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New School Year Thumbnail

New School Year

The school year is starting up again, and virtual classrooms will be prominent. This writer is reminded of how he did distance learning in the old days - by watching television sitcoms. In particular, the field of chemistry didn't seem quite so daunting after viewing  The Facts of Life episode "Take My Finals Please".  When Natalie got frustrated with her inability to remember the chemical symbol for the element gold, Tootie showed her the value of word associations. She had to come up with a sentence that starts with the letters of the chemical symbol and that references the element. Tootie told Natalie to imagine a thief trying to steal her gold watch and then shout "Eh, you, give me back my gold watch!" (Element - Gold, Symbol - Au). Expanding on Tootie's wise idea, I thought I would create some new chemistry word associations for all students now staying at home:

  1. ) See you later, copper, I didn't steal that watch. (Element - Copper, Symbol - Cu; trying to stay with the thief motif)
  1. ) W-shaped economic recovery is possible if strategic metals like tungsten become scarce again. (Element - Tungsten, Symbol - W; combines both finance and chemistry) 
  1. ) Fe, Fi, Fo, Fum. I smell the blood of an English man, who is low in iron(Element - Iron, Symbol - Fe ; OK, this one is a little weird)
  1. ) This Pb & J sandwich tastes funny, I think some lead paint chips fell into the jelly jar. (Element - Lead, Symbol - Pb ; Yikes!)

That last one seemed to be an almost demonic mnemonic. I guess this is harder to do than it first appeared. Thus, it is probably best to just leave you with an example of the teaching maestro at work:

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