Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"This session focused on learning two new hydrolysis mechanisms (hydrolysis of esters and amides). We also covered a new type of Grignard reaction where we inserted two R groups onto the carbonyl carbon as opposed to just one as previously seen. As I mentioned to her during our session, I am very impressed with the progress the student has made. Where she used to struggle with mechanisms, now she is easily able to do them after I show her one example. If anything, where she does seem to struggle is figuring out what to do during steps she has never seen before, even though there were similar steps/ concepts in previous questions. In other words, she does very well with example she has already seen, but struggles to apply old concepts on new questions. We will work more on this."
"Today we finished up the student's lab report on acid-catalyzed dehydration of cyclohexanol to cyclohexene. We went over the procedure, results, discussion and conclusion. We also discussed how to properly cite using ACS format and how to find articles on scifinder and the ACS website to incorporate into her paper. Lastly, we went over her post-lab questions that are also due with her lab. Great job today!"
"The student and I did a review of carbohydrates, classification, D vs L, cyclization, alpha vs beta, mutarotation mechanisms, practice problems, ene-diol, acetal and hemiacetal formation. We reviewed both base and acid catalyzed mechanisms."
"This session, we focused mainly on radical halogenation reactions and determining aromaticity. Extensively, we went into how to figure out if a molecule is conjugated or not, how to apply Huckel's 4n+2 rule, and how to determine number of pi electrons (double bonds and lone pairs count as 2 pi, only count 1 lone pair if there are 2 on an atom like oxygen). We worked through multiple practice problems for both, and we ended with some synthesis problems, which the student did well on."
"Today was our concluding session. Our main focus of the day were amines, their formation, and reactivity. We looked at different synthetic pathways that you can use to generate amines (for example, reduction of a nitrile with lithium aluminum hydride or reaction with ammonia and beta-unsaturated ketone). Apart from doing mechanisms and the fun of arrow pushing, we discussed the basicity of the amines and resonant structures of them. As always, I used a portable board as an easy way to draw mechanisms, and I also encouraged the student to draw reactions herself and follow as I explained some of the pathways! She was a great person; she always wanted to understand how the reaction was happening, and I loved having her as a student!"
"There's a good chance the student is going to do superbly on this test. She has come a long way from Sunday, and where we are now in terms of understanding is appropriate to succeed in her class. We did a broad study session with multi-step synthesis questions and expanded our understanding of alkene/alkyne chemistry."