Organic Chem Self-Mug Tutorials

All right I admit.

Sometimes, I am simply too tired to attend lectures, especially when I have had a very busy day at work or I had insufficient sleep the previous night. (FYI – I’m doing part time studies and having a full time day job). Needless to say, I had to resort to other methods of studying for my quizzes, tests and what-nots.

Currently, the module which I am enrolled in has a very strong footing in Organic Chemistry. After sieving through what seems like a million videos on youtube, I finally came across these two channels which are my favourites –

 

1. Khan Academy.

Link – http://www.youtube.com/user/readysetorgo?feature=g-high-crv

Description – Our mission is to provide a world-class education for anyone, anywhere. This channel includes Khan Academy videos on Organic Chemistry presented by Jay. All Khan Academy content is available for free at http://www.khanacademy.org.

Here’s one of their videos on Chirality Centers and Stereoisomes as a sneak preview:

 

2. Freelance Teacher

Link – http://www.youtube.com/user/freelanceteach

Description – These videos are offered on a “pay what you like” basis. You can pay for the use of the videos at my website:

http://www.freelance-teacher.com/videos.htm

 At my website you can find links to playlists for all the video series, with series on similar topics arranged in suggested viewing order, as well as printable documents containing the “handouts” or problems discussed in the videos. I am not an expert on the topics covered in these videos. The videos may contain errors; viewer beware.

Sneak Preview on Aldehydes, Ketones and Enolates because I happened to be studying that

 

Both of these are useful if you’re enrolled into an institution like I am. However, if you’re not officially in an educational institution and you’d like to do some serious self-studying, then…the second one’s more for you. It actually has its own site and you can download contents from there.

For those already enrolled in a school, you SHOULD have your own notes and SHOULD be simply adding on to your own (like me) unless you hate your notes or deem them not useful.

Anyway, I hope these two channels prove useful to all my friends studying Organic Chemistry at a Degree level out there ~

Cheers XD

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Graduation Day.

Well…it’s been 3 years since I first stepped foot into Singapore Polytechnic. However, I still remembered it like it was just yesterday.

I remembered my first official day as a student. We were supposed to gather at our different ‘schools’ or faculties. Mine was at one end of the campus. Sadly, I got lost. And I ended up at the Design Faculty which was all the way at the other end of campus. Took me awhile before I finally found my way.

My years in SP were filled with plenty of laughs, tears, blood (literally, yes) and…ok maybe not that much sweat cause I don’t really sweat a lot. Perhaps I have inactive glands or something but never mind that. The times I spent rushing through projects with friends, staying late in clubroom to chill/hangout after exams, fostering new friendships and of course, going down a journey of self discovery.

When I fist came in, I was just looking for something new and different to try out. As a Science student for as long as I could remember, I decided to take a leap of faith into the arts. My confidence was pretty low at first, cause writing just was not my forte, especially hard news. I just didn’t have the news for nose.

However, at the end of 3 years, even with a shitload of family and personal issues, I did it. I graduated with a decent GPA of 3.3 and a Gold with Honours (Distinction for the previous batches) for my CCA. With that came a new life and a new start.

Although I must admit. After 3 years of studying the art of communication, I guess it’s time for me to go back to the Science industry, where I’ve always felt at home and at ease. Logic, rules and solid, hard evidence.

Nevertheless, I would like to thank all my lecturers who have played a part in supporting me and guiding me throughout my 3 years in my polytechnic education.

And of course, my fiance who has always been there for me as well. He’s done so much more within these few months as compared to even some of my closest blood relatives.

I guess…now…it’s time to move onto my next phase in life =p

Reminiscence ~ of Schzool and Teenhood

Today marks the final day of my internship, which means it’s technically my last day official day in school before graduation and entering the real world.

It’s scary they say, out there in the working world. Enjoy your schooling days while you can, cause working life is a different ball game altogether. After working for approximately 2.5 months, I must say, I quite agree.

