This evening, my chemistry course concluded with a final exam. In the journey of an applied math scholar, chemistry is not the strangest thing, but nor is it in the standard package.
This course was outside my major requirements, but stimulating enough that I jumped at an opportunity to take it. Though other applied math students were doing cool things, I’m convinced none among them took home biodiesel and a tie dye shirt after their last classes.
Many students, given time, would enroll in chemistry, but the fast-track applied mathematics program does not afford so much wiggle room. For me, the course was possible because transfer credits from high school allow me ~6 more choice classes than my contemporaries.
But why take chem and not something mathy? Two big reasons. One, a fellow can be overloaded by math. Two, my childhood dream of saving lives as a surgeon became a step closer.
The first reason was perhaps not the wisest. This course was a major challenge for me – turns out I’m a math/compsci guy for a reason. I did appreciate the break from more complex math, but I was not prepared for all the memorization and new ideas without my other supporting classes. Chemistry was a worthy way to broaden my horizons, however, and I recommend the course to anyone with free time and a hard-working spirit.