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The Day is Upon Us January 18, 2007

Posted by thwalls in Synthetic Chemistry.

So you’re a second year.  You read that extra journal article, you study that extra hour, you draw that transition state just in case your committee asks why you chose that specific diastereomer.  The words of Tetrahedron: Asymmetry begin to blur…at least more than usual…and you have to read that paragraph at least two more times because you read it…you just didn’t READ it. 

 The papers are finished 13-15 drafts later, and you think you might be ready for the presentation.  You added enough animations and structures to make your talk interesting and short…yet held back so that you don’t run over your time limit.  Ah, the day is almost upon us. 

I have my candidacy/proposal oral exam in three weeks and I’m starting to feel the pinch.  Even though I think I’m alright for the exam, there’s always going to be that question you don’t expect…and that’s what keeps me up at night.  I spent tonight examining the asymmetric applications of sulfinyl chiral auxillaries and trying to draw the transition states for my proposed molecules. 

I can’t wait to start reading some interesting articles for fun rather then just reading as if it was an easter egg hunt, searching for that last egg to bolster my hypothesis.  But either way, I think we’ll all be ready, you just have to deal with the drudgery for 3 or so more weeks. 

Other than that, I hope everyone is well, and if your a second year…give em’ hell.

Or at least try not to fall on your face and fail out, because that would suck.



1. Ψ*Ψ - January 18, 2007

good luck!

2. Mitch - January 19, 2007

If you study that hard, you should be fine. Remember, the whole point is for the committee to find something you don’t know and see how well you handle yourself working through a new problem. If you’re not too busy studying you should link to Ψ*Ψ ‘s website, it is pretty cool. And while you’re linking up websites, I also have one too…


3. Tex - January 20, 2007

Mitch’s comment is right on the nail. Most oral exams, in addition to inflicting pain, that I have been involved in, are really trying to establish whether you “think like a chemisty”. And again, in my experience, you know it when you see it (and you know it when you don’t). One suggestion – don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know”. I have seen more students get into difficulty trying to BS their way through a question.

Good luck.

4. demiseRus - January 25, 2007

Hola Senor!
Good luck with orals…yep, slogging through some grant applications right now with a weary eye cast out for my own qual’s next year. Sweet musings here, even for the chemically uninformed climate dynamicist like myself…

5. K - January 27, 2007

Best of luck.

6. In the Pipeline - January 30, 2007

Blogroll Update

Some may have noticed that the blogroll at left has been modernized a bit. I’ve tried to separate out the chemistry and drug industry sites – please let me know if yours has come down on the wrong side of…

7. Mitch - March 8, 2007

How did the exam go?

8. Nerice - January 9, 2015

That’s really thkiinng of the highest order

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