When students study Organic Chemistry via the two semester system, they really don’t get the opportunity to “understand” it until the second semester, when the course takes upon an emphasis of organic reaction mechanisms. The systematic learning Organic Chemistry is very much like learning a language. One first needs to memorize the vocabulary, then comes the proper use of verbs. The third step involves assembling coherent sentences from words. Natural flow of sentences not involving “interpretation” marks the student’s budding ability to “think” in terms of the language. Finally, there is fluency which can also be accompanied by dreaming in the language.
Mostly every student I’ve ever tutored wanted an “A” in Organic Chemistry. What is the meaning of an “A”? It means you’ve mastered the subject. Like Qui-Gon Jinn, you’ve become a Jedi Master (of O-Chem). This takes dedication, perseverance and hard work.
Indicated are some tips I’ve picked up along the way to help you get that “A” you want so much!
This article details lessons I’ve learned from students in general and Organic Chemistry. After ten years of teaching and tutoring, I’ve found common themes in questions asked by students who need my help.
“Why is this so hard?”
“Why do I have to take this – I’m not getting anything from it?”
“I can’t understand anything my teacher says.”
“This is the most difficult class I have.”
“I hate this class.”
Many times I’ve heard this from some of my brightest students, so what’s happening? Continue reading