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The road from history to biochemistry

Sitting in a Chemistry 150 lecture at 8:00 am on a summer morning was the last place I thought I would ever find myself. When I started at Fort Lewis College, being a history major, I waited a long time to fulfill this general education requirement, a science with a lab. Despite my apprehension, I found the hands-on problem solving in chemistry invigorating and the panoply of research topics riveting. In the two following semesters, I took chemistry classes “just for fun,” and they led to a life-changing decision.

Organic chemistry

Organic chemistry is known to be one of the most feared undergraduate classes by students nationwide, the gatekeeper course for of all pre-med and pre-veterinary students, the weeder class for biology majors.  Organic chemistry is defined as the chemistry of carbon compounds. It’s a difficult course because unlike most chemistry classes it’s not mathematically based; rather, it focuses on visual interpretation and the ability to spatially arrange molecules and elucidate the synthesis of compounds.