I’m a fraud…

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.

  • Anonymous

    i work as an orhanic chemist and i have to have my Mcmurry organic book right by my side since im constantly discovering things i dont remember…so it happens to the best of us

  • Med Student

    Tell your friend to just get through the MCAT and he’ll never have to worried about organic chem again either. As for you, put that textbook down, unless you’re planning on teaching leave O chem in sophomore year.

  • shurgood

    I don’t remember anything from organic chem either, but I’m a biologist, so I don’t use it on the regular. Just thinking about all the stress the two semesters of organic chem caused me is making my head hurt….