Motivation by Physics

My Physics teacher in High School taught college before settling down to teach in our school.  Formulae for different physical concepts were given to us in class and then sample problems were solved.  Whatever we were unable to finish in school were given as reading assignment. The way that the subject was taught did not appeal to me and I saw this approach as a disinterest to teach us on the teacher’s part.  This, coupled with the confusion I generally felt during our classes, caused me to become lazy in the subject.  I was able to pass it, though I could have performed better had I tried harder.

When I went off to college, I brought with me my previous notions and attitudes about the subject that I struggled in my Physics 21 class.  I took down notes in class and tried my best to understand the lesson but I never really bothered to answer any of the problem sets given to us because, like I was in high school, I was too lazy to.  By the end of the semester, I found my name on the list of students who needed to take removal exams.  This meant that I’d get a 3 on my class card (a passing grade) if I passed the test or a 5 (a failing grade) if I fail. 

I had never failed a subject in my life so I was naturally anxious.  The day of the exam, I went to school very early (the exam was scheduled at 3 PM but I was in school at 7 AM).  I sat on the less frequented part of the hallways with all my notes and unanswered problem sets and did my best to absorb everything my professor had been teaching us in the semester in the remaining hours.  The need to get a passing grade burned in my mind and I went through the different formulae for computing torque, velocity and everything else three times. My motivation to pass couldn’t have been more extrinsic that time.  Finally, by the last hour, I was able to have a sort of “Eureka!” moment when everything clicked.  Then it was time to take the test.

I remembered thinking to myself while taking the exam, “Why didn’t I try to read my notes before?” as I answered every word problem in the test.  Needless to say, I passed!  Though that was the only Physics subject I needed to take for my course (I shifted to Diliman after a year), I learned that not trying will most certainly cause you to fail.  I was just thankful that I did have the sense to try and be rewarded for it.  🙂

Experience is the Best Teacher 2.0

I was supposed to post an entry about experience (read length of time on the job) being made as an excuse for slacking at work about two weeks ago, right after I posted my homework for Module 1 in Moodle.  I thought better of it because I did not want to make my fourth post sound like a gripes party. 

As I was reading the discussion on Theory in Module 1, there was a passage that struck me. It read, “Although it is often claimed that experience is the best teacher, it is also frequent to misinterpret what we perceive. Tendencies to protect one’s ego and self-esteem stand in the way of making objective conclusions from personal observations” (Introduction to Theories of Learning, n.d.).

I could not have agreed with this statement more.  In some cases, experience prove indispensable when performing a task.  In nursing, for example, you can learn everything about a certain illness all you can but it is the experience you gain from years of practice that actually helps you to become attuned to your patients’ needs.  In other cases, the highlighted sentence from the previous paragraph can also be true.  Oftentimes, as I have sometimes observed in my years working, there are those people who get sidetracked by their position or blinded by their ambition and their pride in having worked longer (in a specific place of work) than somebody else. These people are the ones who spend more of their time fussing about how you should do your job just to hide the fact that they are not doing theirs. Though I agree that tenure deserves a fair amount of respect, it can also become the very reason why double-standards exist in a workplace.    

Now, I shall end here lest this post turns out the way why I actually decided not to post that other post I was talking about earlier. 🙂

More Surprises

I took the self-regulation quiz (SRQ) and the time management test suggested by my FIC, Professor Malou. I scored 250 on the SRQ which meant, according to the article, that I had a high (intact) self-regulation capacity. I think it meant that I had strong self-control. The article said that the SRQ was originally intended to explain how addictive behavior occurs. It was originally tested on alcohol-drinkers. It was interesting for me. I enjoy parties and have even hosted a couple where I myself had mixed the cocktails. What I have never experienced is getting so-drunk-you-had-to-throw-up-afterwards drunk. Whether I drink cocktails, wine or the occasional beer, I had always been conscious of how much I take. I always assumed I was too self-aware that I could not let myself get that drunk! Now I know what to call it: self-regulation.

Now on to time management. I took the test yesterday, after I finished reading Dr. Dewey’s Chapter Zero and was still chiding myself for forgetting to check on the course site after Christmas. I was surprised to find out that I had good time management (I scored 63). Despite that, I know there were some areas that I still needed to improve on, of course, overwhelmed as I felt since Sunday night.

New Year Surprises

Last December, after I was able to enrol for my EDS 103 (Theories in Learning) class this term, I checked on the calendar and was quite happy to find out that the term was still set to start on the 4th of January. I had brought home Activity Sheets that I needed to check and record. I had my students send me files of their Investigation projects to my email, which meant I had to download, check, and comment on around 40 papers during the Holidays. These, I had to send back to their senders so that they could make the necessary corrections and changes in time for the resumption of classes after the New Year’s.

I was able to do all the checking, recording, commenting and emailing I had to do the days following Christmas. We had relatives who flew in from the US which meant we had to attend several parties/ get-togethers on New Year’s day. I cleaned the house on the second and felt quite satisfied with myself that I thought I could reward myself by immersing myself in creating miniatures, a hobby I picked up when I saw this amazing blog on polymer clay a few years back. I spent January 3rd watching movies at home while I looked for potential miniature projects from the web. By Saturday, I made some of the handouts I will use for my class during the 4th quarter. I completely forgot about checking UPOU’s course site.

It was during the priest’s homily on Sunday mass that I suddenly remembered that term had already started. I checked UPOU’s site and saw, to my dismay, that I had missed my FIC’s (faculty-in-charge) posts from a week back. There were links to sites I had to read, clips I had to watch and a blog that I had to create. Needless to say, I was overwhelmed.

I expected that we would have to read and study a lot of theories for this course (after all, it wouldn’t be called Theories of Learning for nothing). I had taken a course on Communication Theories while earning my degree in Communication Research and we pretty much read a lot of books. I just wasn’t prepared for all the introductory materials I needed to go through that were posted even before the term started. I was actually disheartened when I saw the links to the .pdf files. 

There was something, though, to the Welcome message posted by my would-be Professor. Her enthusiasm was so palpable that I actually felt excited about the course. It was also quite refreshing to see that the modules were colourful. They cut through the monotony of long texts in black and white. I have seen how the occasional splash of color can keep students interested in watching PowerPoint presentations in class. In other words, even the modules looked inviting! I will try to look up any study that has looked into this, if there is any. For the meantime, I still have to watch the Metacognition videos for the first module.

My First Blog

Everything has a first, and this is my first-ever blog.  I have wanted to make one for a few years now but never really had any idea what to blog about.  Funny that it had to take a school requirement (for EDS 103 – Theories of Learning) to get me started.  So here I am.

I am not a digital native but I do pride myself in being computer-literate. I know my way around the web but have, for a couple of years now, contented (and entertained) myself by reading other people’s blogs.

Anyway, I hope to learn as much from my new class this term while I learn the ropes in blogging.  I’m quite excited! 😀