think with your pencil
For 5 years (actually a bit more if you include grad school), I taught chemistry. In particular, organic chemistry tends to be vexing, and one joke I use when giving talks is that organic is the class that converts students from pre-med to pre-law. Typically he reason for that is due to the poor way it is taught – i.e. as a memorization exercise – but that’s another rant.
One thing I always stressed to my students was that you don’t solve organic chemistry problems with your head, you do it with your pencil. If nothing else, redraw the structure. Push electrons around. Draw things. That is how you make things happen. Well, turns out that there is scientific evidence to back that up. Go figure…
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