Physics Lab is Truly Redundant

I posted exactly a month ago about the course I am taking right now. It’s a physics course which happens to be a prerequisite of my major. (it doesn’t make sense but i’ve already gotten so far so it doesn’t matter to me now.) At first, I was worried sick about the course since ever since I finished my AP Mechanics a little more than two years ago, I did not touch a bit of physics. I hated it throughout the two years. Turns out I had no idea of how bad  physics lab would be lol.


First thing I want to say about lab is not even about the lab itself. Ever since lab starts, we have so many incidents during lab sections. It’s normal if I say that something went wrong in lab cuz the device did not work. What’s worse is that the first lab, the lab instructor was about an hour lab. All of us waited outside the lab for about 20 mins and somebody else said that she forgot about the lab and she will be here in 40 mins. Well, first lab, you sure you want to do all that to all of your fellow students. Also, why did you send us the email about pre-lab and lab manual thing only in less an hour before the actual lab section.

Then she messed up the order of experiments. So one day we walked in and she’s like why’s everybody handing in the pre-lab of experiment 7. Oops. One day we did not have battery for an experiment that needs one and we only figured out halfway through the lab section.


Those are all side notes. The real thing I am going to talking about is the notion of having lab is a waste of time.

How many experiments did I have over the summer?

-Five.

What did I learn?

-I learned how to control my temper and how to get sick.

That’s no joking. Every time I got out of lab, I just felt sick. My throat hurt and I was definitely not in a state of devoting the rest of my afternoon into productive work. Why would I feel so intensively negative about lab? I have a reason.

I don’t know what I was doing and I surely do not think it is anything related to the course. 

Every time before we had a lab section, we are supposed to read over the lab manual and finish the pre-lab questions. And every time, I only do that the night before my lab section, not that it will take me a long time though. I simply did not like the idea of looking at something that’s weird and got my mood messed up during the beautiful weekend or Monday.

At first, I expected the lab to be pretty fun, interesting and helpful to whatever topic I am learning. I was totally wrong. The first time I read over the lab manual, it was a wtf moment. I know you are trying to prove coulomb’s law and you’re really trying to design a good experiment. But can you leave me alone? Well… the way you phrase the experiment and the way you explained the theories we will be using do not sound like you want rookies involved. “Your direct order is not understood, sir. And, can I get discharged now? ” 

It is quite understandable that the rules we learned from the lectures should not be completely applied to the experiment because real life is more a millimeter away from ideal situations. But, can you at least explain to us why did you choose to use this, instead of that? Why did you choose to use this factor, instead of the other one? I need to know more to be really engaged instead of being a “lab slave.”

I know I sound very like a utilitarian(not sure if that’s the right word, very pragmatics person but in a bad way), but I indeed feel like a robot every time I walked in the lab. After everything, I learned nothing and complained about everything. Is that what you want students to have after the lab?


Back to the course. I mentioned that it was actually not as bad as I thought. All due to the fantastic teaching skill of my instructor. Nailed it! Taking this class, I end up not hating physics anymore. I appreciate physics work more. Not that I would take another physics though. As summer’s coming to an end, I’ve started to have my realization moments. What have I done in the summer? What did I learn? Did I change? Did I appreciate life more? What’s to expect for next semester?

All of those questions are telling you that I have more blog posts coming up and thanks guys for reading!

Remember, you’re always who you are whatever you’ve experienced. Stay true to yourself!

Next time!

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