Wednesday, December 17, 2003

my orgo final went well. i had a lot of fun, actually. a lot of folk got upset, including morgan--it was a tough test. and i am not sure what kind of grade i will get. but i felt really good taking it. essentially, there are two kinds of questions on these orgo tests:
TYPE 1: Take a look at this apple and this orange, neither of which you have seen before. show how you would turn this particular apple into this particular orange, including what tools you would use for each step.
TYPE 2: Take a look at this apple and this orange. If you put both of this apple in a bowl with a bunch of toothpicks, some dental floss, and this week's issue of Cosmo and wait a few hours, this particular orange will pop out. Tell the story of exactly how this happened.
So an organic chemistry exam is a lot like that, EXCEPT that you don't use any words, or any referents to objects that most people have any awareness of or direct contact with. You just draw lots of shapes and letters and arrows. On my orgo test, I encountered molecules that look like interesting things, like a horshoe crab and a man standing on his head, but that was the closest I got to having any real referent to the worlds of experience and language that are more familiar to me. Mainly, this is a system of puzzles whose pieces tend not to mix with the other least so far. Maybe at the next level I'll learn how to start translating some of the pieces....