Wednesday, May 6, 2009

These Ideas from General Chemistry

Kristina Schumacher
General Chemistry II
May 4th, 2009
The Most Important Thing I learned in Chemistry This Semester
I have taken two quarters of chemistry at my Community College and one this semester at Warner Pacific. I gained a new knowledge from days spent in chemistry classes. However, this semester had one of the greatest impacts in my life. I didn’t just learn facts and theories. Instead, I learned how these facts and theories actually impact our lives. For instance, I learned about bonding, hybridization, and the molecular orbital diagram. I can now make sense of how these factors make up molecular shape and the VSEPR Theory.
Osmosis and osmotic pressure was one of the most valuable concepts I learned this semester. Osmosis is essential to our survival. This process takes place in our bodies to regulate our blood pressure. Also, chemical equilibrium and pH levels are so vital to our human physiology. This helps me believe that we are God’s creation. He has created such complex beings that involve internal buffers to control the pH in our bodies. Organs require certain pH levels which the buffers help maintain.
It was interesting to understand the basis of batteries. I could construct one knowing about standard reduction potentials, cell potentials, and free energy. I can picture the drawing we did in class on fuel cells and understand it fully. I know where the anode and cathode is. I know in what direction the electrons flow. In aqueous solutions, I can predict the reduction reaction and the oxidation reaction. In other words, which element or compound is being reduced or oxidized. Knowing these half reactions, I can balance complex chemical equations.
I felt so accomplished when I learned the basic nomenclature of organic chemistry. It made me more aware of how many times I hear butane or methane gas. Now I am able to construct the chemical formula and structure just by knowing the name of various organic chemical compounds. I can classify the compound as alkanes, alkenes, or alkynes. The organic chemistry aspect of this semester was the most intriguing to me because I want to become a nutritionist and study organic medicine. The way these molecules behave is essential to how learning how they behave in our bodies. Health is a major concern in our society. I want to gain the ultimate knowledge about nutrients in order to express my distress. I also want to become educated in organic medicine, the most nature form of medicine. I feel like our bodies are temples made in God’s image; therefore should be cared for in the finest ways possible.
Overall, I have learned enough information to regurgitate on a test, but the most important thing I learned this semester in how to make sense of the facts I learned. I was able to think critically on certain topics and relate them to my life. Chemistry affects every second of our lives, and this semester taught me how to realize how God can make the most complex systems work. We tend to take how God made chemistry such an important part of our lives for granted. Now I am so much more thankful.

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