Organic Chemistry I

Sep 2020

Dr. Doubleday is a fantastic professor who does his best to teach students the material they need to know. He examines you in a fair and straightforward way, and does not play any tricks. Organic Chemistry is a hard subject, so you will have trouble with the material regardless. But he does his best to make it as painless as possible. Easily the best professor to take the Organic Chemistry sequence with.

Mar 2017

I took Phillip's Organic Chemistry I class in Fall 2016, and I am currently in her Organic Chemistry II class for Spring 2017. To be transparent, I did very well in her class first semester and am expecting to do well again this coming semester. While I'll admit that I do come from a strong chemistry background, I thought that Professor Phillips was very fair. If you take good notes in class, and you make sure you fully understand the workshops that she hands out in class, you can do well. You don't need to read the textbook. She has optional workshop sessions on Fridays, where everyone does the workshop problems in groups and then the groups present the answers. They can be helpful if you go, but if you can't go, it's also perfectly fine to get the answers from a classmate or ask your TA about questions during recitation. Her tests are straightforward, and her questions always come straight from things that she discussed in class or things on the workshop. I think a lot of the bitterness around her class has come from a grading scale that she posted during our first semester. While the class is not curved, the difficult grading scale is not specific to her class. The chemistry department has a very strict grading policy so that only a specific percentage of the class get A's, B's, and C's. The average for her exams consistently falls around a 70%, which according to the cutoffs she published, is a C+/B-. And that does not take into account the fact that you can drop an entire exam so her overall final grades should have an even higher average. Overall, I thought that her grading scale was fair for an organic chemistry class. After all, organic chemistry is a difficult subject, so it should not be expected that Professor Phillips just hand out A's just because her class is filled with pre-med students. All in all, a fair class. You will do well if you put in the effort.

Dec 2016

First of all, there is no doubt that this course is taught more rigorously than other Orgo classes (i.e. doubleday and cornish). But Phillips is ok. She's a good teacher, she explains the material well, although she spent an about 2-3 weeks just talking about hybridization -_- and then powered through enantiomers and stereoisomers like they're common knowledge. I never once opened McMurry so when I switch to d-day, I'll have a weird new relationship with McMurry. Even though she doesn't teach straight outta McMurry, it's ok because you actually learn more of the important mechanisms that she thinks are relevant to synthesis (orgo2). never did learn how to make a cyclopropane from an alkene so that's kinda disappointing, cause she taught that at Hunter. Second, I learned how to answer 11 difficult orgo problems in 75 minutes (5 of which are mechanism questions)... wait scratch that, I really didn't. I usually get one whole-page wrong cause guess what 75min IS NOT ENOUGH!!! It's not like her multiple choice don't take time... so if she ever says "well, they're MC questions, you should be able to answer them quickly..." welp, she gives the same length exam to her Hunter kids but they had 1h and 50min, so... Structure of the course: WOW, where to begin... wow. SHE HANDS THESE WORKSHOP QUESTIONS, RIGHT? THEN EXPECTS US TO ATTEND HER WORKSHOP ON THE FRIDAY WHEN SHE GAVE OUT THE WORKSHOP ON THE THURSDAY. WOW. WOW. THAT'S NOT THE WORST PART. THERE ARE NO ANSWERS!!!!!! WOW WOW WOW. NOPE, NO ANSWERS. AND THEN DURING WORKSHOP SESSIONS, SHE WOULD KEEP AGREEING TO A STUDENT, AND UNTIL SOMEONE SAYS, "hey that's wrong..." ONLY THEN WILL SHE SAY, "yay, i'm glad you brought that up..." UGH WOW COOL I <3 ORGO 2016 WOW. THEN, THESE WORKSHOPS ARE NOT ONLINE, YOU GOTTA GET YOUR ASS TO HAVEMEYER wow. She's a good teacher, but her teaching style, damn. bye phillips, hello doubleday... Also, the fact that D-day has a waitlist for Orgo II, should be a good indicator that something terrible must be happening. Final Exam material: So she goes on with the mechanism materials at 60mph. Then all of a sudden, she decided to go Tokyo drift on us and teach visualization stuff for one class each!! WOW. NMR -1 CLASS. Even Anna G (from Orgo Lab) decided a BOOTCAMP is necessary to understand NMR!! IR - 1 CLASS. She even thought that UV-VIS is not so important to teach she decided to teach Diels-Alder + Radical Halogenation on the last TWO CLASSES!! DIELS-ALDER IN ONE SITTING. My brain felt so inferior. Improvements: WELL HAHAHAHAHA. I DON'T THINK PHILLIPS WOULD APPRECIATE THIS PART BECAUSE GUESS WHAT? WE ALREADY ASKED HER TO DO SOME OF THESE IMPROVEMENTS! WE ASKED HER HALFWAY THROUGH THE SEMESTER IF SHE WOULD PUT UP THE ANSWERS FOR THE WORKSHOPS--JUST THE ANSWERS --- NO EXPLANATIONS, we were basically beggars for answer (y'all got any more of those orgo workshop answers?). her response? ME: I think it could help if answers were posted. HER: NO (hard, cold stern, demeaningly). I'VE MADE UP MY MIND AND THAT IS NOT GOING TO CHANGE. Basically, what I'm trying to say is, if you're an undergrad thinking you can do well in Orgo because you like the material or you're excited to learn new stuff, Orgo won't fail you. BUT SHE WILL. BC SHE DOESN'T CURVE. (I wish I had taken Cornish or D-Day :c) The average is 68, 69, 63 (respectively for the three midterms) and she said she won't curve. This is so low, but the highest grade is always 93-100. Why? Because she caters only to those who have so much time on their hands, and her class structure assumes that Orgo is your whole life. If you are enrolled in any other class aside from Orgo or Orgo lab, Phillips' Orgo is not for you. You have to attend an extra 2h of recitation (workshop) bc you will not get answers for any of them. But if you're a postbac and you're only taking this or bio, then, my friend, godspeed.