Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"We went over condensation reactions of carbonyls. We also went over amines. After going over all the content that is supposed to be on the student's exam, we also did problems that I tried to make similar to the exam. I also included strategies to use to recall the reagents and gave recommendations of things to review on her own before the exam."
"This session focused heavily on the chemistry of carboxylic acid derivatives, the mechanisms of their reactions, and their application to short syntheses and functional group interconversions. As we work through mechanisms, I continue to work with the student to help her ensure that she is making all of her intermediate drawings correctly, particularly with respect to the formal charges on the structures. The need to be familiar with all new reactions was emphasized, particularly with the professor's emphasis that certain reactions be used in preference to others. We continued to work on making synthesis problems shorter by working one step back from the desired product, since we know how the target has to be made. This helps us see a shorter, hopefully clearer, path toward the goal."
"Today, the student and I worked on organometallics, KMnO4 vs. O3, Chromium vs. PCC, why some stop at an aldehyde, a bit on reduction, synthesis problems and tips, acyl substitutions, adding Grignards twice to esters and acyl chlorides, tosylates, and getting diols from KMnO4 vs. epoxides."
"This session involved reactions of alcohols: several types of oxidation, pinacol rearrangements, cleavage with periodic acid, and conversions to sulfonates and subsequent substitution reactions. We worked on E2 reactions also."
"The student and I met today to discuss more reactions of alkenes. Together we talked through the mechanisms of catalytic hydrogenation, hydroboration-oxidation, oxymercuration-reduction, and addition of HBr using peroxides. In each of these reactions, we went over the overall reaction, why the reaction is important, and the chemical reaction mechanism behind it. We also touched further on halohydrin formation."
"Today, the student and I worked on syntheses and reactions of alcohols, as well as specific pathways for the syntheses of primary, secondary, and tertiary alcohols. She understands the basis of reactivity of any organic substrates, like polarization of the functional group. We also went over the fact that most of the reactions in organic chemistry from this point onwards depend on Sn1 and Sn2 substitution reactions. She agreed with this and will always keep this mind when dealing with any organic problems."