Things Organic Students Hate

There are certain things that Organic Chemistry I students, starry-eyed and naive that they are, strongly dislike about organic chemistry. Sometimes it’s simply the way things are named. Other times it’s things that, according to our Gen Chem books, shouldn’t exist. No matter what they are, it takes us quite a long time to get over cringing every time we see them. What are these horrible things? Well, I’m glad you asked.

Eclipsed Conformations

1668px-Eclipsed_Conformation.svg

Steric and torsional strain, oh my!

ΔΔG

Don’t even make me get into it.

Carbocations

200px-Methyl_cation.svg

That’s a—you put a charge on a carbon? Whyyy??

Carbanions

651px-Carbanion_Structural_Formulae_V.1.svg

No please make it stop no more

Halonium Ions

800px-Cyclopentene-bromonium-3D-balls

Never mind! I want the carbanion back. That’s a bromine atom with two bonds and a positive formal charge. Why does that even happen?

Methylenecyclohexane

Methylenecyclohexane

Students: How do you name this?

TA: Oh, it’s easy. Use your alkene naming rules.

Students: ??? ????? ?????

Cyclononene

233px-Beta-Caryophyllen.svg

Just trying to draw that by hand…

These are just a few of the things that we, as organic n00bs, very much dislike. These will likely go the direction of expanded octets, noble gas compounds, molecular orbital theory and half-filled transition metal shells, and, by this time next semester, we won’t bat an eyelash. Still, at the moment… it’s painful.

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Studying? More like watching Netflix, amirite?

Yesterday, Sapphire, Finn and I went to listen to the Dalai Lama and several neuroscientists talk about neuroplasticity. It was an interesting few hours (that involved several jokes and Bill, who was randomly assigned to the seat beside me, studying for the MCAT), but because it was so early in the morning, we spent the rest of the day, essentially, like zombies.

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Photographic proof that we were indeed present and somewhat awake. (If you’re good at I-spy, you’ll be able to spot Finn down several rows in a grey cardigan. Sapphire wasn’t yet present, but she ended up on the other side of that general area.)

Afterward, we met up with Scout (who was here for Friday and Saturday), Junhi, Scout’s friend and Scout’s friend’s friends and went to get a late lunch at Chik-fil-a. Our Chik-fil-a, with its bizarre architecture, has what I assume is a “conference room,” and Sapphire, Finn, Fritz and I normally steal it to eat in despite the fact that we barely fill it. This time, we took up every chair. I took a picture and promptly had to explain myself.

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All of us in the Chik-fil-a introvert room. Finn is in the front, Scout is to the left, Sapphire is hiding behind Scout, Amelia (Scout’s friend) is in the back, one of Amelia’s friends is beside her, and Junhi and the other are hidden behind Finn’s head.

Afterward, Scout, Finn and I drove around town causing antics and shenanigans. We went to a local nerd shop (card, tabletop RPG, video game and thrift shop in one), and then we milled about a Whole Foods while Scout searched for vegan Cheez-its. While there, we found an olive bar.

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Eventually, though, Scout returned to her college, and Finn and I (as well as Sapphire) went to sleep and didn’t awake until late this morning/early this afternoon.

I awoke and studied animal taxonomy, and then Sapphire, Fritz and I went to get lunch. After returning, I sought the third floor whiteboard and wrote all of the taxonomical information I’ll have to know for Wednesday’s lab test.

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After writing this, I added, “Future Bio students, good luck.” Sapphire laughed and added, “Past students, congratulations!” Then Sapphire and I returned to our room, where we ate giant marshmallows, studied chemistry, and watched The Mentalist.

All that, and it’s not even midnight yet.

(Watching TV and studying together is a bad idea, you say? Whatever, we do what we want!)

[Doing Things] (A Day in the Life)

[Hanging out in the boys’ room after a day of running around campus]

Bill: [is absent]

Fritz: [cat noises] [playing Majora’s Mask]

Finn: [cooking] [on the computer]

Junhi: [swearing] [asking for guidance from RNGesus]

June: [blogging] [writing Apocalypse, Pls fanfiction]

I Feel A Bond Forming

So, Fritz, Sapphire, Finn and I went to dinner at Chik-fil-a tonight as a reward for not completely putting off all of our studying. While there, conversation turned to the characteristics of our typical relationships (romantic and otherwise), and Sapphire and I started making chemistry jokes. These beautifully spawned analogies, borne of exhaustion and a downright lack of cares, were dubbed internet worthy. I present them to you now.


Fritz: Fritz is like fluorine: dangerous when left to his own devices, but a productive member of society when properly socialized.

Finn: Finn is like a halogen. Most of his relationships are polarized, with Finn being more sensitive than the other member. He needs to find someone of equal emotional strength to form a non-polar bond with.

Sapphire: Sapphire’s relationship with Beau is like a bromonium ion: inharmonious with logic, but still a natural phenomenon. (Read: It doesn’t make logical sense, but it still is.)

June: When it comes to relationships proper, June is like Xenon; she is capable of forming a multitude of transient bonds, but mostly ends up by herself in the end.


There you have it, folks. I’m not sure which is sadder: the reality of most of our interpersonal skills, or the fact that we spent time at dinner making chemistry jokes. Oh well, as unsocialized and nerdy as we may be, we still get along well with each other. Doesn’t make sense? Yeah, we know. Whatever, logic. We do what we want.

The Foreign Languages Department

There are exactly two places on campus, outside of the residence halls, that I feel completely at home. The first is in Chem Recitation. The second is in the office of the foreign languages department.

There’s something about being here that I love intensely; I walk in and instantly feel happier. I think it’s because this is the only place on campus where you can easily find someone who is studying the language you’re studying, or who is studying a completely different language. I also like hearing all of the professors speak in their languages—it’s always really cool to hear people conversing in Chinese or German or French.

Of course, it could just be because of this awesome Japanese bulletin board.

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