Starting Organic Chemistry II

Hey Everybody, welcome to semester II.  Hopefully everybody survived the first semester and are ready to clobber “Organic Chemistry Part Deux”.

 One of the questions I get asked alot are about the differences between Semester I and II.  In semester I, you are building the foundation of your house so you need to learn things like nomenclature, stereochemistry, and functional groups.  Most people do some reactions (SN1, SN2, E1, E2) but it is very limited. 

 Semester II will focus on learning reactions.  This is a very good thing for the memorizers out there.  In addition to the simple reactions, you will also have multi-step syntheses and retrosyntheses (working backwards) to complete.  This becomes a big stumbling point for many people, because putting it all together can be difficult.  In future post, I will go over the best way to tackle a multistep problem, but that won’t be until middle semester. 

So until the next post, good luck and happy reacting.

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Dr. Michael Pa got a bachelors degree in chemistry from Binghamton University, a masters degree in organic chemistry from the University of Arizona and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Arizona. His research focus was on novel pain killers which were more potent than morphine but designed to have fewer side effects. There may even be a patent or two that came out of it. Prior to all of this, he was a chemist at Procter and Gamble. After all of that, he (briefly) worked as a post-doctoral assistant at Syracuse University, working on novel organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). In between, he did NOT compete at the 1996 Olympics, make the Atlanta Braves opening day roster, or become the head coach of the Indiana Pacers, as he had intended. #fail During this entire time, he always loved helping students, especially if they were struggling with organic chemistry. In 2006, Dr. Pa founded in order to make learning organic chemistry fast and easy. 14 years and about 60,000 students later we are still helping students to learn organic chemistry one reaction at a time at