Caffeine intake has already begun.
I've decided what I'm doing for the chemistry final. I'm going to read through what I hadn't read in the text that was covered in the first semester class, go through a sample ACS test I downloaded, and give the ACS study guide questions a once-over. I'm not going to kill myself this weekend.
Monday is transition day. After the final is over, I'm heading straight for Purdue to take care of several things:
- Register with Payroll for research assistantship job and attend student employee orientation meeting.
- Get commuter parking pass.
- Get student ID.
- Check with Financial Aid on student loan status.
- Turn in immunization form with Student Health Services.
- Check with Student Health Services about getting my allergy shots there.
- Check in with EAS Department graduate secretary to get office assignment, keys, etc.
- Chat with advisor briefly if she's available.
So, one test and the eight-month affair with IUPUI will be over. I was talking to a classmate the other day about how, in a sense, it seems like I haven't learned anything from a conceptual standpoint. All of the concepts, theories, and ideas have either been refreshed from years ago when I wasn't doing as well or didn't get as far, or they've just seemed intuitive to me. What I've learned in these eight months of fundamental classes are methods for mathematically dealing with those concepts. So, even though I've always understood how certain chemical reactions are spontaneous or not, now I can say to what extent. Or even though I've had a feel for how a vortex spins around, now I can figure out how much.
This intuition is something I need to be wary of, though, too. It can get in the way of scientific reasoning. Back when I was in a script writing class for my first degree, I heard a great quote from William Goldman, the brilliant writer of The Princess Bride
, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
, etc. He said (paraphrased) that a difficult thing a writer sometimes has to do is kill his children
, meaning he may have an idea in which he's fallen in love, but it just doesn't fit the story and doesn't work. I see an analogy in being a scientist and the danger of intuition being wrong. Preconceived notions for how something works may be difficult to deal with when one is staring in the face of data that points the other way.
I need to psych myself up for the transition to Purdue. I've come a long way since I started back at IUPUI, not just from what I've covered in the classes, but in the mental discipline for dealing with a heavy science course workload and vanquishing the demons from not doing well in this stuff the last time. I still don't think it has set in that what I'm finishing up was nothing
compared to what is ahead. The 'A's may not come so "easily" (heck, from some comments I've seen, I'll love a 'B' in EAS 421, my own advisor's atmospheric thermodynamics course). I take heart in one thing, though: at least I'll be learning the topic I came for!! There's a lot of motivation in that. I do enjoy the material, but I want out of these fundamental classes already and I want to be studying meteorology for crying out loud. I probably still have a lot of math ahead, but that's okay - it will tie in as I am studying meteorology in other classes. What I'm not sure of at the moment is the research assistantship position - I really don't know what I'll end up doing on a day-to-day basis yet, but, from what my advisor has said so far, that's normal and okay. It will come.
Need more caffeine...