Testimonial by Christopher Kim
Out of the three science disciplines required for pre-medical students, chemistry has always been the science I struggle with the most. I decided to take it over the summer to give the “hardest pre-medical” class my undivided attention, and in doing so, hoped to maximize my potential to learn the material well. Taking organic chemistry II over the summer helped balance my schedule during the semester, because I am both a pre-medical student and English major. Deciding to take it over the summer was the best choice I could have made because it not only helped me learn the material effectively, but also taught me invaluable study skills that I continue to apply in my classes today. Skills like daily practice problems, reviewing class notes, and staying consistent with my study habits are just a few of the things I learned while taking Dr. Harrison’s course.
I would definitely recommend the course to others who are also pre-med or thinking about the pre-med track. The pros of the course are that taking it over the summer enables students to focus solely on organic chemistry II, rather than trying to balance the coursework of the lab and lecture with other extracurricular commitments and other courses during the regular semester. The daily meetings of the course also helped me truly internalize the material, as we were meeting and discussing concepts constantly; so if it was not making sense one day it would help to see several examples in class the following day. The con of taking the course over the summer is the sheer amount of material covered in five weeks. The speed of the course may be too much for some students, and it will push your academic boundaries in many ways. It requires an immense amount of dedication and hard work.
One caveat I can give to students thinking about taking organic chemistry over the summer is that, although it may be easier than during the semester, it is still a very difficult class and requires daily studying. Many students who believed it would be easy found out the hard way that it requires more time and dedication than many of the other courses offered during the summer. In addition to the lecture, the lab component takes up a large amount of time, including the lab report write-ups and the experiments. However, taking it over the summer enabled me to focus only on organic chemistry and helped me maximize my learning potential. The thing that made the course special to me was the professor, Dr. Wayne Harrison. Dr. Harrison is one of the best professors I have had at Wake Forest and he truly has a passion for the material. His passion is clearly evident in his examples and his daily enthusiasm makes the course all the more enjoyable. His love for organic chemistry is infectious and I truly recommend him for the organic chemistry II summer course.