Anyway, as I’m typing this, my mind’s kinda’ flying back to the good ol’ days where I was still schooling, where I first entered teenhood and when I started growing up.

Admittedly I might not have a normal teenhood, but still, I did go through some common stages.

Here’s a story that might be of interest to all you people out there who have been through school (or are still schooling)…or simply wish to reminisce those golden days…

Schzool.

Every class have their own collection of weird people. In Schzool, we have a collection of humans tagged with ‘animals’ and this is the diary of my days in Schzool.

Chapter 1: Introductions

Do enjoy your read. It will most definitely bring a smile upon your face.  And no there’re no real animals involved.

Cheers ~

Filter Members Club vs. ACJC and CHIJ

Full article: http://news.asiaone.com/News/Latest%2BNews/Singapore/Story/A1Story20120130-324667.html

Oh ho. I was WAITING for this article to be published. Knew it would only be a matter of time before someone said something about it and it becomes big news. After all, it DOES involve two rather prestigious school AND their reputations.

I am tempted to flame Filter members club in this post but I shall refrain from doing so. Partly cause I think there has been enough flaming and shooting-down of their club and partly cause I don’t see the point of adding fuel to the fire. As far as I can see, the fire’s already grown pretty big, no?

ANYWAY, my personal take on it is obviously…

WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING?!

I understand that it is worldwide knowledge for business to want to market themselves with ever-improving new and innovative ideas. However, this just crossed the line to being an ass. Filter Members Club probably just made themselves a public enemy.

It’s wrong on so many levels – especially under the Morals and Ethics category. When I saw the logos and the captions, the best way to describe my reaction was this meme –

Don’t worry I didn’t literally have a gun with me. It’s against the laws in my country. (good thing it is, otherwise I wouldn’t exactly feel safe taking a night stroll for supper.)

And needless to say…this was running through my mind…

used memegenerator to generate this image

I sit here, wondering what those people who came up with the idea were thinking.

Scratch that. Were they even thinking?

Their actions have left a deep impact on the school’s reputation as well as the students in there. I quite pity them to be honest, innocent parties having their reputation tainted cause of some very off-the-charts marketing tactic. (Of course, if the students themselves helped boost the wrong kind of reputation…then…shame on them =])

To quote Mr Chandra Mohan, honorary secretary of the ACS OBA”The poster was an infringement of a trademark. What the club did was wrong, and in bad taste.”

and chairman of the CHIJ School Board of Management Vivienne Lim “(The School Crest) should not be used in a frivolous manner nor in connection with inappropriate or demeaning circumstances”

Essentially, Filter Members Club just shot themselves in the foot (note: this article is in no way linked to Filter Members Club controversy).

And…to those who think that it’s funny, regardless of whether you’re a student there or not, have you thought of how others would feel at such a prospect? How degrading it can be?

I’m not telling you HOW to think or WHAT to think. That’s entirely up to you. Just giving ya something to think about.

In the meantime…i am looking forward to updates on this article.

See ya everyone!

JC or Poly? Decisions, Decisions

YES! It’s that time of the year again where I see fresh, confused O level students all around me. Sooooo I decided to do up this post to aid in your decision making ^^

Personally, I have had an education in both a Junior College as well as Polytechnic. In JC, I studied in the Science stream while in Polytechnic I studied in the Arts stream. No that doesn’t mean my view is limited because I’m not gonna’ be talking just about my coursemates but the lifestyle as a whole in general. Savvy?

Okay, now let’s get down to business shall we? Let’s start with Polytechnic since it’s fresher in my head…

POLYTECHNIC VS. JUNIOR COLLEGE

SCHOOL UNIFORM

Polytechnic: YES! Everyone is entitled to flaunt their style, regardless of whether it’s cool or not so cool or downright queer/weird. The only headache is deciding WHAT to wear everyday. Normally I’d go for practicality – tee shirt and jeans and sneakers. But really, it’s up to you. In my faculty, it’s, as my friend says, ‘Project Runway’ day on a daily basis. For others, it’s polo tees and jeans.

