Back-to-School Study Bootcamp for Spring 2014: Day 1

Day One

So, today didn’t go perfectly according to schedule, but it was a perfect illustration of why this bootcamp will be helpful to me. As an older returning student, I find I have a wider variety of legitimate competitors for my time. Even though the winter break isn’t particularly long, I’ve already gotten used to having that little bit of extra time for work and family. Today, there was a pressing healthcare concern, but I still made time to study. In addition, setting aside larger chunks of time to prepare for school is not just a matter of prep for me; it will help my partner get used to my reduced availability as well.

I already had some online study aids bookmarked.  Today I listened to some lectures as a way of easing back into things. I didn’t take notes. I didn’t work any problems.  In the past I’ve found myself postponing a study session because I didn’t have the tools to make the most efficient use of the time.  I don’t want to abandon efficiency, but now my mind is more set on making any excuse to study even if everything isn’t just so.  Even though I didn’t have my papers and pens and stickies and highlighters and index cards, I still had a good first day.

One of my summer research advisors strongly urged us to organize our goals and tasks in ways that were easily quantifiable.  Her recommendations is what prompted me to make this study bootcamp about getting in the minutes.

So here are my numbers:

Organic Chemistry   —  90 minutes
About 80 minutes of lecture and 10 minutes reviewing Lecture One notes from OChem I

I listened to a lecture from Professor Carl Hoeger at UCSD.  I’ve used his podcasts in the past to get ready for class, so I knew that I would be comfortable with his lecture style.  A lot of the first lecture was beginning of the semester class business rather than straight lecture, but there were some helpful hints strewn in there as well.  There was some NMR at the end.

 CHEM 140B – Organic Chemistry II – LE [B00], Professor Carl Hoeger, Winter 2013

Differential Equations —  60 minutes
About 50 minutes of lecture and 10 minutes thumbing through the free only preview of the book for the class available at Amazon

Again, I was familiar with the lectures of Professor Rosenthal.  I found his Calculus II lectures helpful for preparation and review.  I ordered the book for my class used on Amazon.   I know that my professor for this class assigns a healthy amount of homework and gives a short quiz every class.  I figure any amount of jumpstart for this class will be helpful. I am especially interested in figuring out what I may need to review from previous classes.

Lecture one gave a good introduction to differential equations. He worked a simple example with speed, velocity, and acceleration.  He reviewed examples of determining the order of a differential equation as well as of determining whether a differential equation is linear.

Differential Equations by Prof. Rosenthal

Physics  — 40 minutes
About 20 minutes of lecture and 20 minutes of browsing notes and book

I started the first lecture from Professor Lewin at MIT.  The book used for the course isn’t the one used in my class. I noticed that Barnes & Noble offered a 7-day trial for the book listed for the course, so I downloaded that.  The online course materials included homework assignments from that book as well as worked out solutions.  The assignments referenced problems by number, but didn’t list the actual questions; the solutions offered didn’t necessarily repeat the questions either.  I used online book trials when I couldn’t purchase the book right way, so I k new to look for one to help with this study bootcamp.

Classical Mechanics, Professor Walter Lewin at MIT

Book Trial for Ohanian, Hans C., and John T. Markert. Physics for Engineers and Scientists. Vol. 1. 3rd ed. New York, NY: Norton, 2007. ISBN: 9780393930030. 

Workout – day off, but still took a walk.

Although I didn’t make my target number of minutes (90 minutes for each subject), I did have a good start.  I plan to beat today’s numbers tomorrow!

Sonjiala Jackson-Hotchkiss

Sonjiala (SON-ja-la) is currently pursuing an MS degree in chemistry at UC San Diego. As a member of the Bridges to Baccalaureate Program at San Diego Mesa College, her research in organic chemistry includes the synthesis of fatty acid esters of vitamin C that will be tested for their ability to inhibit glycolytic enzymes. In an additional research project she uses analytical chemistry techniques to determine the composition of World War II era California pottery.

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