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Helped someone do well in a class

  1. May 25, 2014 #1
    My friend's roommate is always so stressed out over school. He spends a ridiculous amount of time studying and always struggles to do well in his classes. It really bothers him. He asked me for advice a couple weeks ago, so we talked about it. We talked about his study habits and I found out what he was doing wrong and offered suggestions. I asked him what he does to study, which was reading notes/the book over and over. I asked if he did any actual practice problems and he didn't. He only read, never actually did any problems that weren't assigned. I suggested to do practice problems (since you know, reading the same things over and over isn't on the test, but problems are). Also, I was able to calm his anxiety about it. Talk to him and get him to relax over it.

    I saw him yesterday and he had told me that he took my advice and ended up doing really well! He incorporated practice problems into his study habits. He even had a direct example of how it helped him. Someone in the class told him an algorithm for solving a certain type of problem. Normally he would just take it as truth, but he tried using it a few times beforehand. He said it kept giving him the wrong answers. So he found another way to solve it that worked. There was a problem on the test like that, he got it right using the way he figured out and the other person got it wrong. He would have gotten it wrong had he not tried it out beforehand.

    He usually struggles for Bs, but with better study habits and because he was way more relaxed, he got an A. I'm pretty proud of him.

    Anyone else help people like this? Any other stories?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 25, 2014 #2


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    A few months ago, I read a weird post on Craigslist - it went something like: My daughter isn't stupid in math, but I am. She is beyond where I can help her and she is struggling. Her grades are falling and I don't know what to do. I have no money, please help us.

    So I did. I tutored her daughter for several months. She wasn't really "stuck" and she certainly was not "stupid in math". She actually had a pretty good understanding of the material. But she was in a bored and apathetic phase, the way some 12-year-olds can get.

    I think seeing her mom take such drastic steps asking for help really made a big impression on her. And seeing me volunteer the time to come help, I want to think, also made a big impression.

    She did fine after just a few weeks. She realized "the world" wasn't going to simply stand by and watch her sink, and that gave her motivation to keep trying.
  4. May 25, 2014 #3


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    I go to a school with a large homeless population, so everyday when I go to the dining hall and eat I make bagels or sandwiches and go outside to feed them. I would get them chocolate bars as well.
  5. May 25, 2014 #4


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    This should be part of a standard mandatory "lecture" at the start of every academic year. It took me quite a while to realize the truth of it.

    In my final year, I remember studying in the library with some classmates. I was working some problems while another (bottom-of-the-class) guy was just reading the lecture notes. I tried to badger him into actually attempting some problems, but failed to convince him. He seemed strangely lazy: happy to read, but unwilling to try even one problem.

    It's a crucial truth that should be thumped into students' heads quite early.
  6. May 26, 2014 #5


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    What? You mean they have nothing to bring for lunch? Ker-riste!
  7. May 26, 2014 #6
    I once volunteered to teach differential calculus to blind students but I din't get the approval they had someone better than me,, but I got to teach differential equations to poor students. We 12th std got some experience and poor students got free educations. I'm gonna continue to volunteer once my college starts. It's an awesome experience. We were ofcource not handed the full responsibility,, the program was for the benefits of both volunteers and students. We had professionals to keep a watch on us.
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