An Experimental Exercise in Self-Sufficiency

College is an experimental exercise in self-sufficiency.

All my life, I’ve had great teachers. They care about me, I can relate to them, I developed relationships with them easily. I’ll always look back fondly on my Liverpool roots—that school district is an extension of family for me. I’ve had some great teachers here, too. Rob Busch, my Calc 3 professor, is a particular favorite because he’s not only a great teacher with a broad understanding of math but also makes class nearly a stand-up comedy act. He educates and entertains.

This semester, I have encountered my first teacher who is difficult to understand in a physical way (as opposed to an educational one). One of my professors has a very thick accent and it takes a lot of brainpower to keep up with him during class. He has a great understanding of the material and I like the way the class is set up, but I’ve spent the last few weeks bringing my textbook to class and teaching myself the material and doing practice problems during that time, out of personal preference. I actually like this way a lot because I’ve gotten into the habit of being about half a topic ahead of the class. It gives me a chance not only to stay on top of my homework game, but I can also know in advance which concepts will be difficult to understand ahead of time, so I can pay special attention to the professor’s explanation of that material during lecture to see if that makes the concept any easier.

Having a professor who’s difficult to understand isn’t necessarily a bad thing; you’re bound to encounter a few over the course of your college experience. There will be others whose teaching methods I hate or just can’t relate to. I have another prof who spends the class creating over-detailed examples to explain the concepts, and it bores me half to sleep. But I’m trying to make the best of all the situations because finding a teacher or professor who’s a perfect match is difficult and rare, so I’m going to learn from these experiences and practice the self-reliance.

One of the other things I did all on my own this week was planning for the fall semester. I’m thinking about taking one more class, one about Microsoft computer programs (like Word and PowerPoint and Excel) but there are two classes that both cover that topic. I looked up the professors who are teaching those classes and emailed them about the content of the courses. And now I know which one I’d take if I decide I have room for it! Both of the professors were friendly and pretty helpful, and I was so proud of myself for taking the initiative to figure this out on my own.

I haven’t gotten everything figured out though, and I still need to see my family next weekend. I’m so pumped to come home on Friday! I love you lots.



About Maggie

UB Student. Liverpudlian. Book reader. Food lover. Christian. Writer. Office supply fanatic. Big sister. Math geek. Coffee addict. Listener.
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