More a vent, but looking for ideas

My lab partners are careless. It’s driving me nuts.

Simple things like molarity or molality is getting lost on them; the I-don’t-care-I-just-want- a-C attitude is killing me.

My calculations are solid, my sig figs are never wrong, my explanation of why things work the way they do, my work IN lab is solid, I research things I don’t understand before coming to lab, I pre-write lab before I get there in a notebook remarking on anything that might be a little tricky and…

This past week the partners wrote down the wrong moLALity… therefore, our data was borked from the outset and no manner of calculations is going to fix that.

Last semester, I eeked out a 95% in lab. This semester, I’m eeking out a 76% in lab for two reasons:

  1. the week I had before last blew my life apart (again) and I seriously considered dropping out of school for several days and I felt like I was spinning my tired in muck and mire with no traction. During that week we had a lab write up. My TA said it was flawless and overall I’d have received a very high 90s grade on it. Sadly, I wrote up the wrong part of the lab and he took a flat 20 points off the entire lab report leaving me with a 75.8%.

    My bad on the report. Completely understand even if I worked my butt off to do an excellent job.

    Anyway, last Sunday I was still dropping out of school, had the letters written to my professors who I’ve come to know, and an incident at the gas station prompted me to stay in. Call it kharma, a sign, or maybe just me looking for one.

    I only got myself back on track this week by chomping down Concerta every 12 hours and staying awake for a total of 62 straight. (Let’s just say, I will NOT be doing the Concerta route again - what an awful come-down from it… yikes! )

  2. my lab partners are careless. They truly are great guys to be in lab with but they don’t really care if they get something wrong or not, they are checking their text messages while in lab, texting friends, sloppily measuring things, guessing at next steps, mixing wrong chemicals, etc.

    They don’t care if they get graphs right or wrong as long as there is “something” to turn in the following week.

    My TA just wrote that I’m getting a low score, yet again, because of that… because of them.

    Someone else has surely had to work through this. Someone else has surely had sucky lab mates and survived and thrived. I do not want to drop this semester as I cannot stomach another semester of gen chem II… Gawd awful boring - bring on organic!!! and biochem!!! but I have to get through this crap to get to that.

    Help? and thank you… think I finally figured out what was making me so crabby.

Wow. That sucks.

The difference in maturity is truly obvious. I don’t know, but when I was doing chemistry ten years ago, I was fortunate in that I had an honors section with other bright and dedicated people, but there was no such thing as texting.

What I would do is have a few honest, yet kind, words with the lab partners. I would explain to them your situation and just kindly ask them to be more careful.

It isn’t worth it to get doped up to get caught back up. If you must, drop the term. But don’t do that to yourself.

Also, if you want something done right, do it yourself.

Thank you for the support. Yeah, it sucks.

We are mandated to use partners. We have a poster thing due for this semester as well. Groups of 4.

I went to my TA for that and asked to do it myself. He agreed.

It’s a ton of work: research paper, 5 different sources (no big deal) and then the poster. Each part is worth 100 points, same as 3 labs. If I do as well as I did last year with that lab partner, I’ll get 120 points on each section. The sections, btw, are judged by the classroom on best, best in section and best representation of research.

Concerta is required for me on a daily basis… I had never tried to doing what I did with it last week and I can guarantee you, I won’t be doing that again. While it’s active and normal dosage there are no side affects, I’m just very focused instead of all-over-the-map. However, coming down from it the next day after 62 hours straight was hell. No wonder people get addicted to the stuff. YIKES!!! I just worked my way through the down side, ate, drank my diet coke…

Yikes :(…

I feel your pain though… I’m almost in the same situation for my genetics lab… My partners just want to get things done as quickly as possible and be the first ones to dart out when its over…My TA even told us that we need to be a “little more serious”… my goodness… If he only knew how serious I am. I would much rather be working on the labs myself too…

I suggest that you first ask your lab partners to sit down with you, and have a very NON-emotional talk with them. Your attitude helps them a ton, they could do just a little more to not to drag you down. If this does not help, you should discuss the matter with the teacher. This course is not only teaching you how to conduct high quality research but also about leadership with your group.

Never really experienced that myself, always had great lab partners with real drive.

Hope this helps!

I wrote the instructor who told me to write the TA. I’ve done so. He has not responded.

I sent the email from the TA notifying me of the problems with lab to my lab partners and said we need to fix this pronto. My next step if not resolved is to go to the gen chem director.

There’s a wee bit more about this that I can’t discuss on a public forum that might be playing into this. There was a skit done by the TAs related to what I can’t discuss… all of which is problematic.

However, I’m thinking if the situation can’t be resolved, there are many other 4 year institutions around here that I can take the chemistry sequence from. So, I may have to do that if all else fails.

I’ve had this same problem. I hate group projects for this very reason, in my Health class (it’s required here in Oklahoma for your BA or BS) and it’s a fairly interesting class but no one takes it seriously, except I think a handful of students, well we had group projects and 2 of us ended up doing the entire thing. Which honestly I’d rather do it all myself and get a good grade then have the people who don’t care do it and get a bad grade. Would the TA or prof. let you do it on your own? Or is it too much to do alone? I would try talking to the lab partners first, if that doesn’t work then you’re going to have to talk to the professor. I hope it works out for you.

The TA is going to switch up lab partners this week. He’s also having to report the one kid for academic dishonesty on his lab report because he used someone else’s graphs, not ours. It sucks.

I wish I’d been born with the “look the other way” gene and the “keep your damn mouth shut and suck it up” chromosome. But I was not. That sounds more high and mighty than I mean it to, trust me, I don’t think I’m perfect. When my grade, however, is being affected by youngsters who don’t really care, I’m concerned.

We’ll see how this week goes. Thanks for the support!

After reading through your post, I’m not sure if I have much to contribute beyond what has been suggested.

  1. Thank god I’m done with Gen Chem.

  2. At OSU there is no group anything save for labs where you and a partner have to work together to collect data from a spectrometer. Lab reports and the like are all individual which is fantastic because it further seperates the pros from the joes. I used to be less hardcore but if the chem department is going to put us into an environment where we stomp on each other, then to hell with me being the one that gets stomped on. I learned this after Chem 121 and decided to go guns blazing. From here on out, the sounds you should be hearing are the distinct crunching of little 19 year olds bones under your tennis shoes (I was gonna say stilletos but who wears those to chem lab?).

  3. I wouldn’t feel bad at all for turning someone in for academic misconduct. They are cheating and they have no excuse to explain otherwise. Their dishonesty is a slap in the face to all hardworking students and an even bigger slap to people like us who have much more riding on this rodeo we call premed.

  4. Minnesota is probably going to beat OSU this weekend because we suck at offense.

    <3 Hugz

@ 4. I didn’t know our Vikings were able to play college football cuz surely you can’t be talking about the Minnesota Golden Mice!

However, come hockey season, its on! <3

and thanks… besides, at 6’1" I’d look really silly in stilettos.