Maybe by now you're thinking, "Golly, chemistry is tough!" Then again, maybe you're laughing at how easy it is. If you are in the latter category, this message probably isn't for you. But for my fellow mere mortals, I hope to be the bearer of glad tidings...

The deal is, there's help! No, really! We work hard to make lots of help available to you! Here's a rundown of the types of help you can access:

Person-to-Person Help:

Charlie Weiss, our prefect, offers regular peer-tutorial help sessions ("Prefect Sessions"):

These sessions are aimed at helping you work through difficulties on your own, with your peers, so you really master the material. They aren't lectures, they are group help sessions with a seasoned veteran there to help you help each other and avoid coming to a really bogus conclusion. If you feel you didn't understand something from the past, a help session shortly after an assignment is due is a good time to stop in and get some extra help. These sessions are on the "class" rather than the lab, though Charlie can also offer help with general lab questions. Charlie seems destined for sainthood, because he's usually willing to help you anywhere and anytime you need it.

Your lab TA's give and give and give! When they aren't pouring over your lab books or helping you in lab, they offer help sessions for those of you struggling with the labs! They'll offer regular help sessions:
Sundays at 4:30 pm in Olin 04
While you shouldn't abuse it, because they are busy people too, most of the time the TA's will help you with questions individually, too, as long as you've made an effort to figure things out on your own, first!

I try hard to be available to answer your questions. I have office hours every day except Tues and Saturday, and evening office hours Sun and Thursday...and even when it's not my office hours, I'm often around and it's ok to pop in and ask me for help. You can call my office (x7145) to find out if I'm around, and sometimes I can answer your question over the phone, too. My office hours change in response to due dates and utilization, so please look for them outside my door or online.

The Chem department teams up with the RING (the chem club) to offer drop-in tutoring, too! That's every Sun-Thur from 8 to 11pm in 103 Olin, starting January 12. This is a great place to turn for quick questions, on anything from the homework to the labs to general concepts, and often a good place to find other students to work with on problem sets!

Some of you may need additional, more personalized help, and that's available too: in the form of individual tutoring. Contact Charlie Weiss (our prefect) to arrange it.

Online Help

While there's nothing quite as effective as face-to-face help, there are electronic options as well:

Charlie runs a Caucus for this course, where you can ask questions at odd hours or look for answers to questions you think may be common ones! Here's a link to the Caucus Conferencing System (Charlie's conference is called "Chemistry 123 Winter 2003")

If you lose a handout, want a copy of the solution to a problem set, are ready to read one of the online reading assignments, or want to send me some anonymous feedback, the course web page is your target.

Email is a great way to ask me a quick question or to seek clarification on something. As you know by now, I use it a lot, and you shouldn't be shy about contacting me electronically when that seems like the best way! (You can also call me at x7145.)

OK, that's all I can think of for now. If you are having trouble in this course, I want to know about it so I can help! Please don't be a stranger. If you have a grump and are uncomfortable relating it to me in person, please use the website feedback link.

Note: While Charlie and I work closely together, there's a thin blue line there as well. He doesn't tell me who's coming to help sessions, or who is having trouble with what. He does tell me what lots of people are having trouble with, or what I might need to explain better. While I will pop in on lab help sessions and even the Chem tutoring program, Charlie runs the prefector help sessions and caucus site independently, and the RING runs the drop-in tutoring program. Thank them if you like 'em, not me!