Winter 2018 - Chem 147 is pretty chill. The quarter you take it really depends on your guest speakers, Winter 2018 had some really cool speakers and then some horrible ones. The class is pretty relaxed though, its a good networking seminar and I'm glad they host this. This quarter we had Clarke, Spokoyny, and Paul Weiss hangout and bring guests over. The only work required is to make a resume and cover letter, which holds practical value if you put effort into it. Best of all they feed you.
Fall 2023 - Professor Catherine Clarke's course was really engaging, and I found myself enjoying the lectures quite often. She covered the metabolism portion of the CHEM153A, and I felt like I was really learning a lot. She held regular office hours (which were expanded before MT3 and the final), and they were really helpful in solidifying my understanding of the material. That being said, CHEM153A is a really hard class. This is the part where the memorization really starts to get to you, as you need to memorize all of the enzymes and products for the central metabolic pathways, as well as what molecules end up regulating the enzymes at key points. Another thing that made the tests harder was that it was never really clear what you needed to write in order to get full credit- often, I'd think that I only needed to write one or two things out of three or four, but I'd end up losing points for not writing down everything. Overall, though- it was a great class. I'd highly recommend taking CHEM153A with Prof. Catherine Clarke if you get the opportunity to.
Fall 2021 - Clarke's class seemed to do everything right for a challenging, upper-division class. She's funny and engaging even when the material can get a bit boring. This class is no joke, and I spent the majority of my time memorizing pathways. Her test policy is that the final will replace your first two midterm scores if you do better, which made getting an A in her class relatively doable. Tests were very fair, and she allowed us to bring in a cheat sheet for midterm 2 and the final. TAs this quarter were great, and the weekly quizzes were bonus points to help boost your grade. Office hours and tutorials were also a boon in order to develop your understanding. Overall, great class, interesting content, and great professor/TAs
Spring 2020 - Chem C164 is easy and hard at the same time - easy in the sense that the workload is fairly light; you essentially have to write two papers about research articles, give one group presentation, and take a midterm exam (and that's the gist of the class). However, the material is rather challenging - this class is almost entirely based on research papers, which was quite a learning curve for me, being a student who is not involved in research. The first half of the course consists of Dr. Clarke lecturing on free radicals and providing important background of the topic. The second half of the course is all the student group presentations - it's really chill and you just sit back and listen to the presentations. However, to understand the presentations you have to really pay attention and be focused. Yet, I would say that my time in this class wasn't wasted - I learned quite a bit about the application of free radicals into various areas of medicine. Personally, my presentation was about the involvement of reactive oxygen species in antibiotics, which I thought was very interesting. Other groups studied various diseases (like Alzheimers) or other biological phenomena and their relation to free radicals. Grading is this class is pretty lenient - Dr. Clarke and her TA weren't super picky about the essays and presentations and they were always so encouraging :) Dr. Clarke is just a really sweet person in general and it was quite fun taking a class with her. Also, 40 points of extra credit were offered this quarter in the form of writing up summaries of research presentations (which amounted to 4% of the overall course grade), so that was a plus. Overall, I definitely recommend this class for a very interesting and doable biochem elective! I'm not sure when this class will be offered next though - when I took it, it hadn't been offered for several years haha.