August 18, 2006

chemistry.jpg
It’s official.

As of August 18, 2006, I have officially declared myself for science.

Today the head of the chemistry department signed and filed my major dec paperwork.

I am now a chemistry major!

I’m part of a university science program AT LAST. It’s been a long time in the making, and I am delighted.

More science posts soon… :0) I’ve just been really, really busy with getting ready for school.

If you want to read more about my day, click below.

Today I went to UNCA for my final round of paperwork before officially starting classes on Monday. I got my parking tag, declined my student loans, and visited the chemistry department to check on the status of my major declaration.

I love the UNCA quad. It’s the grassy area at the center of the college, flanked by the library, the science/math building and several admin offices. The heart of the college, where the kids play frisbee and sit in the sun.

Today was convocation, when the incoming freshmen walk through the college as a group (touching the bulldog statue as they pass it), and then march down the long sidewalk that runs through the center of the quad. A long line of sweaty, bemused teenagers in shorts, carrying cellphones. All the department heads line the way, in full academic regalia (mortarboards, robes, the works). Bless them all, it was very hot today.

I saw the start of the march of the freshmen. The class of 2010 (The Year We Make Contact).

It may take me that long to graduate. I don’t care anymore. I’m just taking it as it comes.

I visited the chemistry department, hoping to pick up my paperwork for my declaration of a major. Luck was with me, and the head of the department was walking into the little cul-de-sac of chemistry offices just as I was. I got to introduce myself.

The department chair himself is my advisor! He wanted to know about me, why I chose chemistry, what I wanted to do in life. I was shy to give a real answer (and I can’t really cough up a short version on the fly), so I told him I didn’t really know.

I didn’t want to overwhelm him with the whole long story (I’ll do it in email here in a minute. ;0).

He seems delightfully nice. I truly do love the tribe of chemist. They are almost all friendly, happy, extroverted, and helpful people. College math teachers are crazy and funny; college chemistry teachers are chatty, helpful, and extroverted. (In general!)

These are qualities that charm me utterly. There are many reasons that I choose chemistry, and one of them is that the tribe of chemist feels like one I will fit in with and enjoy being around.

And the best part of a good day? The head of the chemistry department signing and filing my major dec paperwork. It’s for real. As of August 18, 2006, I am officially part of the science program of a university.

Hooray!

***

Hi Dr. K.,

What luck that I found you today before convocation!
Thanks for signing and filing my major dec paperwork.

As you suggested, I’ll make an appointment with you in
a few weeks to plot out the next few years of my life
as a student.

I’m an A-B Tech transfer; I’ve taken Gen Chem I and
II. I’m 37 and I work, so I can’t take a full
classload. Dammit.

I had intended on becoming an Atmospheric Sciences
major, but changed my mind just a few days ago. I’m
interested in physics and ATMS, but what seems to
fascinate me most is chemistry. In the past I never
envisioned becoming a chemistry major, but when I
think about science, it’s always chemistry that I most
enjoy thinking about and learning about. So I gave up
on what I wanted to be and turned to what I wanted to
DO, which is chemistry.

I currently work as a freelance writer, and, sad to
say, have a habit of long emails which you are
probably already noticing. :0)

As for my career, I think about becoming a college
professor. I think about becoming a science writer.
I think about doing research. Mostly I just think
about science because I love it so much. I dearly
love to learn and explain things, and so long as I do
that, I know I will be happy.

Jennifer

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