What has two thumbs and just got out of the last o-chem final of its life? This guy! The last organic chemistry class/lab/instructional yada yada of my life. Done. No more. Clearly, a very poignant moment. So poignant, in fact, that I am going to take a break (no literally, I will make a line break here) to symbolize this sublime moment.
Although I like organic chemistry (a lot), I think O-chem labs are a complete waste of time, effort and talent. They are very shoddy, shabby and hilariously dumbed down. Dichloromethane? Oh no no no undergrads you can't use that! DMSO? Too expensive to let klutzy undergrads handle it!
As a result, we don't end up learning anything useful (as opposed to just the o-chem class where there is some good theory to learn). It becomes a chore to do lab reports and I can't even describe how absurd it is to "reference" your professor's own course reader when writing up a post-lab. We are obviously writing Nature caliber reports here, right?
Our professor was actually a very nice guy (which made the class oh-so slightly tolerable) and was pretty generous in holding office hours, review sessions, and so on. But that's not enough to overcome the mind-numbing drudgery of decoding noisy IR spectra and hustling in line to get to the reactant first. A freakin' rat race in lab every week!
It's not like this is a sour-grapes type post because I am actually pretty good at o-chem and really enjoyed my normal o-chem classes. I am merely allergic to mindless labor that is not going to lead anywhere anytime soon, and writing endless pre-lab reports comes under this category. If this wasn't a requirement for medical school, I would never have taken an o-chem lab. Would I have taken an o-chem class? Yes. It is a lot like calculus and I love me some calculus on a fine day...