little preview of what you got to miss out on from organic:


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