Friday, October 22, 2004

Quote Book & 150%

Recently, I began keeping Quote Book. Quote Book is gradually being filled with funny, thought-provoking, interesting, and otherwise noteworthy quotes I hear throughout my day -- usually from people at school. Quote Book gains a few new quotes every weekday...what can I say? I know some pretty darn interesting people.

Recent additions to Quote Book:

  • "Why? Because I'm a nerd, that's why." - MSP
  • "I'm pretty sure that's what's holding my car together -- bumper stickers." - KJF
  • "I don't have the money to put you all on a plane for somewhere fun and warm and where the legal drinking age is seventeen." - MSP
  • "A mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled." - Plutarch
  • "You know the proverb, 'All things come to he who waiteth'? I like to amend that...I say, 'All things come to he who waiteth and worketh like hell while he waiteth.'" -MSP

Middleface to this post: You know, I'm not against bad language. In fact, I think there is a time and a place for it...but obviously not all the time, everywhere. I'm glad that I have this viewpoint, because if I used bad language all the time, what on earth would I say when confronted with something really awful?

I had a really, really good conversation with ms-prof and a buddy of mine tonight; we talked for nearly two hours after class finished. The main focus of our discussion was on how the public school system is so obscenely dumbed-down; how students are applauded for anything they do, whether or not their work is good and worthy of praise; how undiscipline, mediocrity, and poor work has become so accepted. This brought to the surface so much stuff for me; I am so sick of being surrounded by people who do half-assed work and then get mad at me when I do well. Case in point: Today I received my third A in French class. There is a girl in my class who makes a point of asking me how I do on the tests and, when I tell her, gets so miffed and acts like such a jerk. I figure if she didn't want to know, she shouldn't've asked. If she wanted to do well in that class, she should be in the Learning Lab by 8:30 each morning, getting things taped, making flashcards, too; yes, I have a natural propensity for languages, but I still work my butt off, to ensure good grades. She can study and be a good student, or, fine. She is welcome to wallow in her mediocrity, but I want her bad attitude to leave me and my A's alone.

I love doing well in school. A couple semesters ago, I was working 43+ hours a week in an incredibly high-stress environment, and taking 18 credits. There was no time to study, as I was in school from 8:30 am through 3 pm, and worked from 3 until 10:30 or later; I live half an hour away, so a usual day involved me being out from 7:45 AM until 11:15 PM or so. I cannot exist on fewer than six hours of sleep; I get physically ill (and, um, why am I sitting here instead of sleeping? I got two hours of sleep last night because I was so stressed out about my French test; for at least 5 days before a test, I don't sleep well, and I hardly eat anything. It's like I go through anorexic phases ten times per semester). I failed two classes. Failed. I'd never failed a class before. I totally lost all confidence in my ability as a student, and had such a low opinion of myself; I thought I was stupid -- because how else could I fail even one class? Even now, when I get straight A's, I still don't have confidence in my ability. My professors love me, they uphold me as a good example; tonight, in fact, ms-prof read aloud one of my answers (he actually didn't say it was mine, because "I don't want to embarrass [this student" but, heh, I have my answers memorized) for the test we took a week ago, and applauded it, saying it was excellent and just the kind of answer he was looking for...and that he hadn't, prior to reading my answer, even been aware of some of the facts I presented. That's what I like to hear. :D

The conversation we had tonight motivated me even more -- I am going to conquer math. Maths and sciences have never been my forte, and I thought they were just subjects that I would never understand. He told me tonight that math is a skill, math is a really good skill to have, and that being skilled in mathematics opens so many doors. Conquering math is no different than conquering a language or a musical instrument, and I have proven multiple times that I'm capable of doing those things. Tonight when I got home, I pulled out my old Algebra II book; there were some concepts in there that I still have trouble with, and I am going to figure them out. I finished my Intro to College Algebra course with a B, and I know I can do better than that. I'm sick of being intimidated by math.

Another point ms-prof made tonight that hit home was about how, when a professor tells you that you need to do that much to get a good grade on the test, why do only that much?! Why not do THIS MUCH, and have complete knowledge of the subject?

I'm starting Nicholas Nickleby, by Charles Dickens; I feel like such a sponge, wanting to soak up as much knowledge as possible.


4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't forget "I hate it when I say things that I don't understand."

Heh.

Anonymous said...

Math is a wonderful subject. I struggled with it at the beginning through college, taking all the tutoring I could get, but then later it started coming for me easier. I dropped the tutor after algebra and made it through Cal 1 with A's. I would still like to go back later and take higher courses. It's like eventually your brain moves in a different direction going, "okay. fine. you want me to think this way? fine" and you can wrap your brain around those previously annoying concepts.
It gets better, is what I'm saying. At least, for me it did.

Anyway... no more tales from my college days for now. ha.
*abbey

Chera said...

Hope you get further with Mr. Nickleby than I did! I only got through 350 some-odd pages before I had to turn it into the library this afternoon. I'm considering borrowing it again in the near future and picking up where I left off. ;-)

Sir James said...

Fellow sponge, I pray you never loose your spongeliness. It's sad to school with so many who don't care that they're in college. Posts like this one make me happy. :-)