Are You A Sophomore or a Philospher?

Read this below, taken from the researchers of Dictionary.com:

” Sophomore derives from an earlier English term, sophumer, which is a variation of the Greek sophism, “clever device.” A sophist ally “one who is wise,” (sophia is Greek for wisdom), but the term became derogatory in Greek culture, because it seemed a little unwise (or simply arrogant) to proclaim about one’s own wisdom. Teachers with a tad more humility came to be known as philosophers literally “lovers of wisdom.”

When I first took Biochemistry, I had one of the most difficult professors that the college had ever seen. He was so difficult, that he was famous for failing 90% of his class just for the heck of it. I have brought his name up recently and have seen chills roll down the spines of those who were his victims. He has given D’s to straight “A” students, and handed failing grades to those who have never failed a class. I passed his class with a “D”, which is passing for graduation but not passing for my degree. So I had to take Biochemistry over–and I chose to take it with one of the best instructors at the entire university. My friend gave me the scoop on her: this instructor slowed everything down, explained everything to the letter, and never cursed you out in class like the other guy. Even my advisor told me that she was easy. I was in love and hadn’t even seen the lady yet. I also figured that if I could pull a “D” in this guys class, that I should rock an “A” in hers because his class started with 126 people and finished with just 16 of us. It had graduate students and undergraduates and I was one of the only students (including graduate students) to pass his final exam. I was quite proud of myself and I was one of the few people that he actually liked. I even passed his lab with an “A”.

What occurred for that next semester was a nightmare. The teaching style of the  second instructor for Biochemistry did not match my learning style AT ALL. I could never follow her in class-and I was the ONLY ONE who had that problem. I immediately fell behind in class, grew extremely frustrated and started coming to class extremely late–and even sat on the front row. I fell asleep in her class, and bad mouthed her to her own students. I was angry. “This isn’t how its supposed to be!” “I’ve done this already!” “Why is it more difficult this time?!?!”

It’s because I was acting like a Sophomore and not a Philosopher. I had grown arrogant because I had experienced similar information before, yet I lacked the necessary comprehension to carry that information to the next level. That class was more painful of an experience than I care to admit. They allowed me to keep the “A” from the previous lab, but I only made a “C” in her class. It is by far one of my top ten all time embarrassing moments in education history, because I had the lowest grade in her class out of 17 students due to my own personal ignorance. My pride gave me that grade, and she literally did everything that she legally could to give me a higher grade. I looked like a fool in front of my fellow classmates, and a few of them remembered me for the next couple of years for that very display of ignorance.

The one thing that she taught me in that class was how to ask the extra question that will reveal the key concept. When I applied this philosophy to my other classes, my GPA soared, and my thirst for knowledge accelerated. Too bad I didn’t use it in her class…

Cheaters Never Win, They Just Pass Classes

I just had a frightening thought: I shared a microbiology class with alot of pre-med students. Several of them cheated their way through the class as well as some others…which brings me to this horrific thought: are they all practicing doctors now? And more importantly, just WHERE are they practicing now? Because I want to make sure that I do not trust them with anything concerning the health of myself or my family. I bet that you are hoping that I find that list of incompetent physicians as well, aren’t you? If I do, I’ll post it soon 🙂

In the cartoons, cheaters always lose. However, those cheating pre-med students had A’s while I worked my rear end off. As a matter of fact, I took the class over to get a higher grade and grasp the knowledge that I did not feel comfortable with the first time. “Cheaters don’t lose!”, I said to myself as I enrolled for another semester. “They pass!” But I learned something that I will never forget: Cheaters may not lose, but if they win, someone else will not. For example, my Grandfather had a heart attack on a Christmas morning. The paramedics arrived on the scene, but they panicked and my Grandfather died. As they sat on the couch  shaking and crying over the tragedy, they told us that the reason why they froze was because they had forgotten what to do. They were so broken that they confessed the guilt of having cheated in school. Now, I have no clue as to what they cheated in but it stayed with me a long time, and showed me that if I cheat, I will probably win–but my lack of integrity will cause someone else to lose.

3 People Who Will Help You Fail My Class: PART 3

The last one is kind of tricky. He’s someone of which I have watched sink students time and time again. He cost me an entire year of college simply because I really thought that I could outsmart him.

His name is Dr. I. M. Fine, and he is the arch-nemesis of higher education. Your memory changes with age. Get over it. If you are 43, do not compare yourself to the 19 year old in your class who remembers EVERYTHING. Our brains undergo changes over time that begins in our 20’s and these changes effect short and long term memory.

No matter old or young you may be, you still have a brain and it LEARNS. So you will have to change the way that you learn certain material. You must quickly discover which subjects require a tactile approach and which ones require an auditory approach–in otherwords, which classes will force you to learn which ways and what sense will you require for each one.

