Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"In this session, the student and I covered two slide shows on carbonyl compounds in preparation for an upcoming exam. She wanted more detailed explanations of the mechanisms featured in these lecture slides, so our meeting involved ample use of the whiteboard function. We worked through a large volume of material (roughly 130 slides) and she had no problem comprehending my explanations, so I believe that the meeting was productive. To reduce the volume of memorization, I highlighted the fact that nearly all carbonyl reactions involve nucleophilic attack of the carbonyl carbon. This general rule holds true with aldehydes, ketones, and carboxylic acid derivatives. For extra practice, I recommended working through the practice questions for this section."
"We covered carboxylic acids naming and reactions in this session, in addition to naming carboxylic acid derivatives and ranking their reactivity. We also went over the study guide that the student has for his test tomorrow. The test includes aldehydes and ketones, carboxylic acids, and carboxylic acid derivatives."
"Today we reviewed formal charge, bonding, and sp3 hybridization from last session. Today also covered acid/ base strength. The student picked up the material quickly. The student feels more confident about the material now than before the session."
"We focused on reviewing ortho, para, meta activators and deactivators, Friedel-Crafts acylation and alkylation, nitration/ sulfonation. I answered questions the student had from practice problems. She definitely is understanding the material more and gaining confidence."
"This was our last tutoring session before the student's final exam on Thursday. We went over practice problems she'd had a hard time with, and when we finished those, we started on her next batch of assigned problems. She has the fundamentals down but still struggles with some of the details. We talked about how to make herself slow down and work through the logical steps of a problem on an exam, since many of her mistakes come from rushing herself. She still has some work to do memorizing the basic reactions used for synthesis problems, but I have no doubt she will succeed."
"We went over elimination, and I showed the mechanism and characteristic of the reaction. We did some mechanism problems - I saw much improvement in this area. He was able to figure out an entire complicated mechanism by himself. We learned hydrogenation of double bonds and I explained how the mechanism works. He needs to learn other reactions and memorize them, so I will leave him homework to do this. We reviewed alcohol chemistry and reduction/ oxidation."