Why take it to the Next Level?

This website has been presented to me as a senior at Villanova Univeristy, someone who has taken a lot of undergraduate classes. I am a chemistry major, as are the other students in Dr. Kassel’s class, and we have chosen to make chemistry a big part of our lives, the predominant focus of our undergraduate careers and curriculum.

There is an enormous amount of literature and countless websites on chemistry and science out there on the big “world wide web.” However, a lot of them seem unapplicable to me as an undergraduate and someone who is still learning how to navigate through all of the chemistry information on the internet. I think this website that Dr. Kassel has here is extremely helpful to me. He is using this website to help us read and be exposed to chemistry (and other stuff) that IS applicable and useful to us. It has the potential, if read and used, to help us expand our understanding of chemistry and apply our “text book” knowledge to real life situations. Wow-did you ever actually think you were going to be able to do that?!?!?

I really really encourage you to take a look at this website daily this semester and in the future. Dr. Kassel is making a commitment to you to put up interesting articles and posts. I have never had a professor that has done this before and it actually is a really cool opportunity. It can keep us all connected and it is fun. Commenting enhances the quality of this website because it helps us all know each other’s thoughts on certain articles and other cool things. It’s fun. Everyone is friendly with each other already because it is a small group…I know some of you are very funny, intelligent, witty, entertaining writers so show off your skills!!! Even if you don’t see yourself as a good, witty or entertaining writer, use this opportunity to practice. Practice makes perfect so why not start now? There are no situations or jobs or graduate school programs where you can completely avoid writing-in fact most of them really embrace, encourage, and require writing, so this is a good place for all of us to start getting practice-practice on commenting and responding to science and intellectual stimuli.

If you need help navigating the website or figuring all of this stuff out, let me know. I will see what I can do to help. Good luck and have fun with this! After all, besides the fun parties, great friends, clubs, groups, sports and so on, we are at Villanova to get an education. We pay a ton of money and invest a lot of time to leave this place with the greatest possible preparation for what is to come; why not take advantage of this opportunity to improve your writing, get more comfortable with technology, and increase your overall scientific knowledge and awareness? Take it to the next level.

Another note about molecule of the week: while only a short paragraph is needed to complement your picture, this paragraph is important. Dr. Kassel is looking for depth and strength in content AND style. Speak scientifically. I struggled with this a lot because I have taken soooo many liberal arts classes and I feel like I have been programed to write about my feelings and I have gotten away with vague analysis of literature. However, science writing is different. Details are key and a more sophisticated vocabulary is called for in order to make your arguments/explanations/summaries. This is an assignment meant for your benefit. I will be writing my master’s thesis in a year and a half (actually a little less ah 🙂 ) so I really appreciated this exercise-even though it was really only a paragraph!!

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