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So how many people in your school were pretty stupid?

  1. Mar 7, 2005 #1
    Actually, the real question was too big for the subject. It is:

    "How many people in your physics and chemistry (and other science) classes just memorized equations, and actually had no idea how it worked or what the equations meant?"

    For me, around 50%. Which is pretty funny when the teacher throws a wrench in a test and asks for a logical explanation of whatever the unit is about.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 7, 2005 #2

    I can count on my two hands the number of people i've met who have not been utter morons. Can't say the same for the number who were utter morons.

    Of course, the fact that i can count to 1023 on my two hands is entirely irrelevant. :biggrin:
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2005
  4. Mar 7, 2005 #3
    If we mean 'dumb' by only just memorizing the questions, working ONLY through past papers to get through tests.. then i'd say pretty much all of our school is like that.

    I won't say i'm the best at my subjects (because im not) but i find that investigating in the specific subject into more detail extra-curricular, understanding the work, THEN doing the questions much more fun and demanding. But hey, when is life not demanding?
  5. Mar 7, 2005 #4
    i completely agree. most(all) of my classmates are ready to cram. all they are interested in is something that will get them good marks. they hardly think beyond the textbooks.

    though i try to think beyond textbook, but i must admit that it always results in me getting less marks than others.

    does this mean that what they are doing is better?
  6. Mar 7, 2005 #5
    You must be prepared to sacrifice all your time for the curricular activities AND private research.
  7. Mar 7, 2005 #6


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    Usually,in my HS and even later in college,most of the girls are both pretty & stupid...They can be called "pretty stupid",huh...?:tongue2:

  8. Mar 7, 2005 #7


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    Pretty much all of them.

    Standard way of making a HS physics exam:

    After reading the question and getting an idea about what topic it is in, get out your booklet with all the formulas.

    Look at the symbols in the question:
    "Hmm, there an x and a [itex]\delta[/itex] and this swirly [itex]\xi[/itex] thingy."

    Then look at the formulas in your book and compare:
    "Hey, this equation has a swirly thingy in it too!"

    Plug in the given numbers and use your best judgement which number belongs to which symbol.

    End result is usually a 5.5 or a 6, which is sufficient. An 5 is not so bad too, because it can be compensated by learning lots of german/french/english words anyway.

    High school education... :yuck:
  9. Mar 7, 2005 #8
    thats not very fair. statements like that are why i used to never want to be smart....

    At my school there were a lot of kids like that, but my physics/calc teacher was much more about understanding, so it was harder to just memorize formulas and do well in our class. thats also why i really liked math tutoring. It gave me the opportunity to help kids really understand the things they were learning.
  10. Mar 7, 2005 #9


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    But u do agree that beautiful girls which are also smart are pretty rare,huh...?That's what i meant...

  11. Mar 7, 2005 #10


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    Beautiful females and intelligent females are both rare. The same goes for beautiful males and intelligent males. It only follows that any person that is both beautiful and intelligent is going to be even more rare. Which is why Gale and I are so exceptional.
  12. Mar 7, 2005 #11
    Ooook... i was going to reply with something very long.. but i realized it was pretty off topic. No i don't agree that beautiful girls who're also smart are rare. I believe people who can see girls as both beautiful and smart are rare.
  13. Mar 7, 2005 #12
    HAHAH... thanks.... flattered... but really, i don't think it should be such a big deal about beauty and brains. a lot of people have said some mean things about my looks, and about as many have belittled the way i think. Its all in the eye of the beholder. Really.
  14. Mar 7, 2005 #13


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    I have no clue what you look like. I was just trying to be clever.
  15. Mar 7, 2005 #14
    Oh gee thanks then.... that makes me feel super good. My pic's in the photo thread, i just posted some recent ones. Thats still besides the point though.
  16. Mar 7, 2005 #15


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    Awesome. You look short. I'm in there at #879.
  17. Mar 7, 2005 #16
    Wow, way to abduct a thread. Anyway, I just always thought it was pathetic when people would memorize things just to get good grades.

    Like for instance in AP chemistry, there was some girl who was known to be an 'A' student. I got a slightly better grade than her on the test and she was getting upset. She was saying how I don't deserve it because I don't work hard and I didn't study my formulas (which I dont work hard and didnt study). The first question on the test was 'in an Ideal gas, how does raising the pressure generally affect the temperature?'...so I covered her test and asked her the exact same question out loud (i had seen that she made up numbers and worked through the entire ideal gas law) and she just said something to the effect of "How should I know that without working it out?"

    I just walked away. No one else really got it (they all functioned basically the same as her) although I heard my chemistry teacher start laughing in the background.

