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CHM 121 ORGANIC

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    Go to Office Hours

    Always Do the Reading

    Background Knowledge Expected

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    • Profile picture
    May 27, 2016
    | Would recommend.

    Not too easy. Not too difficult.

    Course Overview:

    People will tell you until the end of time (I'm sure) that Organic Chemistry is as impossible as the day is long. But, I'm here to tell you that...no, that is just...not the case. YES, I will confirm that it can be conspicuously challenging, and even Organic Chemistry professors will tell you the same. But, they'll also say that they don't understand why that is; because the minute a student gets the hang of Organic Chemistry, they will never know what they were so afraid of in the first place. I definitely lucked out when it comes to the environment I took the course in and with the people I took it with. I may have not gotten the grade I did without them. And, of course, my professor. I would also recommend the course purely because of him alone! Dr.Schnatter is a once-in-a-lifetime professor, and the passion he emulates for Chemistry is not only evident, but highly infectious as well. I believe I can speak on the behalf on all of his students when I say that he may possibly be the BEST Organic Chemistry professor that ever lived (without dramatization). In the time I spent in his course, he was always available for office hours to take any questions or concerns (and when I had a scheduling conflict, he was eager to work with me to find a time that worked for both of us so that my problem wouldn't not be met with a solution), he maintained a positive, uplifting attitude towards our class even when we didn't do better as a whole, and as far as I am concerned, his duties and responsibilities as a professor were things he never took lightly. If students reached out to him via email, you'd undoubtedly expect a response in less than 24 hours. If your schedule was too booked to even find a minute to meet with him, he'd encourage you to talk after lab hours. If there is any remote reason you shall find yourself required (or not even required, maybe you're just interested!) to take Organic Chemistry, do everything in your willpower to put his name on your class schedule.

    Course highlights:

    One of the best things I took out of the course was that.. my biggest fears and worries about it were quickly eliminated by a great professor, great classmates, and a rigorous study schedule. These are the three key ingredients to not only doing well, but actually learning the material, in any course; especially Organic Chemistry, where the intellectual challenge presented is regarded as one of THE most complicated any student may ever be encountered with.

    Hours per week:

    6-8 hours

    Advice for students:

    Coming from a student who wishes she could have done slightly better, my best advice is to simply study as hard and as frequently as you possibly can. Come up with a schedule early on in the semester so that 1) you can keep track of what you are learning, and 2) you won't feel like your brain is about to EXPLODE when exams and quizzes "sneak up" on you. It can be something as simple as reviewing the material for just an hour a day (some people will tell you 30 minutes, but personally, I found that an hour was WAY more effective). Whatever it takes to assure that you understand it; and before you know it, solving practice problems will come almost as second nature. Find/make a study group! If you work better alone, then that's great too. But, when you don't know the response to a question and you may not have time to speak to a professor, a fellow colleague may know the answer and be there to help you. You may not have been the only person to have that question also, so it's great to share your curiosities and benefit others at the same time. And, vice versa! Some find that teaching the material to someone is a surefire way to make sure you really know it. Don't underestimate these study groups; they can be a huge key to success. Also, if the course permits the situation where you know about what you are going to learn before the class meets up for a lecture/lab session, try to study that as well! (Syllabi may seem pretty useless at some points, but they can also have incredible value) There is an enormous juxtaposition to being conscious of what you are learning WHILE you are learning it, to not understanding it in class and then not being able to understand it at home. Lastly, and although this may be a cliche, take the time to truly enjoy the course! In between studying for other classes as well as taking on extracurricular responsibilities, it can be incredibly difficult to genuinely appreciate what you are learning. But, I would recommend to anybody out there to give it a shot if you can. You will be learning about some utterly amazing things with some great colleagues and some highly devoted professors; might as well soak it all in while it's still in front of you!

    • Fall 2016
    • Wayne Schnatter
    • Background Knowledge Expected Go to Office Hours Requires Lots of Research
    • Profile picture
    Jan 21, 2016
    | Would highly recommend.

    Not too easy. Not too difficult.

    Course Overview:

    Professor Schnatter knows his material. The examples he gives in class mirror his quizzes and exams. The examples that remain unsolved are definite quiz and exam questions. He also gives sample quizzes and exams to study off of in order to do well in his class. The textbook helps but not required. I didn't use a textbook and got an A.

    Course highlights:

    Chemical reactions and mechanisms using organic chemistry. Understanding concepts and relationships involving organic compounds.

    Hours per week:

    3-5 hours

    Advice for students:

    If you want to know organic chemistry thoroughly, Schnatter is highly recommended. It's hard to fail his course but you still have to put in the effort to get an A.

    • Fall 2015
    • Wayne Schnatter
    • Yes
    • Great Intro to the Subject Go to Office Hours Always Do the Reading


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