Midterms and an academic revelation from the second quarter of organic chemistry.
My brother, doctor and inspiration to all, told me that organic chemistry was going to be the worst experience of my life. While my brother is very smart and great, he is not always right. Because I took the first quarter of the organic chemistry series and it didn't ruin my hopes and dreams. I wasn't miserable or grief-stricken. I really liked it. This only intensified during the second quarter-- we got to learn more interesting reactions and did some really snazzy retrosynthesis problems (I really enjoy retrosynthesis problems. They're like fun chemistry puzzles.). I am looking into research that might combine my two chemistry interests: organic chemistry and transition metals-- organometallics. I'm hoping to get involved in fall of 2015, if all goes well. I'm also planning on adding a chemistry minor to my degree (the minor requirements are fulfilled by my biochemistry major requirements so... why not?). But without further ado, here are scans of the first and third midterm, with some notes.
The first midterm was on allylic systems and reactions with dienes-- very general stuff. I fared well, just under one standard deviation above the mean. I chose this page because this was the worst page on the test for me. I remember sitting, thinking "How can a diene have this molecular formula? It doesn't add up!" and eventually finding a "creative" solution to the problem. I walked out of the test and immediately looked the formula up on my phone-- it was a cyclic diene. Of course.
The third midterm was brutal for most of the class, partly because of this problem. But, oh, how I enjoy these problems. My professor has been referred to as "the smiling assassin" because he is constantly smiling in lectures, but then slaughters everyone's GPA. This midterm had an average of around 53%, which was significantly lower than the previous two. But at any rate, I thoroughly enjoyed these retrosyntheses. The top one took me awhile, because I misinterpreted the original structure and I was thoroughly stumped. Once the lightbulb went on-- it was easy.