    I don't see what good memorizing does. I've helped a lot of people with their science, and a lot of them get mad when I try to help them truly understand it. It's a lot more important, for example, to know how to figure out that D=.5at^2 than it is to just memorize it.
  18. Mar 7, 2005 #17


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    I do a lot of tutoring myself and I've given up on trying to get people to actually understand what they study. Honestly, I just give them shortcuts and advise them on easy ways to memorize formulae and recognize where they should be used. It allows them to get passing grades, which is what they wanted from me in the first place. People like this are not going to be scientists in the future anyway. Just let them get this requirement out of the way and move on to the subjects they are better at.
  19. Mar 7, 2005 #18
    92%, probably. :P
    But in Biology, the people that memorize are getting the 90s (And will probably get around 70s-80s in Physics.. I know people that have), while I'm getting 60s and 70s in the tests... (90 in Physics)
    I wonder why that is! :rofl:
    Oh, and personal question, do you happen to be the same KingNothing who visits several Anime boards? :devil:
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2005
  20. Mar 7, 2005 #19
    I think really its a problem of how we give out grades to kids. Why should anyone bother to understand when we'll give you an A for just memorizing things. I don't think we can blame your peers, blame the school system and your teachers. A kid does whats best for their grades, because that's what everyone tells them that matters. Of course they're going to do exactly what it takes to get A's and nothing more.
  21. Mar 7, 2005 #20
    Not that I am all that smart, but I blew the test curve for my first High School Chemistry test by 30 points (I got 100% plus the extra credit correct). Several "top ten" students were in that class and a few of them threatened me not to do that again.
  22. Mar 7, 2005 #21
    When im studying, I'm driven nearly only by my pure rage and hatred (and interest in natural sciences). For example when studying maths. In our school, there are people who study both further and normal maths. I was quite unfortunate and got into the normal maths class (We had a choice) because i first thought that maths would be 'too hard'.

    Now i relise that whatever subject it is, if you enjoy it, chances are you will do fine. So now, to take my anger and rage out, i study maths that is very extra-curricular (I'm not saying im always smart enough to understand it, because im not) just to annoy those pesky, ****ing, cocky further maths students.
  23. Mar 7, 2005 #22
    I've had a similar situation happen to me in chemistry as well (it was on the ideal gases) where I ended up screwing up everyone's curve. Ever since then I am getting these subtle indications that im a threat to everyone else's GPA... an unpleasant side effect of the competitive academic system. I do agree with some of the earlier posters that learning and understanding the material is far more justifiable than pure memorization; I am one of the few that tries to learn in this manner, unfortunately not many of my peers (who are also fairly bright but I don't necessarily agree with their study habits) have the same gumption towards learning.
  24. Mar 7, 2005 #23
    Too many.
    That's partly the reason I did a physics degree, to prove to myself I wasn't that kind of person.
  25. Mar 7, 2005 #24


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    In my physics class everyone knows what they are doing. Anyway once I had a test, in the question it said to prove something and show calculations. I thought about just stating the theory and that is why my answer (for previous question) is correct. But then the question stated to "show calculations" so I thought that was wrong way to do it. I showed all sides to calculation, one side went to results that are among the complex numbers, thus my answer is correct.

    Next day I got my test back. I got the question wrong because the teacher said she wanted me to just explain the theory and say "thats why my answer is right". I was so close to 100%, but just from that question, makes me feel stupid.

    Anyway in programming class everyone just memorizes how to do things. I had a competition today for computers, it went fine except for one thing. There was a problem. Our group were allowed to use any language we wanted, so for a question we decided to use Turing, little did we know of the bug "On certain machines Turing crashed when it was started". So close our program worked great and could've boosted to first place(everyone was roughly at the number of points) I hate it when these things happen. Full list of bugs http://www.holtsoft.com/turing/support/#releasenotes [Broken][scroll down to "known bugs" for 4.0.3] It has other stupid bugs. Next year I we'll do much better.

    And something funny happened last semester that relates to this "memorizing" thing. Anyway on the exam for my computer class If I got perfect, because my marks were so good I would get 99%(Exciting isn't it). I got perfect on the exam except for one thing. I didn't know the years/names of specific people and what they did. And that was mainly what the exam was about. Just a few questions on the rest of the stuff. Anyway I was happy with my mark(Which allows it to be funny but makes me feel stupid for not memorizing those people)

    Anyway on the day of when I may see my exam. I asked the teacher about it and he said "Just memorize once its only the ciriculum for this current course grade level and never have to know those people ever again" Or something similar. He doesn't know them, just looks up in his notes.

    Oh the most funniest event(I am so proud of this one). When I was in grade10, I had to do the literacy test. I was the worst student in the English class(I past with 54%) . There was this student that got 90's on everything. And hated me for whatever reason(Actually I always tend to go to the smart kids [group work etc..] so I would be smarter. But in English I don't understand it well.(Math is my first language :wink: ) Well what happened on the literacy test, I past, and the top English student failed. I felt happy inside(I couldn't show my happiness to the failure, therefore its inside)(very happy) because I am not good in English and I past (top student failed). It was so Ironic.
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  26. Mar 7, 2005 #25


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    I'm doing bad in Calculus right now because it is boring as ****.

    If I wanted to do Applied Mathematics, I would have taken Physics (which I'm taking). Teach me math for ****s sake.

    Yes, I'm mad at the school for wasting my money.
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