Junior College: Well, just like secondary school, you HAVE to wear a school uniform. And there are specifications to be met – no tinted glasses, no coloured contacts etc. the usual stuff. Stringent in terms of dressing. And duh. NO MODIFICATION OF LE SCHOOL UNIFORM! unless you have a death wish then go ahead…or like my friend says, don’t get caught.

EDUCATION

Polytechnic: MORE FOCUSED on fieldwork and education is generally more industrial-based. Rather than studying pure theories all the way, in a polytechnic you are thrown out into the real world to get a LOT of hands-on experience. This can be a plus or minus point. Cause if you don’t know what you want or choose the wrong course, you’re in a bit of trouble. So I suggest if you’re not sure what you want YET, don’t go to a polytechnic. You are limiting yourself drastically and perhaps even destroying your own future.

Junior College: Ah. The ‘popular’ route that most of us, either egged on by our parents or our own perception of society, take. For the education system in a JC, I’d say it’s very theory-based and kinda’ dry, in my opinion. Partly cause I roughly knew what I wanted and I didn’t see the point of studying whatever it was I’m studying in a JC as it’s not applicable. A JC is to prepare you for a university education. So if you’re unsure with what you want or need more time in deciding your future, come to a Junior College. Just beware. Cause for A levels, if your results are somewhere in between, be prepared to go to a private uni or polytechnic. Either you study REAL hard and smart and get excellent results, or just let yourself die in the exam and re-take it (though i wouldn’t recommend the second option)

FREEDOM

Polytechnic: Yes, you have lots of freedom in a polytechnic. Freedom to do ANYTHING you want during those loooooooong breaks – as long as you turn up in time for lessons. In the beginning where workload is sparse, you can afford to chill out and stone and explore your campus’s facilities.

Junior College: Nope. Sorry. Freedom is still limited. You MAY be treated as young adults but there are still a lot of secondary school rules to be followed. Like singing the national anthem and reciting the national pledge with occasional uniform checks. Sad but that’s life. Don’t worry it’s not ALL that bad. At least you have someone to keep you under control if you know that you’re the kind who’s prone to go crazy with too much freedom and have little control over yourself.

CUT-OFF POINT 

Polytechnic: Only your L1R4 results are considered. 1 Language (Either English/Higher Mother Tongue) and Best 4 subjects (subjects vary with different courses) Depending on your course, the COP may vary.

Junior College: Your L1R5 results are considered. That means if you take only 7 subjects, you can only afford to do away with one subject. Risky but not impossible. I’ve heard of people who made it with just 6 subjects, forgoing one subject to focus on the rest.  There are two main streams – Science and Arts with some schools having a lower COP for the Science stream than arts while others it’s the same.

COURSE STRUCTURES

Polytechnic: In a polytechnic, we call our various subjects ‘modules’. And our teachers are called ‘lecturers’. For every semester (6 in total – 2 in each year with 3 years in total) there are a set of modules which we have to complete. Failure to do so will result in re-take/forwarding of a module. This USUALLY ends up with a student graduating a full semester (or sometimes a year) later than his/her coursemates. Ouch.

Junior College: For a JC student, the basic requirement is – of course – General Paper (OR Knowledge n Inquiry), Project Work in your first year, Mother Tongue, 3H2s and 1H1. And you MUST have one contrasting subject from your stream. So let’s say you’re in the Science stream, you have to take a subject that’s in the Arts stream (Economics/Geog/History/Literature etc.) and no it doesn’t have to be H1. It could be a H2 as well. It’s the opposite for Arts Stream. The trend as far as I know is for Sci stream students to take Econs as their contrasting subject and Arts stream students to take Math as their contrasting subject. Mix and match. Have fun. Though do be wary for your timetable may be a little bit different and sometimes screwed up.

