Okay I’m going to say it. God may strike me down and the earth may cease to revolve around the sun, but here it goes:

I like organic chemistry.

Whew! That was easier than I thought. I’ll undoubtedly be made to regret my words before too long—next Tuesday I’ll find out that I have to memorize all 4,347 isomers of pentadecane or my model kit will try to eat me in the night—but for right now I’m honestly enjoying organic chemistry.

I’m not alone either. In the face of the evil, looming monster that is physics, organic chemistry has become a safe haven for most of the postbacs. My suspicion is that this may be due to it being the only class in which we get to play with toys. Okay, technically they’re called “Organic Model Kits,” but really they’re just tinker toys for nerdy people. My inner six year old is having a blast.

Unfortunately, even though I’m enjoying organic chemistry and maintain my deep abiding love for biology, I’m spend an absurdly disproportionate amount of time on the one subject I would gladly avoid altogether. That’s another aspect of this program that seems to be pretty universal: physics is difficult and unrewarding. It can be Newton’s fourth law.

This week we have our first two exams of the semester. The nervousness is palpable; by this time in the summer semester we were gearing up for our final exam. Now we’re facing two unknown quantities and trying to determine the best mode of attack. It’s comforting to be doing this as a group; no matter how confused or terrified I feel after a lecture or a quiz, there always seems to be another postbac who is in exactly the same mindset. Perhaps it’s a case of misery loving company, but when you’re surrounded by twenty-four intelligent, driven individuals who all still find physics utterly impenetrable…well we’re not going to be the first round of postbacs to all fail to get into medical school, now are we.

So keep your fingers and toes crossed for us this week. I’ll be back after the we show the laws the physics who’s boss. (The boss being physics obviously….)

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