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Reassurance, please?

  1. Apr 13, 2005 #1
    Reassurance, please?!?

    Does it ever get any easier? I feel like I'm never going to be at the level my professors are! They are all so brilliant and I get so discouraged when I get stuck, only to have them point out something truly basic that I should have seen! Can I ever be that way? When do I start knowing more than I don't know?

    Woo, I feel better already...but some positive feedback about learning curves and such would be greatly appreciated! :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 13, 2005 #2


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    Is your goal to be "as good as your professors"? or to be as good as you can be?

    How old are your professors?

    Lots of people on this website are smarter than me, but I still know more than some of them just because I am older. (and did not give up.)

    Go volunteer at your local high school for a day to remember how far you have come.

    Actually you are lucky your professors know more than you or else you would be at the wrong school. hang out with people as much better than you as possible for as long as possble.

    I once played snooker against a guy who beat me every day for one year before I won my first game. Then when I won one game, the guy complained that I was lucky, and refused to play me any more. I then went over to the other table and found out that now I could beat almost everyone in town.

    My son's single A basketball team played in a 4A tournament and lost all 4 of their games, but by smaller and smaller margins. Then they went back to their regular single A season and advanced to the state final 4. On the way they beat a team that was dropping down from double A just to win a state title.

    Playing with people better than you is good for you.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2005
  4. Apr 13, 2005 #3
    ... wait, I'm lost... you are playing Physics against your professors...?

  5. Apr 13, 2005 #4
    Certainly I want to live up to the best woman I can be, whoever she is. There are those moments, however, where one feels as if there are an infinite number of mountains to climb over. I'm so glad that there are people who can teach me. My frustrations lie in my current inability to see the simple things. I view everything so complexly, thinking that it must be that way, when in fact there is an elegantly simple answer staring me in the face. What I envy is my professors ability to perceive of the simple. Intellectually, I know that it will come to me. The mistakes I made today will hopefully never be repeated. And when another one comes my way tomorrow, I'll learn from that as well. It just sometimes piles up...Thank you for your words of encouragement, however. They were greatly needed and appreciated.
  6. Apr 13, 2005 #5


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    wasn't talking to you i guess pooploops.
  7. Apr 13, 2005 #6


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    That's really the key to it. I remember feeling the way you feel now, and now I am one of those professors. :wink: Though, I don't think it gets easier, because there's always something else you don't know, but eventually you learn to appreciate the wisdom of recognizing what you do and don't know, and enjoy the challenge of continually adding to that list of things you do know.
  8. Apr 14, 2005 #7
    whoa whoa whoa there :)

    Remember that "...thinking that it must be that way, when in fact there is an elegantly simple answer staring me in the face. What I envy is my professors ability to perceive of the simple."

    And these professors teach this stuff for years, day in and day. What appears to be instantaneous comprehension, is rote explanation. Now, I'm sure your professors are still very intelligent, but it takes experience to build up wisdom. And that's what you're after, not brute intellectual strength, which I'm sure you have. As you said, just give it time.

    The best way to build up "wisdom" is to work on stuff outside of class. You could get a book of basic math proofs and try to solve them. You could read a ahead in your texts and come up with questions to ask. Doing more work than everyone else leads to experiences that grant you wisdom.
  9. Apr 14, 2005 #8
    Thanks, all, for the feedback. You've reminded me of things that I already knew, but had temporarily forgotten. I really do just want to be the best I can be. Having left an already successful career in the business world, I know that things develop with time. It's such a hard adjustment, however, to go from being on top (and employed) to climbing another ladder. However, today I hold more faith in myself than not....I guess just another lesson learned: This too shall pass!
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