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Hi, my name is Amy, and i am a self confessed Chemistry nerd, and life long science enthustist, come and read my blog as I document my time at through college and university as I study chemistry to become a chemistry teacher. Please note, glasses are optional

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This week marks my first week of university and after a few days of nervous waiting for course to start I’m now finally in the swing of it!

My fresher’s started with a meet and greet event at our local pub on campus, giving me chance to meet some of my course mates and some of the students living on campus. Everyone seemed so lovely and welcoming, it really put my freshers nerves at ease! After a few drinks and a bit of dancing we broke up for the weekend, to start the official fresher’s on Monday.

On Monday we got chance to meet our course-leader, a very lovely man called Dr Mendham, along with one of our lecturers for inorganic chemistry Dr Coleman, both lecturers made everyone feel very at ease with their informal chats and tours, which made them feel more approachable than just staff. The day finished on an informative lecture on one of my favourite subjectschocolate! With a couple of practical demonstrations, and taste tests!

Tuesday continued with meeting staff as we meet our personal tutors. Our group of around twenty five student were split up into groups of around three to seven for each tutor. We were then given information about the course and important information about events happening in our school.

Finally today, we had a mini-freshers fair, in which our university had various stalls with information for new students. Unfortunately, as our sister universities do not start until this coming Monday, our main fair isn’t until next week, but this fair gives the Greenwich students a taster of student life, as well as a bag full of freebies!

Later on this week, we are to get our computer logins and a session on how to use our libraries resources, which I’m very excited for, as the library was one of the deciding factors in my choice of university. We will also be having another mini lecture on what it means to be a chemist as well as having a freshers quiz put on by our chemical society.

All in all, I feel really welcome by my new institution, and though I will greatly miss college, I feel very happy and settled at the university of Greenwich.

Roll on the lectures!

Posted by Amy King on Sep 22, 2013 5:12 PM BST
Posted by Amy King on Sep 22, 2013 5:12 PM BST
Sorry for those who follow my blog and know that I haven’t updated my blog recently, however I was having dental surgery done over the last few weeks, as well as having a general tough time of it all. However, I do want to say  a few words about our recent summer exams and impending results day.

So we have all finished our exams now, after many weeks of long and sleepless nights, the tears and the tantrums,  now we are waiting on our important results, andfor many students up and down the country, the confirmation of our universityplacement.

With under a week left for English (and possibly Welsh) students to receive their results and acceptance or rejection of their firm university placements, nerves are starting to fray. The same nervous energy that we all experienced whilst taking our exams, is slowly starting to build and causing tempers to snap, nails to be bitten, and in my case, terrifying nightmares of losing all my teeth, and being Alexander Armstrong’s latest squeeze.

Even though the wait feels unbearable, it’s a final hurdle for us all, the ending of an era, but a starting of a new, for our first real taste of adulthood, of living alone, housework and bills. University holds a new world of experiences for us all, and we, the students of 2013 are on the cusp now of experiencing it, and it is this, that I look forward to the most.

Good luck students of 2013, fingers crossed…….we can do it!
Posted by Amy King on Sep 22, 2013 5:11 PM BST
Posted by Amy King on Sep 22, 2013 5:10 PM BST
There is one C work that makes every students blood run cold in terror.....COURSEWORK. Investigative skills assessments or Externally Marked Practical Assignments are universally described as the bane of most students’ existence! I cannot tell you the amount of students I speak to that find practical exams the hardest part of their a-level courses. I am quite surprised by students that say that they hate practicals in science. To me, science is a practical subject, with chemistry being the most ‘hands-on’ of them all. Essentially within science, we are understanding the world around us, and being able to model its applications into situations where it would not necessarily commonly be found. However, this entry is not meant to discuss the big issues of science in the world, for that there are many arguments to even consider an informed opinion, instead, I wish to talk about practical’s within school/college laboratories and the evolution of practical coursework.

I am in a fortunate situation, where the college that I currently attend have a very hand on science department, and practicals are conducted with gusto and enthusiasm. When choosing my college after returning to conventional education, this was one of my biggest contributory factors of why I made the college my first choice. I had previously been at a college where practicals were few and far between. When I had left due to my ill health, I barely knew how to light a Bunsen burner! Coursework had also been a major part of our A-level and GCSE examinations, however, its practical nature had a lesser influence over the more modern coursework that takes place in colleges and schools across the nation today.

In 2007, the scientific coursework, (at least for biology and chemistry which I took at the time) was largely essay based, requiring the students before any practical work to research thoroughly the methods they were going to used to perform their experiments. Students were required to construct their own investigation for their individual topic, consider an objective and analyse any results and come to their own conclusions of the experiment and critique themselves, almost completely independently. This would sometimes take students an age, and I can remember one of my own pieces, when partially written up, as being over thirty-four pages long. It was essential a magnum opus of chemical knowledge! This coursework could take a student up to three to four weeks to complete, and at each stage, a draft would need to be submitted and critiqued by tutors. Though to many students this would seem to be a welcome relief from the pressure of practical coursework under time conditions, essay based coursework was extremely hard to get good marks on for most students, and was often left to the last minute, requiring many a sleep-less night and a cafe full of coffee to complete this tedious task by the deadline.

Having undertaken coursework in both forms, I am very grateful that coursework has now evolved into the more practical, ‘hands on’ examination it has become. To me, I feel better prepared by it, to be able to carry out practical’s in a laboratory setting than I ever have before. However, with any examination, the current coursework has its bad point. The integrated, ‘how science works’ part of the syllabus for all exam boards, like for many students, is rather hard to understand, it seems to only partially prepare you for the practical assessments that make up part of the course, it therefore falls to the ability of the teaching staff to get you through these tough, but rigorous parts of the A-level examination.

However, once fully understood coursework can either make, or break your grade, thus for this reason, it should be properly prepared for, and not treated lightly.
Posted by Amy King on Feb 13, 2013 12:57 AM GMT
Hello fellow bloggers. Those who follow my blog, will know that I have not been posting much recently, and for that I do apologise, I have been dealing with a lot of personal issues this last month, due to my own health and my family, but I am pleased to report, I’m back, and that even though I am down, I am not out of the game!

I am just about to start my final few months left at Bromley College, and I am quite sad to think in just over five months my time at the college will come to an end. However I hope that I will be able to move on to other successful projects like the ones I have undertaken with them!

On the note of other successful projects, I can tell you I have almost had all of my offers from my UCAS. I am currently due for an interview at my final choice university, Imperial College. I’m quite nervous, as I’ve heard a lot of horror stories from people who have had interviews with them in the past. I’m hoping the interview will be like my last interview, which oddly enough I was completely relaxed in, and I rather enjoyed!

Due to my personal issues, I was forced to miss my January exams for my Fourth Units, which I was really upset over. I had worked very hard for them, and was gutted to not be able to attend. This means that I will have to sit my Unit Fours and Unit Fives in the summer. This work load is huge, however I feel like I am in a good place, and feel confident, that I’ll be able to succeed!

So this is my quick catch up with everyone. I’m excited to start back at college (even though at the moment my college is closed due to snow!) and finishing up my final year!
As a side note, I’m thinking of overhauling my blog, changing my name to ‘GlamChem’ what does everyone think?
Posted by Amy King on Jan 20, 2013 8:58 PM GMT