May 27th, 2009


Atomic and Mass Spec is done

The exam today was horrible. If I explain how it was horrible then people might think I'm whining, because the likelihood is that I've got a mark in the 80-90% range - BUT it was difficult and stressful.

I'd intended to do two of the mass spectrometry questions (set by Philip) and one of the atomic spectroscopy questions (set by Marianne), but Philip's questions were so horrendously awful that I ended up doing two of Marianne's questions and only one of Philip's. And I'd only really prepared to answer questions on XRF (X-Ray Fluorescence) and AAS (Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy), so I had to try to remember a load of stuff about XPS (X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy) in the heat of the exam. Looking at my notes now it seems that everything I wrote down was correct, but I really did not want to have to do that.

I don't love Philip any more :P Things that weren't supposed to come up did - a 7 mark derivation of an equation which I have "don't need to derive" written next to in my notes! And he didn't say what the equation WAS, so I couldn't even try to make it up based on other equations that I do know. And while I whizzed through most of the first two questions in an hour, I then spent half an hour trying to draw the mechanism for a certain mass spectrometer fragmentation reaction (tropyllium ion to ethyne + C5H5+) only to get out of the exam & look at my notes & find we hadn't been taught it. So I sat there in a trance trying to get the bloody curly arrows to come out right, getting increasingly upset, and I could have not bothered and left the exam half an hour earlier! Argh. I am pleased that my prediction that he was going to ask about something with a benzene ring and a C=O double bond was correct, though.

I don't seem to be getting many comments recently. Are you all bored with my wittering about exam stress, or annoyed with my lack of attention to your journals, or have you all gone to Dreamwidth instead? I do love you all really, it's just that I can't study this hard AND take care of myself AND deal with my students and health crap AND be attentive to my friends :( I'll catch up over the summer, I promise.