If I could have a lab, where I would be allowed to experiment with students’ minds, I would totally love it.  You are here and you have some education.  Be it primary schooling, college, a PhD or just a firm understanding of ways to avoid death.  To that end, I’ve been working with (no one, really) educators to create new teaching methods using a combination of demonstration elements.  This page will be an infrequently updated compilation of those elements.

My current focus is on using PowerPoint effectively in a classroom since it is typically done so poorly, as opposed to a seminars.  “Chalktalks” are by far the best mechanism to teach students but it’s become a horribly lost art.  And since technology isn’t best suited to describe chalk talks, here I present a few PowerPoints to help teach various topics:

Chrystallography:

Here is the slide show I used in PDF format. Each slide has the notes I created (but for the love of God, don’t read off them while teaching!)  This is an introduction to crystallography, so it’s basic in its tenants.

A few things though – you should integrate diffraction with your laser pointer as there are a few slides that use them.  The institute for Chemical Education offers these devices. They’re very handy, they perk kids up since they produce interesting shit, and you’ll get a lot of millage out of them in describing how “predictable” they can be.

Animation:

Here is a PowerPoint slide set I used to teach the concept of “red shifting” and the increasing instability of fluroescent dyes as their fluorescence moves into the near infra red.  I use animations a lot – but this can be dangerous.  Animations can look like shit.  Here, they may well look like shit, but a bit of polishing could take care of that.  The overall response was very positive.  You’ll notice a lack of text.  It’s my philosophy that the TEACHER should teach, not the PowerPoint slide.  Reading text off a powerpoint slide while listening to someone talk is an arduous task at best and distracting and pointless at worst.  You’ll see I’ve animated all the important features – photon comes in… the relaxation… the closing of the HOMO-LUMO gap.  All there, but I had to say it all.  That’s the way it should be imho.

Supplementary text for Carey and Sundberg “Advanced Organic Chemistry 4th edition A”

Doing a backup of my documents on my computer I came across a document I wrote as a green first year. I still wasn’t in a lab yet, I didn’t have a blog and because I have graphomania I had to write something.1 So, I present to you the very unofficial supplementary guide to Advanced Organic Chemistry Section A by Carey and Sundberg. I wrote it for a friend who hadn’t read the book but needed to take the final exam in short order. I release it unto the public for consumption.

But first, let me warn you:

  1. I was a first year – not surprisingly some of the shit in there may be wrong, poorly written, confusing or generally stupid. If you can’t understand what a few years of maturation will do to you and your writing style then pox on you. I’d like to think I’ve improved
  2. I wrote this over the course of 24 hours. Yes. 24 hours. I can (though I try not to) write any document in 24 hours, regardless of length. Indeed, some of you will see a book chapter emerge from my fingers dealing with the structural utility and diversity of the Suxmicokin family of compounds in the course of a weekend. It will be grammatically perfect, linguistically artistic, and filled with spelling errors that will take another two days to fix. But that’s how this gangstah rolls. I gotz no spellin’ skillz beyotch. DEAL.
  3. I’d like to reinforce point one. I wasn’t a very good writer my first year. I’ve sort of only come into my own in the last year or so… so don’t be judgin’ me on that document. Though I’m told it helped my buddy with his final exam – as testament that he didn’t fail the course.

Contrary to what you may think, rewriting the book is actually not a good way to study for a final. I did it for biochemistry as an undergrad and it met with equally disastrous results (sadly, that tome – which was over 100 pages and took me 24 hours to write, has been lost.) But I took my A- like a man and only bitched about it once.2

If you agree to the preceding three points, you may download the document organische-chemie-fr-dum.pdf. It is released with no copyright and may be edited, rebranded or destroyed. Feel free to take credit for it yourself, if you’re so inclined. Just don’t email me asking about it.

1I do not suffer from any mental diseases that I know of. Except general anxiety. That shit sucks, but I generally don’t make it someone else’s problem.
2I have complained every time I received a grade less than an A. You may ask any members of my comittee. The one guy that gave me a B… I still hate him (asshole). I have an inferiority complex *shrug* (see footnote 1.)