Quote Originally Posted by Algeh View Post
Here's the problem: the things that you've been asking here lately show that you're pretty confused and frustrated in one or more of your classes right now.

This means that you probably have one or more previous topics that you're still fuzzy on and need to go back and really work on until you understand rather than just "get" well enough to stumble through the assigned problems on, because your lack of understanding of that thing means you're not able to connect the new things you're supposed to be learning about together into a larger system that actually makes sense. This means that each new thing you try to learn just sits there as a mystifying lump because you have no place to put it, and that you aren't actually building familiarity with the tools and methods that will let you progress in your field.
Exactly this. You should be able to look at the problem and at least have some idea how you might approach it, even if you don't know the specifics. For instance (and it's been years since I've done O-Chem), even with my faded familiarity I can look at this particular problem and at least see enough to understand what sort of reactions I'm probably looking for.

So, you've got 3-bromocyclohexene, and you want 3-methyl cychohexa-1,3-diene. Looking at that immediately, I see a few things. You've already got one of the double bonds you need, and the other double bond you want is in a pretty convenient position. You also want to add a carbon to where you already have a bromine. So, first point of info you should have - if you've got one functional group somewhere you can usually mess with it until you get another functional group. Similarly there are ways to go between functional groups and double bonds.

So find your textbook, and see what functional group to double bond reactions you know. See what carbon addition reactions you know (my first instinct is to look at that bromine and immediately think Grignard, but I honestly couldn't tell you without busting out my own textbook). Look at your tools, figure it out.

Still, to even do that there are things you need to know. You need to be able to look at a problem and identify opportunities (that bromine right there in the reactant, right by both your double bond and the methyl group you need), and you need enough idea of how your tools work to know what to look for.