This class was tough.
I would recommend this course if you are interested in going into any medical or healthcare field, or are just interested in science and chemistry in general because it is incredibly fascinating to find out exactly how certain elements and compounds combine and react in order to make the things we see around us every day. The lab course that is normally required as a co-requisite is also very interesting in that you get more of a hands on approach to Organic Chemistry. Professor Tovar was, at least for me, an incredible professor who linked the concepts of introductory chemistry to the new stuff we learned in orgo very well and always seemed eager to help out with any difficult concepts during office hours and by appointment. The material itself is more than enough of a motivator to take the course as well because you really start to dig into how structure and orientation of compounds plays a role in how they react and effect the environment around them.
Overall, the course was characterized by a brilliant professor who was always more than willing to reach out and offer a helping hand to struggling students, a very well written textbook, and a plethora of information that was critical to understand in order to succeed in the class. Specifically, learning how little things can influence the reactivity and function of chemical compounds was almost disturbingly enlightening. For example, we learned how the orientation of one methyl group on an otherwise identical chemical compound meant the difference between having a popular inhaler product and crystal meth. Moreover, certain chemical reactions are completely dependent upon having correct orientation of the reactants, such as in an SN2 reaction, where the nucleophile that attacks the electrophile must make sure that the electrophile has a carbon that is unhindered and primary so that other substituents do not get in the way of the nucleophile in the form of steric hindrance.
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Advice for students:
When taking this course, it is absolutely essential to buy the textbook and read it almost every day to make sure you do not fall behind and so that you have a general idea of what the professor is going to talk about during lecture before you attend lecture. Moreover, the workbook with summaries of the chapters and answers to problems in the textbook is almost a necessity as well because it provides an indespencible study tool when preparing for exams. Just make sure that when practicing, you do the problems with no notes or assistance first, and make it an honest effort, then go to your notes and textbook for help.