Name and Number, Please

One advantage to on-line study is that I can do it anywhere, especially if the internet is free and the caffeine is plentiful. My over-sized laptop has traveled from the Jesuit-like austerity of the Clinton Public Library cubicles to the KC Plaza coffee shops full of selfie-taking Moms, drowsy homeless people, and nervous students. The first time I learned Chemistry I carried 3×5 index cards. ¬†They were light and required only good handwriting and no connection, except to my memory.

This week I learned how to remember the names of compounds. The rules are almost as easy as The Name Game, but not quite as singable. The positive element goes first, followed by the negative, plus ‘ide’. HCl = Hydrogen Chloride. Ratios are identified by the Greek prefixes mono through deca. SF6 = Sulfur Hexaflouride. Suffixes vary by amount of oxygen (‘ate’ through ‘ite’) and acids end with ‘ic’.

My laptop even traveled to the Learning Forward Conference in ice-bound Dallas this week. I learned about teaching and the support that teachers need, but often do not receive, in order to grow as professionals. Overall the conference was great, even though I was disappointed to learn that the 4C’s of 21st Century Learning* do not include Chemistry.

However, in two days I was fortunate to have three elemental teachers that are gifted in three very different ways and the combination was perfect. Thanks go out to my very own poly-atomic learning compound: SkAdF2 = Sarann Difullanide. I hope to make another batch of you in my lab very soon.

Life, Death, and Chemistry

*Creativity, Communication, Collaboration, and Character