Organic Chemistry (fwd)
hcbio004 at DEWEY.CSUN.EDU
Sat Apr 6 17:57:39 EST 1996
Sorry, my post was returned with "address unknown"
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 6 Apr 1996 14:44:05 -0800 (PST)
From: joyce maxwell <hcbio004 at email.csun.edu>
To: jphillip at oac.uci.edu
Subject: Organic Chemistry
I am a professor at CSUN, and I want you to know that at least 50% of our
Biology majors fail Organic Chemistry at least once. Many fail it
repeatedly. I have no idea why the course is so difficult for Biology
majors, but it is and I have substantial evidence to prove my point. The
Biology faculty have met with Chemistry faculty here and they seem unable to
change their behavior.
I took my B.A. degree in Zoology at UCLA many years ago, and later
completed a Ph.D. in Genetics and Biochemistry at Caltech (back when
there were only 11 women at the institute). Organic Chemistry at UCLA
was the only course I ever dropped, and I nearly had a nervous breakdown
before I gave up. Fortunately, I was in a special program for identified
"gifted" students, and was able to drop. Here at CSUN, students are not
allowed to drop Organic Chemistry after the third week of class.
I finally passed Organic Chemistry with the help of Schaum's Outline
Series in Organic Chemistry. It is sold in all college bookstores, I
think. One of my fellow students at Caltech who is now a professor at
Univ. of Indiana asked, "why should a biologist care about an organic
synthesis that only occurs at 2000 degrees under pressure?" Try to keep
your sense of humor; it helps. It also helps to find someone who really
understands organic chemistry (some people do, for whatever reason) and
knows how to teach it (this is the critical characteristic). Get that
person to work with you as long as it takes.
Even if you have to repeat the course, please don't give up on genetics
because of it. I really haven't had to use all that stuff since
undergraduate school a long time ago. Good luck.
Dept. of Biology
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