becoming what you want to be

I recently got paid for my peer mentoring gig in the summer! It came at the right time. I really am grateful for the experience I had, as well as the opportunity.. and the $500. Yup.

I got 100% on yesterday’s Chem quiz. But I did well on the previous quiz for chapter 11, only to bomb exam 1, so I don’t want to get cocky. Apparently, there are people freaking out in the class. In the parking lot last night, after lab, I was walking to my car and two girls in the class were pretty frantically waving me over to them. They told me they bombed the quiz and the previous exam. They asked how I did on the quiz, and they kind of knew I did well, and then they asked me to run a study session for them to prepare them for exam 2 taking place next Wednesday (10/23). I agreed, hesitantly. I don’t have much faith in myself, truth be told. I haven’t even finished the homework and reading for chapter 15, which is also on next week’s exam.

But, I figured if I want to teach, this might be a good experience. The thing I have a hard time with, is hearing that they are mad about the difficulty of the class and feeling like they don’t want to put in the time. I put in tons of hours studying, because I need to. I hear students make (valid and invalid) excuses all the time like: I have to work, this is just community college and it shouldn’t be hard, this one class shouldn’t be so difficult, i hate chemistry… i’m going to be an engineer / veternarian / doctor / etc. and I don’t care about chemistry.

Chemistry 162 only requires Algebra 2. If you want to be an engineer, doctor, etc. and cannot do the math in chemistry, you need to study a LOT MORE.

And I wanted to say to them: If you aren’t getting the grades you want, you have to put in the work. More work than you have been. And if your job is what’s making it difficult, you need to somehow prioritize. Take less classes, or work less, or SOMETHING. But no one is just going to give you a passing grade if you don’t work for it.

These are things I wanted to say after listening to them complain for a full 40 minutes or so, as it got darker and darker. I didn’t have it in me to say my real thoughts to them, but I think I’ll have to at least try to remain positive and steer the study session away from any kind of bitching and moaning. It’s just gonna work them up and not help anyone. I did agree that I don’t care for the lectures, but told them I read the book on my own and do my own problem-solving. They sound like they’re expecting someone to teach the knowledge into them. That someone cannot be me. I can only tell them what I know, and hope it helps in some way.

Today, I went to the study room, and was asked questions for about an hour by CHEM 161 students. I kinda had some answers right, but not really. I was distracted. I liked helping them, but hated feeling stupid for not having a clear memory of how to solve their problems. Shouldn’t I remember everything from CHEM 161? Damn it. As a chem major? I sort of had the answers, but not quite. It’s been happening like this a lot though. I go to the study room and can’t do my own studying because the tutor isn’t in yet, so they ask me (which I don’t mind). I help people for an hour or so, then leave. I believe in karma, and I like helping, so hopefully the hours I spend trying to answer questions are helping someone. I just feel terrible when I don’t answer their questions correctly. In truth, I feel it does help me a lot. I just wish I was better.

I don’t know why I have this weird reputation around the science room as being smart. I don’t feel worthy of it. I don’t really like being noticed. This is also a status I don’t feel I deserve. I feel like I’m a disappointment to myself and others. I guess this means I have to put in more work so I can stop feeling so unsure of myself… basically heed my own advice.

On a side note, my hot, young neighbor, is outside making meowing noises.

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