July 31, 2010
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Recently I went to tutor someone in chemistry because she plans on taking it fall and she feels that she isn’t very strong in science and wanted to get a head start. I brough some of my general chemistry stuff to see what might be important for her to focus on.
She eventually saw one of my formal lab reports (which had couple graphs and calculations typed) and she freaked out. She thought it looked really complicated and didn’t know what half the symbols I typed meant. I told her that it seems a little overwhelming and then she saw my calculus II notebook and really flipped out. (Note to self: do not carry general chemistry packets in your calculus II notebook when going to tutor someone.) The calculus II stuff looked like a completely different language to her and she didn’t know how she can study any science in college after seeing my notes. I assured her that it isn’t that bad and that in time and with a lot of help, things will start to fit together. You just need to work hard.
(Secretly, I don’t know my own calculus II notes, but she didn’t need to know that.)
But she was cracking at different chemistry problems and then I saw a slight reflection of me in her. Before I took gen chem I was absolutely frightened of lab because I had virtually no experience with lab equipment and I never saw a formal lab report before I made something up and turned it in. I know the person I was tutoring was more concerned on how she will pass school, whereas my fear is making sense of things I learn and applying them, but the scenarios are very similar.
Then I started to think a little broader–I know a lot of people who freak out about medical school and couple doctors who used to freak out in medical school. The fear of failure, or the fear of progress, seemed to be something that I began to notice in a lot of people. Without realizing it, the people we run into are in some ways mirrors walking that reflect part of ourselves.
Point of story: there might be many people from different walks of life who have faced similar types of dilemmas or challenges that you and I might be facing. Although things might look a little tough, after time, things will start to fall into place.
That, or if all else fails, I can move to New Zealand and live life as a hermit. =)