I struggled in my first 2 chemistry lectures, but I LOVED organic Chemistry labs. Why? Because I could see what the teacher was saying. I am very visual. Literature was a class that I loved, because it allowed me to use my imagination. I HATED statistics, because one of my teachers refused to do anything but talk and show transparencies full of symbols. They had a room full of technology, but they chose to lecture about nothing that I could apply my imagination to. So when I got into Graduate School, I had no choice but to figure out how to apply statistics to the real world or I would certainly fail. The same with Physics. I barely passed the Physics lecture with a”C”, but I aced the lab with an “A”. Why? Because I could see the affects of gravity, I could see the affects acceleration, I could physically measure mass, and I could see the affects of applied force.

My methods for learning may be wacky, but they allow information to stick in my memory for almost instant access. No matter how silly!

What is your method of learning? What is your learning style? Can you adjust it to complement the material that you are currently learning? Or will you simply take a prescription from Dr. I.M. Fine and refuse to change? I must warn you, side affects from his medicines usually include:

–Blaming the teacher regardless of the fact that you have never approached them for help

–Brief bouts of insanity (the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result)

–Headaches from homework

–Nausea from test questions that you have never seen before

–And thoughts of quitting

I have had to seek treatment for all of the above. Find yourself and new doctor and embrace change. Change will be painful, and it will help you grow. Change will cost you, but it will profit you. Change may isolate you, but it will bring you favor. Change is necessary–and if I had changed when I first had the opportunity, I might have been able to break my addiction to                   Dr. I.M. Fine’s herbal remedy alot sooner than I did.

Save your nickel, start changing the way that you think.

3 People Who Will Help You Fail My Class: PART 2

The second person was and still is my deadliest enemy: its Complacency, better known as W. D. Tomorrow (We’ll Do it Tomorrow). He and I grew up together. My parents were constantly kicking him out of the house and I was constantly sneaking him back in. When I got to college, he helped introduce me to girls, parties, and popularity. He made my college experience one that I will never forget. And when I found myself on academic probation he was still there for me, through it all. He was the one who introduced me to credit cards and alcohol, but that is for another post…

W.D. Tomorrow is a friend and companion that will never leave you…unless you chase him away. As a matter of fact, he has already taken the class that you are about to take. And he is quick to tell you that it’s really not all that bad. He’s told you that there are 8 tests and that you will pass even if you fail to study for 3 of them. He’s told you that you can skip 5 days and possibly 6 as long as they are not consecutive and the instructor can’t kick you out of class. W.D. Tomorrow knows how to cut corners and make sure that you don’t pay…today.

But what he doesn’t tell you is that what you did yesterday and what you do today will equal tomorrow. So if you cut corners in both, your future will be missing keys that you will need to succeed. Or, simply the keys that would have made life a whole lot easier.

The IRS is not looking for me. I am not enslaved to the kind of debt most Americans are. But had I known then what I know now, I would not have these blasted student loans. You see, before I met W. D. Tomorrow I was going to college free of charge and all I had to do was perform close to my best. But W.D. Tomorrow showed me so many other things that I could do with all of that extra time, so many ways to cut the costs. And it caught up with me later–it led me to fail the first class of my life. Those nearly-passed classes introduced me to classes that I could NOT pass and I found myself paying for school with student-slavery loans. And now I pay a price–monthly to be exact. Don’t bring this guy to class, and if you have been, leave him where you found him…

3 People Who Will Help You Fail My Class-Part One

I am long overdue in writing this one. Some of you may hate what I will say, only to find that you are secretly one of the 3 people that I will be discussing this month. Some of you will find that if you back-peddle through the process of how you obtained your low grade that you might find a person attached. So lets talk about it…

Person #1: Party Pooper

If you are attempting to obtain an education, then you are undertaking a monumental task. It’s not easy, and you probably are having to sacrifice something in order to achieve it.

It is always easier to partake in something greater than yourself when you have people who support you–they celebrate you and your mission. But then there are those who always seem to leave you drained when you are around them. When they talk, they make you hate when you should only be frustrated. They make you dwell on the past when you had long forgiven the offense. And they get you derailed from your purpose.

They talk trash to you when you can’t go to the party/club/bar/movies like you ‘always’ do because you are pursuing something more important. And instead of understanding and having a party for you because you completed a semester, they choose to have as many parties without you during your semester while not contacting you–leaving you bitter. But bitter about what? Your classes. Your education. Your educational institution. And when you are bitter, you lose focus. You lose the desire to sacrifice. And your grade suffers–worse yet, you quit and head for the club saying to yourself “Well, a C is passing and that’s all I need to do anyway.”

A person who is opposite of a Party Pooper is one who Celebrates you and your mission: they place value on YOU and what YOU are doing. When you are with them, they give you fuel to move forward. They encourage you and look forward to your success. They constantly speak words of affirmation and help to direct your focus. And they are usually only a few…