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ChemE major who hates Organic Chemistry

  1. Mar 20, 2013 #1
    I am a ChemE major, and I am currently in Organic Chemistry 2. I got through OC1 by the skin of my teeth, and I currently am sitting on a 60% in OC2. Do I need to re-evaluate my major? Do you guys have any tips on how to learn this stuff? I am acing all of the homework assignments, but when I get to the exam, it all looks like another language (probably because it is). I do all of the assigned problems, read the book, and I even bought OC2 for Dummies and OC as a Second Language. Things make sense, then I get to the exam. I really appreciate any help.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 21, 2013 #2
    Welcome to Physics Forums. When I had OC, I did pretty well, but 2 months afterwards, I had forgotten everything I learned. This is the kind of stuff that doesn't stay with you if you don't use it all the time, which is the case for most of us ChE's. I look back in my OC text that we used (Allen and Bacon), and the notes in the margins are in my handwriting, but I have no recollection of ever writing them. During my career, I did lots of physical chemistry, thermo, fluid mechanics, solid mechanics, and reactor engineering, but depended on chemists in our company to work out the qualitative details of the OC. So, don't give up on ChE just because of OC. If we ChE's all did that, there would be no ChEs.
  4. Mar 21, 2013 #3


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    Stick with it, I think academia uses OC as a winnowing tool.
    Chestermiller is entirely right in his guidance, as a ChE you are not tasked with developing the reactions that take place in the installations, but to create and maintain the right environment for them to occur. That demands a broader range of skills.
    Admittedly, OC is pretty much the basis for most of the ChE industry, so it is useful to have at least an idea of what is happening, but it is not the substance of ChE.
  5. Mar 23, 2013 #4
    That is relieving to hear. I too am a ChemE major and dislike my OC class as well. I'm doing ok in it, but its not my cup of tea and I will be happier when its over.
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