Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"We reviewed a potential study schedule and went over electronegativity, nomenclature, functional groups, and acid/base chemistry. We stopped at resonance structures and will touch upon that tomorrow."
"We went over Sn2, E2 reactions, acid hybridization, alkaline hybridization, IR, NMR, and electron density spectroscopy."
"We went over the student's last exam where there was a significant improvement. We did an overview of the new material and made a plan to study for the final."
"In preparation for the student's final exam next week, we went over reactions dealing with alcohols in great detail. In addition, we tied in cumulative concepts as they relate to the different reactions."
"Today was our first meeting since the student's first class of Organic Chemistry. Her professor gave her a topic list for each chapter that would be covered in the exam as well as a practice exam and practice problems for homework for each chapter. There was a handout on Lewis structures that she received and wanted to go over in more detail. We discussed the main "rules" of drawing these structures and did a couple of practice problems using the rules. After a few problems, I showed her a way of doing the drawings without using the 'step-by-step' rules but with using the aid of conceptual knowledge about chemistry basics. We also discussed exceptions to the rules of Lewis structure drawings. She got the problems almost immediately. I asked her to connect this information with information she learned last time we met and she was able to do it. Next session, we will start her exam review for chapter one and possibly chapter two."
"Student and I talked about elimination reactions in detail. She said that they are still talking about elimination reactions in class, but she wanted to have a session to discuss the material before her class got too deep into the topic. We started by covering the basics, such as how elimination and substitution reactions compete with each other, and how and why heat favors elimination reactions (using the Gibbs free energy equation and activation energies). We then looked at the E1 and E2 reactions and compared the two of them, and also talked about why they use different mechanisms (to account for rate law, stereochemistry, base strength, etc...). We looked at elimination reactions using cyclohexanes as substrates, which led us on a discussion of chair conformations and what makes a particular conformation more or less stable. We applied all of these concepts to elimination reaction rates; how the stability of a chair conformation can affect the rate of the reaction. We talked about axial and equatorial positions in detail, as well as anti and syn conformations. We also covered the concepts of p-orbitals and the transfer and flow of electrons."
"We met today for 2 hours and went over her problem set that was due tonight. We covered conjugation, alkyne mechanisms, and other synthesis problems. She did an awesome job today. She applied her notes to the problems very well and has been improving her organic chemistry skills over the last few sessions. We plan to meet again on Thursday."
"The student prepped for tomorrow's exam. We went over electron energies, ranking problems, naming compounds, drawing compounds, and other topics in preparation for Exam 1. Overall, the student felt very confident about the test."
"Today we discussed about Huckel's rule, examples of heterocyclic compounds like pyridine, pyrimidine, furan, and discussed about their aromatic nature. We also discussed about the aromatic nature of cyclooctatriene cation and anion, cyclopropenyl cation and  annulene."
"The student had received his test back. We went over the areas he had issues with and tried to reason what he had done wrong. I reassured him, however that one of the biggest steps to overcoming or go is thinking you can do it. The fact that he felt like he did an alright job for the test is a good indicator, because we can nip some of the mistakes in the bud after a lot more practice. There are only 2 tests this term, so hopefully we can do much better on the next test. We also started covering pKa's, pH's, and acidity as an introduction to the Carboxylic acids chapter. In the end he was able to understand the relationship between acids and their pKa's and how to determine which compound will be the base."
"We spent a good portion of time speaking about study skills. We went over the importance of note taking and organization. We identified a good study space, and the student will continue to study there only when he is going to be extremely focused. As finals approach, we continued to talk about compiling info in organized ways. We talked about retrosynthesis and how to approach these problems. We spent a good amount of time talking about ethers and synthesis. We also talked about protecting groups and how to use them. He will continue to work on study skills and continue to practice problems from his lecture notes."
"We covered general chemistry during this session. The student has some trouble understanding some of the concepts, so we are working slowly through them, step by step. We covered the rules for significant figures and worked a significant figures problem. We spent the rest of the session working on dimensional analysis problems, converting grams to moles or a volume to a mass. I sent the student some problems for extra practice."