chemical_shaman (Stranger)
04-20-02 07:25
No 299416
      Self-Taught Chemists  Bookmark   

Hello everyone,
   I'm am planning on taking some college chemistry classes this fall. I know that some of the underground chemists in the 60's and 70's taught themselves how to perform various syntheses. I was wondering if anyone here has taught themselves and been successful. I know that "The Organic Chem Lab Survival Manual" is a good place to start. Anybody here have any more suggestions?
04-20-02 07:48
No 299427
      UTFSE  Bookmark   

There are lots of references to books on the hive. Also if you look in the NEWBEE FORUM there is a ref. at the top for books for beginers. But taking classes is also a very good idea.Good luck. And bee safe.

(Hive Bee)
04-20-02 08:20
No 299435
      learning...  Bookmark   

Remember that every chemist ultimately teaches him or herself.  By that I mean that learning is an investment of your time in study and practice.  If you choose to go to a school for your learning you simply equip yourself with better tools with which to study.  The best chemists are the ones that love to do it, who love to study it, who live it (ring any bells around here ;-).  I'm sure there are quite a few people out there with Chemistry degrees who really don't care for it and now have nothing to do with it.  If you love doing it, set yourself up with the best tools you can and go for it (study like mad)!

($.02 from the peanut gallery)
(Distinctive Doe)
04-20-02 08:43
No 299443
      yes  Bookmark   


My suggestion is to read, no questions, just read
Read and attempt to understand the chemistry forums here and ALL of Rhodiums page.  Search google if you have a question.
Use the links in the sticky links thread at the Methods forum, it can answer many questions

Those who give up essential liberties for temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety
04-20-02 09:24
No 299457
      It kept lifting me higher!  Bookmark   

Take the classes, you will be glad you did. Sure, old zed taught himself chemistry. You betcha, zed studied, zed learned, zed was impressive. In a year or two, graduating pharmacy and med students (AKA Doctors), expressed shock and incomprehension when zed started to talk.He was way beyond them.

But, there was a big difference between zed, and those Dr's. They were headed off to have OK lives. Zed was a unbalanced semi-gangster, an uneducated dumbass loser. Outside of chemistry, zed didn't know or understand much of anything.

As luck would have it, zed sort of fell apart. And, as medicine he started attending college. This turned out to be good medicine. Most of the drug subculture at that time went to shit. Lots of people ODed, many went to prison, plenty were murdered or became murderers, and other than zed, they all became informers.

Zed missed the grinding, bitter, shit end, because he was blinded by sunshine, lawns, and trees. Zed was off surrounded by ivy covered buildings and beautiful young people, that didn't carry guns. The doors of perception opened and zed stepped through into fantastic new world; Zed became a college man.

Yeah, zed studied chemistry in college. They let him do whatever he wanted to, barring obviose criminal stuff. They actually let you design your own chemistry projects. THEY, pay for the chemicals, and millions of dollars worth of equiptment. The proffessors are excited to have you in class; "Finally, a student that is really interested!".

Zed got sidetracked from his "Live fast! Die young! Be a good looking corpse!" agenda. Zed eventually got himself some cleverness certificates (degrees), and went on to do other stuff.

Life grabbed zed by his chemistry, and pulled his ass through college. There have a few rough spots, but life has been really OK.. Especially, considering what has happened to everyone else.


1.Should you take some college classes?

2.Should you go to college?

3.Should you sleep with Drew Barrymore if you are both available, and you really, really, like each other?

I would say, "the answer to all questions is yes!".
(Hive Addict)
04-20-02 09:50
No 299468
      FUn  Bookmark   

You get out of college, what you put into it....

I unfortunatly did not do much in my undergrad years... got all A's and B's, esp. in chem, although only did 2yrs of chem..   I wish now, that I would have truely learned it instead of learning it for the up and coming test, and forgetting it by the next month...

Just make sure you make it worth your while.... most people say it is only a piece of paper... and for most people, that is all it is....

sad really.....

"The gods are too fond of a joke."  (Aristotle)

(Hive Bee)
04-20-02 22:36
No 299571
      its really nice to have someone to answer your ...  Bookmark   

its really nice to have someone to answer your questions

OTEECEE & meeeee!!!!
04-22-02 06:13
No 300051
      Thanks  Bookmark   

Thanks everyone for replying. You've been alot of help. I'm going to get some books and, but will probably still take classes to become comfortable around all the equipment. Thanks again.
(Chef d'Equippe)
04-23-02 07:57
No 300369
      Used college lab manuals are a great source of ...  Bookmark   

Used college lab manuals are a great source of info and cheap as well. The organic survival manual is great stuff for the beginner as well as the pro.

Shoot Narcs, Not Drugs
(Hive Addict)
04-23-02 08:28
No 300379
      care is needed  Bookmark   

a bit of (probably obvious) advise... and i think foxy was refering to it when she said don't speak, just listen.  DO NOT mention or talk or write ANYTHING refering to illegal drugs or production thereof.  assuming you live in 'merica, of course.

i learned a thing or two from charlie dontcha know.
(Hive Addict)
04-23-02 16:55
No 300449
      Stick with it  Bookmark   

And even if you bomb the first chem class.... stick with it, retake it...  .. it can be a bitch at times...

"The gods are too fond of a joke."  (Aristotle)

(Hive Bee)
05-01-02 06:23
No 303640
      RE:Anybody here have any more suggestions?  Bookmark   

RE:Anybody here have any more suggestions?

Read every organic text you can get your hands on. Go sit in the library. Write down the terms you want to learn about on paper. Read read read. It's all there right in your library. Oh and Rhodium's page is a gold mine.   

I also like this link
This page has movies showing different lab equipment in use. It helped me when I first started. shows how to properly dry a solution, shows a melting point test start to finish, and shows a simple distillation apparatus running.

Above all don't give up no matter what. It's worth the effort trust me. 
(Distinctive Doe)
05-01-02 06:44
No 303647
      Also  Bookmark   

Play with innocuous and relatively safe chems.(the alcohols, acetone, other solvents, mild acids and bases ect)
Get your hands wet, get a feel for them.
It will help you understanding.

Those who give up essential liberties for temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety