Organic Chemistry with Dr. Wright

Testimonial by Nicole Weiler

Nicole WeilerFor as long as I can remember I have had a passion for science.  While I had always planned on pursuing a degree in Biology, like many of my peers, I dreaded the semesters in which I would need to simultaneously enroll in two science courses and their respective labs.  For me, chemistry has always been the subject that has been most challenging.  After my own positive experience taking General Chemistry I during the summer of 2010, I decided to complete the organic chemistry components of my degree this summer.  Organic, more than any of the other chemistry disciplines, requires one to truly struggle before mastery can be achieved.  Many have compared Organic to learning a foreign language, a language that requires a complete restructuring of the way one thinks.  In my opinion, taking Organic over the summer has provided me with the time for the complete devotion to this subject.

Fitting nearly a semester’s worth of organic chemistry into five weeks is not an easy task.  One of Dr. Wright’s favorite sayings was, “a week is a day.” Each two hour class session represented a week’s worth of material during an average school semester.  The daily class lectures helped me form a solid foundation of knowledge, but it was often through my own attempts at the daily homework problems that I internalized the material. Dr. Wright conducted our class as a conversation with my peers and himself.  His dedication to the subject and to his students was extraordinary.  It is rare to find a professor who will hold Sunday night review sessions during the summer or who encourages students to email homework questions to him at all hours of the day.  Dr. Wright’s accessibility and dedication to students was undoubtedly a motivating factor for students resulting in student success.

Looking back on my experience, I would recommend any student pursuing a challenging course to take it during the summer session.  In addition to mastering a challenging subject, I am able to enter my senior year with lighter course load than I had originally anticipated.  I am now afforded much needed time to prepare for my future after Wake Forest.  At the same time, this summer has reminded me of the camaraderie that makes the Wake Forest community so unique.  Whether studying with a classmate several years younger or just spending time getting to know people in my dorm, the summer provides a forum for new friendships and experiences that are often passed by during the school year.

Follow @WFUSummer