Thursday, August 9, 2007


I know I should get back to my books and study for the next exam, but I’m too upset over the last one I took. Darn, Physics really gets to you! I suppose I might have fared well in the multiple choice questions (some of which needed computations, which was nevertheless worth only 1 point), but as for the rest of the exam… let’s just say I’ll just call on all the Saints today for a miracle.

The thing that I love (and hate) about science subjects like Physics, Inorganic and Organic Chem, and the like is the fact that one need not memorize anything. It’s all about understanding concepts, and once you get it all in your head, the rest is easy. The problem lies in the lack of time.

Imagine: a minimum 100 item exam to be taken in about less than an hour and a half (counting the time the papers were distributed). Instructors say they timed the questions, so that they may be taken within the allotted time frame. This gives students more or less a minute per item. Quite generous if the questions do not require analysis, but unfortunately a large part are situational questions. In problem solving, if you make a mistake in interpreting the problem, you are doomed. Well, at least you’ll get a point for “Given”.

I remember my Inorganic Chem exam finals. I way about halfway through, feeling very confident of my answers, till the proctor announced, “You have 30 minutes left.” Shit! There are 50 questions to go! I flip through the booklet and some of them are long and complicated problems. As I struggled to hurry, I dropped my calculator. As I pick it up, my test permit flies a meter away. Crap! I manage to answer the next thirty questions, and as I answer no. 80, the proctor says stop writing. In a desperate attempt, I mindlessly shade all the boxes from 80-100 (as long as I never leave a blank, I consoled myself). You would think it would be easier in Organic Chem. I was wrong; the molecular structures given made the floor plan of the Sistine Chapel look bland and ordinary. Seriously, it was so intricate I could not even begin to identify the Benzene rings, the main chain of Carbon atoms, and where the branches started. And that was just the beginning.

Moving exams are another story. You are given a minute per specimen, and answer about two to three questions, 50 stations in all. Ding! The bell rings and you move to your microscope or specimen. I try to fight my nervous shaking fingers and try to concentrate on the field of vision as seen in the ocular. Unfortunately, if you will be using the old microscope, hardly any light gets reflected into the lens. You are not allowed to squint (you will be asked to leave), you are not allowed to readjust the focus (you will be asked to leave), or talk to voice out your concern (you will be asked to leave). So you suck it up, and try to make sense of what you see. Ding! Move on to the next microscope.

I remember a funny incident where I thought I saw either Neurons or perhaps they could be Sperm cells (the long projections of neurons could sometimes be mistaken for the flagella of the sperm). The item had two questions: identify the cell, and provide its function, so to compromise, I wrote:

a. Sperm cell

b. To transmit nerve impulses

Hahahaha! At least I got either one of those correctly, that’s for sure. I hate microscopes. In your moving exam suddenly, adipose tissue begins to resemble bone tissue. I could not tell the lamina propria in such poor lighting, darn it!

Our exams are till tomorrow, and the moving exam in Anatomy is scheduled Monday. I should have slipped a bone or two from the samples in class. It so hard identifying each bone and the projections and indentations from memory. I need a specimen!


Mark Xander said...

Where did they "collect" the sperm? :) Hehe.

Anyways, I'm taking a leave from blogging for a while.. alam mo na why. But I'll see you when I get back, k?

Ingat ka.

Phoenix said...

@ Mark Xander: I'm rooting for you!! I'll include it in my prayers.. Don't let any negative stuff bother you..

Oh, they were prepared slides = ) The specimens were preserved.. We rarely use fresh ones unless they are plants (for botany).

Take care of yourself Markie = )

runawaycat said...

I hate exams! I hate exams! Arghhh!!!!

chase said...

i love moving exams. i'm very good at it. hehahahaha
gud luck!!

Phoenix said...

@ runawaycat: I know, tell me about it! Two more today, and we are done with Midterm Exams..

@ chase: Thanks Chase, buti ka pa ; )

John Halcyon von Rothschild said...

I took organic chem once and I dropped it two classes later. I'm not meant to be in the sciences. But I do regret not finishing that course. Oh Well...Good Luck with your tests.

Anonymous said...


good luck.

funny, but i have been visiting your blog almost everyday the past few weeks. funny because, i've known you for so long already as we have shared two campuses, and yet, never really get to know you...until now, until i started reading your entries. so i keep coming back.

goodluck on the exams. i know you'll ace them.

Chris Cafuir said...

i dont know hwo i survived science classes? baka nangopya lang ako. i just know these subjects do not stick to my head.

Phoenix said...

@ john halcyon von rothschild: It's such a relief I've passed that hurdle already = ) I agree with you, one really has to find his own inclination.. I'm not too much of a fan of the sciences myself

@ anonymous: We are done with the exams. The results.. out next week haha! Really? Na-intriga naman ako, did we go to the same high school? o sa UP dil? I think there are three of you who appear anonymous in the comments section so I get confused = ) Clue please ; )

@ chris cafuir: I can relate to that statement when it comes to physics haha!

Anonymous said...

hahah... I'm through with that stuff already, and it never stuck into my mind till now. Ei, start cleaning-up your blog 'cuz the magazine might be release next week...=) I'm looking forward to see tons of comments in your blog. Buenas Dias...=)

Anonymous said...

thad! pls don't publish my name (last comment).;@

Phoenix said...

The Architect, is this you? I was hoping for Stephanie to facilitate the introductions.. Yeah, I'm excited. Steph tells me you did a fantastic job with the cover. I do hope it generates a lot of views.. my posts mow are not as controversial and provocative as the ones I posted before.. Growth na ba ito? haha!


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