If any of you took any chem lab at UN fucking C you would know that they don’t care about their students at all. They make that obvious from Chem 101. I’m taking the Organic Chemistry 2 Lab right now and let me tell you–they make things unnecessarily hard so the average is a C. And you know that UNC is full of smart people and I think just from talking to these people that most of the people in this lab deserve an A. They know what they’re talking about, some have gone through undergrad and are retaking the lab, some have had experience in labs before. And yet the system is made so that a significant portion of students fail or get low C’s, even if all they did was not know what the TA was expecting, which was never specified in the first place.
My TA heavily takes off points for not formatting the lab reports correctly, or not wording something in the right way, even if it isn’t wrong. They don’t make it obvious what they are looking for, and continuously add new things to take points off for for each lab report. I’m just so FUCKING TIRED of trying to read the TA’s mind and the chemistry board doesn’t care. Who cares if I put 10 hours into a lab but got a C on it because it was never clear what they expected from me?
I got an A on the first lab, a B on the second, a C on the third, and an F on the fourth. NOT because I got lazier but because the reactions they were testing us is getting exponentially more complex, and was not covered by our lecture, the lab, OR the textbook. The last lab focused heavily on using techniques in ChemDraw (which were, again, never taught to us. I found it out by emailing the TA, to which he answered at 1 the morning before the lab report was due at noon), and researching on a website I had never used before or seen used for a value that was never explained to us in lab or in lecture and was never mentioned in the rubric for the lab. Oh, it must be so fucking nice for people who have experience already doing this shit but guess what, not everyone inherently knows these things, and not everyone has taken labs at this stupid college starting freshman year of college. I’m not joking, going to lab for 4 hours every week makes me want to kill myself, especially when they make it impossibly hard for 1 credit hour, One.
I hate it, I hate it, I HATE this lab more than anything else in my life right now, and there’s nothing I can do but let this messed up system fuck me over. I just hate that my hard work doesn’t seem to be reaching anyone and I hate that had the directions been clearer, I wouldn’t have had 2 panic attacks during the last lab report. And I hate that UNC is known for being a prestigious research college but when it comes to mandatory labs, they couldn’t care less about their students. Don’t even get me started on the labs from Chem 101 and 102. They were also terrible, if not worse when it came to formatting things perfectly and they wrote the procedures for the labs in the worst ways. I don’t think the people writing the labs revised the manuals before charging us money to buy them, that’s how bad they were. The average lab grade in these general chemistry classes should’ve been an A or B+ just because what we were actually LEARNING about was so mind bogglingly simple. That’s why they were so strict about the formatting, so they could lower the average and force people who are not naturally good at doing science to pursue other majors. Which is ridiculous to me.
You can ask anyone here, they’ll tell you that the labs here suck. The whole Chemistry Department here sucks, at least for undergraduate classes.