Dr Campbell's Chemistry Homepage - the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron

  • Welcome to my website!

    "I can teach you how to bottle fame, brew glory, even put a stopper on death"--or, I could if I were Severus Snape. But I believe that chemistry and potions class have a lot in common, and you will find the magic in chemistry if you put in the time and effort. 

    This year I will be teaching College Prep chemistry, Honors chemistry, AP chemistry, and an interdisciplinary course called The Art of Science (co-taught with Ms. Rordam). Each of the classes has its own subpage where (hopefully) many of the worksheets, lab activities, etc. will be available for download.

    I am also the school's Granite State Challenge/Quiz Bowl coach. Practices are Thursday after school in my room, 164. 

    About Me
    This will be my 7th year at MHS. I teach primarily chemistry. I have a bachelor's of science degree in chemistry from the College of William & Mary. My honors thesis involved the determination of methylmercury in fish tissue using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. I also have a PhD in materials chemistry from Dartmouth College. There, my thesis work involved thin-film molecularly imprinted polymers. I love chemistry, but I also love materials science, nanotechnology, and trivia. 

     (Tongue-in-cheek and not in any particular order!)

    1. Don't ever, ever read your book - especially if you don't understand the lecture in class.  Don't even bother to look at the pictures, read the captions, or read the terms in bold print.

    2. Don't bother to turn in your homework, even if you tried.  Heck, don't even attempt it!

    3. Leave your notes, calculator, periodic table, even your blank paper and pencil at home.  Why would you ever need them at school?

    4. Go on field trips and other activities that consume lots of time as often as you possibly can.  Don't even give a thought to making learning a top priority.

    5. Save paper, don't show your work on problems.  That way, if you need to go back and review a problem, you'll get the exercise of doing it all over again!

    6. Don't bother with those worrisome units.  Who needs to know what a mole is anyway?

    7. Sig. figs.! Who cares about how many digits there are in the answer? Either round to 1 or write down all 16 of them!

    8. Don't take notes, and definitely don't copy examples of problems from the board.  Another paper savings!

    9. Just keep telling yourself that deadlines don't matter.  Any problem ignored long enough will either go away or be solved by someone else.

    10. If you do bother to take notes, do homework, write lab reports, etc., be sure to make your handwriting as illegible as possible.  You wouldn't want to give away any secrets!

    11.  Don't ever ask questions of the teacher, even if you enjoy being the center of attention & like being looked at by your classmates!

    12.  Don't attend after-school help sessions.  I mean, c'mon, they're after school for crying out loud!

    13.  If keys to homework are posted or handed out, don't use them to check the answers on your homework.  Heavens no!  You just might finally figure out how to do that problem you never knew how to do.  Ignorance is bliss.

    14.  Be sure to hide your grades, tests, homework, lab reports and all other correspondence from those pesky parents and anyone else who might be interested in helping you.  Remember, it's all just a big conspiracy to help you succeed.

    15.  Never listen to advice from older people.  What could they have learned in their 30+ years on this earth that you don't know in your 17? I mean, geez, teachers and parents are so...old.

    16.  Finally, never take responsibility for your own learning.  Always find a creative and fun way to put the responsibility (and the blame) on someone else's shoulders.  After all, you wouldn't really want people to start giving you more responsibility and privileges, now would you?

    Adapted from Gwen Sibert, Roanoke Valley Governor's School.