I’ve actually heard those words come out of someones mouth before, during an emergency situation. Before you start throwing rocks (and after your laughter dies down) you should know that when you don’t ask for help when you really need it, you’re no better than the person who makes this colorful statement (OUCH).
‘Not asking for help‘ was one of my greatest downfalls as a student. I have a couple of reasons why…along with solutions to each. I will give the first one this week, and second one next week:
(1) “I Am Scared Of What Everyone Will Think/Say”: This is the number one reason why people usually do not ask questions in class, email questions to the teacher, or post questions on the discussion boards. It isn’t really that you are afraid of what they will say–it’s deeper than that. I was afraid of being vulnerable. When I say “Why does NaCl dissociate in water–and what does “dissociate” mean?” I am exposing my ignorance on a topic to the public. It really doesn’t help your cause when the people engaged in conversation seem to know exactly what is going on and you don’t.
SOLUTION: The first thing that you need to understand is that ignorance and stupidity are two totally different things. Ignorance is simply a lack of knowledge. We’re ALL ignorant of SOMETHING, so don’t focus on the fact that you ‘don’t know’–THAT’S why you should be asking questions. Stupidity is actually when you know that you do not have the knowledge of a thing, you have the opportunities for obtaining that knowledge, but ignore that knowledge and that opportunity, and make decisions that should/could be made only with that knowledge. People who don’t know the equation for measuring the distance of a star in a neighboring galaxy are not stupid–they are just ignorant of that equation. People who are stupid are folks who think that 500 hours of playing Call of Duty equals 500 hours of real-life combat zone experience–they assumed that, even though their friends spent months training at Ranger School, that there was no need to even ask their friends what that training was like because they made themselves self-proclaimed experts. It is okay “Not to know”–that’s why you are asking the question. Questions are simply ways of communicating about things that we do not know. There is almost always someone else in the crowd with the same question that you have–and there are always two or three more who wish that they had asked your question first! One of the best ways to overcome this fear of being vulnerable is to write your question out before or after class–but research the correct terminology to use. Instead of using the word “thingy”, use your textbook to find out what the chemical is actually called. Find words that relate to the topic that is being discussed and pick words that you are comfortable saying. And if you are not comfortable saying them–PRACTICE. None of this will work if you NEVER say the words out loud. Your goal is to replace your fear with CONFIDENCE, not KNOWLEDGE. You are asking questions to gain the knowledge that you do not know, but you require confidence to raise your hand 🙂
The second one is coming soon, so stay tuned…