EXAMS/TESTS

Polytechnic: Well thing about a polytechnic is that you have to be consistent in your work. You may be doing really well for the past few projects but all it takes is one screw up and there goes your results…unless the assignment is not graded off course. However, more often than not you have to give it your all in order to maintain and keep up your gpa. It’s an every semester thing and I’ll be honest with all of you. It’s not easy to maintain your gpa. There WILL be a drop here and there especially in your second year. So do be careful. Study hard in year 1 and get as much as you can. That’s how I survived.

Junior College: Your entire 2 years of mugging is for one aim – A levels. So technically speaking you can afford to fail throughout until your A levels near then mug all the way right? Well … yes and no. You can NOT put in your 100% effort from the start cause I doubt normal people would have the staying power anyways. But just do well enough to ensure you move on to year 2 and not get retained/kicked out. (though in some cases, it IS better to get retained if you’re sure that you wanna go to a university and yet you know you’re unprepared for your a levels). For me I knew I wanted out so either ways I wouldn’t have minded. If i failed, just go poly. If I pass, go on and take my A levels. There. Simple as ABC and 123.

————————————————————————————————-

In conclusion, if you go to a Polytechnic, you have more freedom as to when you wanna start your work and such but do be careful what you do with it. If you can’t handle your freedom properly you’re gonna get into a lot of trouble.  For a JC, just be prepared to mug all the way.

Both routes will have ups and downs. None are stress-free. Do your homework. Attend talks, open houses, find out as much as you can. Then start making your decision. It’s not first come first serve so don’t need to hurry.

And please you don’t ALWAYS have to listen to your parents. They might not be always right and I think you’re old enough to make your own decisions.

Kudos and good luck!

Education System…exactly WHERE are we heading?

Okay so the other day I read this article on Channelnewsasia – http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/1174482/1/.html titled “Sorry, your child is not bright enough” followed by a discussion with my fiance in the evening.

In summary, this article talks about tuition centers starting to hold entrance tests before allowing a child to enroll in one. I’m not talking about secondary schools or junior colleges by the way. I’m talking about kindergarten. Yes. K-I-N-D-E-R-G-A-R-T-E-N when kids have barely learnt to speak or walk or talk.

And here’s what the tuition centers have to say. To them, it is a “way to screen prospective students and understand their abilities better. ” Nice try but no one’s buying that.  Oh and here’s another quote from the article:

“Creative Horizons, which offers English as well as creative writing courses, pointed out that its students should have a minimum standard of English before attempting creative writing, for instance. ” *rubs temples* People GO for tuition because they are weak in the subject.

Another center, Learning Lab, have interviews as well. “to appraise the student’s drive and desire to improve, and fit with our school’s learning ethos”. OH FOR GOD’S SAKE! No I’m not going to take the excuse of ‘train them for future work interviews’. Their brains aren’t even fully developed to deal with the concept of ‘interviews’ yet!

Seriously I think tuitions should be reserved for those who REALLY need it and not to show-off one’s child’s already-honed abilities. Thankfully here are some quotes which disagree with such an act from the tuition centers.

Quote from Mountbatten Member of Parliament Lim Biow Chuan, who chairs the Government Parliamentary Committee for Education “Some centres obviously just want bragging rights. If top students come in, they obviously would be good to begin with. Such practices drive up the pressure unnecessarily.”

Ang Mo Kio GRC MP Intan Mokhtar, who also lectures at the National Institute of Education (NIE): “”It would instil in the child a sense of belief that everything boils down to (getting) the ‘A’s, when learning really isn’t just about that.”

YES! I AGREE! Learning is not just about freaking getting As! What about other areas of development? Morals? Ethics? Seriously I’ve heard of stories in well-known schools where backstabbing and political playing occur. Is this really what education is about? *sigh* *takes a deep breath*

So anyway my boyfriend and I had a discussion over this. We came to a conclusion. Parents who are upset at the decision of the tuition centers to have enrollment tests can run after elitists. And here’s why:

We need money to survive, yes? And the living standards in Singapore are rather high, yes? So in conclusion we need as much money as we can to survive. Here’s the thing. Yes, it’s not EVERYONE it’s based on majority and it IS true if you observe.

