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Posts Tagged ‘student’

The Importance of Learning (Something … Anything)

August 5, 2011 4 comments
I hear and I forget.  I see and I remember.  I do and I understand.
Confucius
Chinese philosopher & reformer (551 BC – 479 BC)

 

Today, I’d like to take a moment to impart –what I believe to be– a slice of axiomatic wisdom.  When it comes to education, too often do we find ourselves being shoved through the ‘hoops’, like a cluster of mindless drones.  Whether we like it or not, we are expected, from a very young age, to partake, and to complete, a highly structured scholastic curriculum.  This system, in and of itself, is fine and dandy; my primary quibble, is how we are expected to learn from said curriculum.

 

To understand something, one needs to go beyond the superficial aspects (ie: purely memorizing).

 

For example, many science classes stress upon the rote memorization of facts, figures, and equations.  Success in the classroom, therefore, depends upon one’s ability to digest, and ultimately, to regurgitate these snippets of information.  But do we actually learn anything from this process?  I am one to believe that we frequently pay too much attention to the superfluous details.  As a consequence, we fail to understand the big picture; the grand scheme of things.  In other words, we cannot see the forest for the trees.  (The true beauty of science is not found in the names, dates, or equations themselves.  The true beauty is found when we come to realize how and why these equations, theories, etc. seem to be important to humanity as a whole) Continue Reading >>

[#5] – Sociology 100 – Introductory Sociology

July 28, 2011 5 comments

Prior to my matriculation to the UofA, I had the choice between registering in either: Introductory Sociology, or Introductory Anthropology.  As a naive high-school student, my knowledge base in regards to these subjects were nil to none.  The thought of having to take either one of these courses spawned an implacable uncertainty that I just couldn’t shake.

*Note: After a while of wavering, I finally chose to take Introductory Sociology.  My decision (if you could call it that) was based mainly on the grounds that I could incorporate it into my class schedule easier than Anthropology.

 

Sociology is a (very) broad Social Science.

 

Which class would prove more interesting?  Which one would it be easier to succeed in?  How difficult is the content?  I now realize that such fruitless questions yield fruitless answers.  The only way to know for sure –to quell the uncertainty,– is to dive headfirst and … take the course!

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Preamble:

As stated above, I had no prior knowledge about Sociology.  Frankly, the term hadn’t even been registered in my lexicon, until I heard it in around grade 11.  Before taking the class, I deduced that because it contained the root: “socio,” then it would probably be related to social studies?  Maybe?  Beyond my haphazard speculations, all I knew was that … I knew nothing at all. (Ergo, the headfirst dive begins!) Continue Reading >>

The Importance of Scheduling

July 23, 2011 1 comment

Ahh yes, the almighty calendar.  Both a blessing and a curse.  Since its inception, it has provided people with the ability to peer into the future; to map out the days, months, and even years ahead.  It supplies us with an ever-present backbone of rigidity in which we can use to successfully meander through our hectic lives.

On the flip-side, it is this very rigidity that, at times, constricts us.  An inflexible calendar, much like an inflexible backbone, does not allow for much spontaneity, does it?  Henceforth, we must strike a balance between the two.  An ideal schedule ought to contain a certain degree of rigidness, coupled with an element of plasticity!  Who’s with me?!  …  Just me?! .. Ummm, yeah, well .. I’ll just carry on then …

Anyways, all verbosity aside, today’s post is going to focus on none other than my (frenetic) first year timetable.  You should note that: I was given full reign over the construction of my schedule.  The times of the courses, and even the courses themselves were selected solely by moi (at the end of grade 12).  Looking back at my decisions, I can safely ask myself: “What was I thinking?!”  It appears as though I was attempting to brew the perfect recipe for disaster … I mean, who in their right mind would select only morning labs?  *You will see exactly what I’m referring to in the images below. 

 

This was my Fall 2009 Schedule ... Ain't it a beaut'?

 

This was my Winter 2010 Schedule. Whose lame-brained idea was it to choose three 8:00 a.m. labs? Oh yeah, it was my idea.

 

Now that you’ve witnessed this menacing monstrosity with your own eyes, let’s begin with our analysis.  Before I go on any further, however, I have to point out that I’m not particularly a morning person.  I would very much prefer to sleep late than to wake up early.  (I know quite a few people who are entirely opposite!  Go figure!) Continue Reading >>

[#2] – Chemistry 101 – Introduction to University Chemistry I

July 5, 2011 4 comments

Today’s post will be centered around my first ever university chemistry course (a.k.a. Chem 101).  In all honesty, Chem 101 was my toughest class in first year (barring Stats 141, which I will talk about at a later date) – I found it very difficult to make the transition from high-school chemistry to university chemistry.  Even to this day, I’m still not completely certain why this was the case; however, I do have a sneaking suspicion of where I went wrong, albeit not a definitive one.

A standard periodic table for a standard chemistry course.

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Preamble:

Chemistry (more specifically, inorganic chem) was always one of my stronger subjects in high-school.  I enjoyed learning about it all throughout my grade-school years, and even managed to obtain my school’s highest mark award for grade 11 chem.  Given this background, it should not be surprising that I was rather disappointed with my relatively poor performance in university chemistry …  The following should shed some light on the reason(s) for my discombobulation in this course! Continue Reading >>

[#1] – Biology 107 – Introduction to Cell Biology

June 28, 2011 4 comments

This post marks the first of a series of posts in which I will attempt to analyze courses that I have taken in the past.  Each week, I intend to provide an objective review of every class that I have completed thus far in my University career; in the order of least recent, to most recent.  Let’s begin!

Cell biology deals with the microscopic aspects of life.

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Preamble:

Biology was one of my favorite subjects in high school; I found it neither too difficult, nor too easy.  Most importantly, I truly enjoyed the subject matter and possessed a genuine interest for the majority of the topics.

The ‘cramming’ strategy that I had mentioned in my first post had always seemed to work for me.  With that being said, it was my primary way of studying for biology tests. Continue Reading