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The struggle life of a physicist in a chemical oceanography course

This post might be aiming for a bit of a niche market out there, but I’m going for it. As a graduate student in the Department of Marine Sciences at UNC-Chapel Hill, we have to take four core marine science courses: Marine Geology, Biological Oceanography, Chemical Oceanography, and Physical Oceanography (THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS). Suffice to say, there’s some bitterness in having to take a class (or two, or three) that aren’t directly related to your research. I’m currently twiddling my thumbs through my semester of chemical oceanography, and it’s tough ya’ll. I’m only joking – chemistry is important…and stuff. Here’s some of my many frustrations in GIF-form. If you can’t relate, feel free to keep moving right along.


There’s a reading assigned for every class?


You want me to make a Bjerrum plot with 8 constituents of seawater?


How this class compares to my last chemistry class (in high school)


I am overwhelmed by the Gibbs Free Energy Value Table. Actually, by all the tables. Why is ClO2-(aq) so different from ClO2(aq) anyway?


There are too many subscripts and superscripts and crazyscripts. Come up with something else!


The professor starts asking the class questions. And expecting answers


You go through an entire seawater equilibrium problem and realize you added up your ΔGr wrong.


What I imagine I look like when I’m flailing in attempting to do our problem sets.


Mid-way through our double block on Thursdays.


Oh it’s the thermodynamic equilibrium constant, not the apparent equilibrium constant. My bad!


Can I please just go back to Small Scale Physics?


One thought on “The struggle life of a physicist in a chemical oceanography course

  1. Pingback: Megan Schutt: Our Renewable Energy | UNder the C

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