Parents always want their kids to mix around with ‘good’ company right? So here’s the thing – what is considered good to them? Intelligence. Goody-two-shoes. Not all parents out there are so nice as to say ‘oh don’t worry as long as you do your best it’s ok.’ if you have those kinds of parents you better be thankful. THOSE are not common. Common parents are traditionalists, elitists or wanna-be elites. This is where the problem comes in.

Elitist/wanna-be elites parents WANT their kids to grow up smart so obviously they’ll want their kids to mix around smart people, yes? Think about it. What happens when tuition centers require tests? Only the smart/above average people can get in, yes? Then here comes the rich tai-tais (or any rich people for that matter) who will oh-so-gladly throw their kids in to make them more intelligent, hoping the intelligence from their classmates can rub off them.

Don’t bother asking why people think like that. They just do. If you want a crude answer, it’s all about ‘face’ and ‘looking good’ so that they have something to boast about. Yes, at the cost of their kids’ health and sometimes well-being. They usually don’t realize it’s harming their kid until someone slaps reality – HARD- into their faces because under normal circumstances they’ll dismiss everything. Excuses include ‘oh you don’t understand my child. (s)he can actually do it one! (s)he just needs to try harder!’

So now the act of ‘having entry tests’ doesn’t seem so stupid after all, huh? Entry tests -> Smarter students enter -> Parents send kids in to mix with intellectual kids -> Money for them. Who cares about anything else? They get the money they get their livelihood. And what about those with slightly below average intelligence? Die lor.

And one of the things I really hate in this society? People who look down on those who didn’t take the proper route of Pri Sch – Sec Sch – Junior College – University. I was personally degraded by my own mom and aunt for going to a Polytechnic after graduating JC. The irony? There ARE more matured poly students than uni students.

Because of like-minded people like them, I have seen many sad cases of people giving up cause they simply see no hope. They say ‘why bother? People already treat us like thrash. Why should we strive to prove them different?” and let me tell you the harsh fact. NO AMOUNT of motivational talks or whatsoever is going to change their minds because that fact has been embedded into them.

With this post I really hope that people out there would see things differently. I am just one person though so I don’t hope for much. In fact I’m not hoping for anything at all with how things are going.

 

3rd GEMs Lesson

First of all…I was appalled at my lesson. Believe me my legs were screaming at me to just run out of the class! What was so horrifying you ask? We were singing nursery rhymes in class! YES! NURSERY RHYMES! Baa baa black sheep have you any wool~ holy cow I was doing some serious head-banging man…no not those rock style head-banging. I meant head-banging as in banging my head against the table and ruffling my own hair out of horror.

If that was not enough, he improvised the rhythm and it became like what…pop-rock style? I was horrified. HE JUST TURNED A NURSERY RHYME INTO A POP-ROCK! There goes my innocent mental image of the song. Oh yes and if one were to learn music, one would find that Baa Baa black sheep and twinkle twinkle little star actually has the same melody. He suggested us going to a kindergarten/nursery school and tell those little kids “Hey did you know Baa Baa Black Sheep and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star are actually the same?” I was thinking…I highly doubt they would believe you nor understand what you are saying in the first place =)

Just as I thought that was the end…I realized I was actually thrown into a group…I panicked cause I missed my previous lesson and had no idea who my groupmates were. I found out later that I had one group mate who seemed to be forever MIA….and she had to be the only other girl in the group. I was thinking….this feels like when I started out my Project Work in Secondary Two.

Well that about wraps up my third GEMs. When I got back to clubroom, I slumped down and was trying not to scream my lungs out. After that…well…that’s another story…