I mentioned in my last post that JG came over and spent part of Thanksgiving with me.
He’s studying for the MCAT, and we were discussing science, and I mentioned to him all the stuff that I DON’T remember from organic chemistry.
The funny part is that my training is in organic/polymer synthesis and characterization….that’s right, 2 degrees, 6 years and I don’t remember a lot of stuff.
To prove just how little I remembered about organic chemistry, he pulled out his MCAT study guide, and we went through some of the problems. So the book had both a general chemistry section and an organic chemistry section. I actually did good on the gen chem stuff, but then again, I’ve been doing it since like junior year of high school.
The O Chem section kicked my ass though! For the life of me I cannot remember stuff like the difference between a SN1 and a SN2 reaction, or what makes a good leaving group, and don’t even think about asking me to identify a reaction or do a mechanism.
I really need to do better, and more importantly, I want to do better. I need to be a better chemist. I’m gonna dig out my copy of Wade (that’s the O Chem book we used btw) and learn the stuff I should have learned sophmore year instead of bs’ing my way through it.
I will say this though…I think a big reason why I don’t those particular parts of O Chem is because I never use them. I work solely in characterization/material properties/failure analysis now, and that craft I know. I can look at a spectrum and tell you exactly what’s going on, and that skill I’m proud of.