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On Monday I had the pleasure of turning my hands blue (Okay, this is totally an exaggeration, but still.). Also on Monday, I had the real pleasure of calculating my engineering physics grade after receiving my very first graded physics exam. Then Wednesday I spent 3 hours with the engineering physics tutor, before going to lab and letting my soon-to-be-an-engineering-major lab partner boss me around.

The other night, after I calculated my grade, I called up my Father, and he told me the story that I always like to hear in times like these, the one about him, my age, studying mechanical engineering down at Rolla. He told me once over break, after I got my Quant Grade back (C+…I survived…BAM), how the average GPA for guys there was, well, a C. And how they were pretty much okay with it because the stuff they were studying wasn’t exactly easy. During my phone chat with him a few nights ago, he once again told me about those Rolla days, and even though I was crying about my horrible, atrocious physics grade, I started feeling a lot better. As Father would say, I’ve been punched in the nose a few times this year, getting into these upper-level chemistry and math classes, and next year isn’t going to be any easier (helllllooo P-Chem!). And while for the past two weeks I’ve been really questioning why in the world I thought pursuing a chemistry degree next year would be “fun” or what kind of job I will get with said degree, I think I’m in the right place. I may spill indicator all over the place and turn my hands blue. I may have to get tutored in the hard classes. I may have to deal with being one of two girls in a physics class off campus with a bunch of engineering guys with big egos (For the record, though, my partner couldn’t remember how to say the word “Meniscus.” Take that!). I may have to settle with knowing that I worked my butt off and still got a C.

But I realized, when Dr. Paine-Saunders today handed me my Quant Lab notebook that Dr. Spudich had given her to return to me from last semester after a run-in with her on the Maryville campus, that all of the stupidity that I put up with this week on my way to becoming a real-live chemist (?) is worth it. Yes, holding my good old Quant Notebook in my hands made me remember how much my mind was blown every time by Dr. Spudich’s ability to figure out why one of our instruments was malfunctioning in lab, or every time I left a lecture. I may not have gotten the best grade in Quant by my old standards (and the same will most definitely be said about physics!), but I feel like I’m really learning this stuff and being challenged and inspired in new and exciting ways. And I really think that maybe I want to someday have some random college student write a blog post about me saying, “She was the toughest professor I had, but man, I learned a lot and for that reason, I think chemistry is pretty cool!” I want to inspire people with my knowledge, too. I want to challenge people. I want to be the one who knows how to fix the Mini Gas Chromatographs when they aren’t working. I don’t want to work in a lab in the chemical industry per se, but teaching…maybe that’s what I’ll do! Over the past few weeks, I’ve felt sheer admiration for all of the awesome instructors I’ve met since changing majors, from Dr. Bookstaver who told me to go into chemistry, from all three of my calculus teachers, to Dr. Spudich, to all of my biology teachers like Dr. Paine-Saunders. Having students admire and look up to me, too…that would be totally, totally, cool (I’m talking zero degrees Kelvin here, that’s how cool.)!

Who inspired you to take the path you’re on? What keeps you going when the courses get tough?

Have a spectacular weekend everyone!



Tara Jones

Second Semester Frenzy

by Tara Jones on December 12, 2013

in Faith

YAY! I am so proud of all of us for finishing first semester successfully! Soooo, now what? What about second semester?


I really want to try my absolute best this upcoming semester. That seems cliché, but I want to quit with the mind games and be serious about my education. I don’t want to fool myself. I just want to flourish and be a wonderful student, you know?

Not only that, but I want to be a better person in general. Sometimes, I feel as if I fail myself in doing so. I’m not saying I’m a bad person at the moment or anything…All I want is to feel comfortable with where I am in my life. How can I do that? PRAY!

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Proverbs 4:13)


Mise en place has been ingrained in my brain this semester…along with syneresis, flocculated, chalazae, and an abundance of other culinary terms. (Shout out to my dietetic classmates and Dr. Cheryl Houston!!!) With all that said, Mise en place is a great representation of how I feel going into Fall 2011 semester.  For those of you unfamiliar with French or cooking…mise en place referrers to having all the ingredients necessary for a dish prepared and ready to combine up to the point of cooking. Sounds corny, but this is where I am…everything is in its place geared up for graduation in 2013!

I’m most excited to get into my junior level dietetics classes this fall. I’ll be taking three: HES 312, HES 326, and HES 319. In addition, I’m taking GOB (CHM 228) or “gobs of science” as everyone has been jokingly calling it! However, Chemistry is a hard subject for me so I’m sure this won’t be a laughing matter :( .  But I’m not going to sweat the small stuff…plus I’m always up for a challenge.

On the whole, my first year here at Fontbonne has been AMAZING, and I look forward to continually accomplishing Fontbonne’s motto of  ”Learn more, Be more.”


Registered for a great semester again, that is!  And if you weren’t tipped off by the oddly-placed quotes in the title,  ”OOP”s is a pun:  I’ve signed up for a class on Object-Oriented Programming – OOP.

I humbly admit that a joke’s not funny if it needs a detailed explanation to accompany it.  Maybe I should spare you all the pain of reading my nerdy humor and get the the meat of the blog.

I’ve designed next semester to be pivotal in making my decision of what to major in by signing up for classes that will allow me to cut to the hearts of the subjects I’m interested in pursuing in school and in my future.  I’ll be taking OOP to get closer to the crux of “real” computer science and give me a feel for what programming really is.

Now, I haven’t confessed this on my blog before, but today, I’ll drop the bomb:  for the past two years, as I’ve been trying to synthesize my many interests into a career I won’t hate, there’s been a part of me insisting, “I think it’d be great to be a social studies teacher!”  This semester, I’ve decided to test that theory out.  I’m taking a class that will put me inside the classroom at area schools where I can observe teachers and learn the ups and the downs of teaching social studies.

I think both OOP and EDU 201 will help me clarify what I like, what I don’t like, and what I want to do when I “grow up.”  Last weekend, I spent five hours creating a plan that lets me double major in computer science and history and still graduate in three years.  Before I execute this plan, though, I need to know if these are the subjects I’d really like to pursue.

I don’t know how this experiment will end, and things might not turn out the way I’m expecting them to.  Who knows?  Maybe I’ll learn that I don’t want to do either one of these careers, or even, as Britney would say, that my current yearnings to teach history “might seem like a crush/ but it doesn’t mean that I’m serious.”  (Sorry – I couldn’t resist.)  I guess I’ll find out next semester!


Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.