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December 10, 2018, 09:52:11 pm

Author Topic: A turtle's exploration of the world of science & leadership  (Read 2506 times)

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miniturtle

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Re: A turtle's exploration of the world of science & leadership
« Reply #30 on: November 06, 2018, 11:06:57 pm »
0
I'm sure these Honours students would be more than happy to discuss their presentations; I know I would.

Also, with regards to MTH1030 (I assume by the tense you're finishing with it soon), it might be comforting to know that I've been down that rabbit hole before and struggled in that unit too. You're not alone in that mentality, but, as you said, it's definitely a humbling experience to really learn more than anything.

Good luck with the rest of your exams. :)

Thank you!

Yeah, I've got the MTH1030 exam next week (who schedules an exam for 6-8pm on a Monday??), so you did infer accurately. It is good to hear your thoughts on that too :)
VCE: Sciences, eng lang & methods
2018: Science Advanced - Global Challenges (Honours) @ Monash

Leadership  ; Scientific Methodology ; Wanting to stay productive?
Psychology Weekly Research Methods Practice

PhoenixxFire

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Re: A turtle's exploration of the world of science & leadership
« Reply #31 on: November 06, 2018, 11:21:08 pm »
+3
As for the rest of this entry, this is going to be less course-focused and more personal so feel free to skip :)
I wasn't quite sure what to focus this section on, but in the end I picked my maths journey since it's somewhat relevant to VCE students now
probably more backstory than really warranted in this
Like many kids I suppose, I liked being around my mum. So when she was studying (accounting) at home, I would often be sitting next to her & in my boredom I would play with the scientific calculator on the table - trying to make sentences from  "sin" "cos" "tan" "log" etc. Sometimes I'd ask what particular things meant, and depending on the difficulty mum might explain it to me.

I guess this is why when I was doing maths in primary school it never seemed threatening or scary. I associated only positive memories with it with it (except for that time I only got 39/40 on a maths test and broke down crying in front of my classmates (I was that student) ) and it wasn't very difficult. Overtime I got used to making more mistakes, and English was my strongest subject, but rarely if ever did I have difficulty understanding maths concepts. Teachers said they'd deliver extended work but well, teachers have multiple classes and a range of students in each class. They never got around to it. I was frequently frustrated by the slow pace of school mathematics & felt that many years had been wasted not learning anything. So when the advanced maths class for year 10 maths clashed with units 1&2 of biology, I talked the school into letting me take biology and attend a standard math class, but I'd learn and be assessed on the advanced content through teaching myself & getting the other class' tests.

That worked out ok, but then when I started units 1&2 of methods next year I didn't know how to ask for help. Afterall, wouldn't it be hypocritical of me to not easily understand all of the concepts when I'd been complaining about school maths being easy? I'd been learning without a teacher in the previous year, so why couldn't I just do that this year? In the final exam we had, I didn't use a summary book and I borrowed someone else's CAS 10 minutes before the exam started yet scored 100%. That settled it then, I didn't actually need help or ask questions when it came to maths - I could do it all on my own.

At the start of next year I talked to a friend who also had aptitude for maths. We agreed that it didn't matter which one of us got dux (since we assumed it'd most likely be one of us) because we'd both do well on the exam anyway. Throughout the year I encouraged them to study and prepare for SACs, we worked through problems together, worked out short cuts and coded programs to use on our CASs. They still didn't do nearly as much practice as me, but this was someone who had learnt some VCE math content in year 8 for fun.

When it came time for the first SAC I had already completed all of the relevant questions in Checkpoints and felt quite confident. That changed. My teacher, it turned out, had a knack for creating problems more difficult than even MAV. Some of the questions were very reasonable, but my confidence shattered like glass and I couldn't think. I needed the answer from part a) to complete the rest of the question - but the solve function and my mind just weren't cutting it. Towards the end I finally figured it out, and rushed the rest of the questions; but not before breaking down in class when the teacher noticed me staring at the front page and asked if I was ok. At that point I wasn't even seeing the question, I was seeing my future rushing away from me. If I couldn't even do remotely well on this first SAC, then why should I do well in methods at all? I wouldn't. And I was confident so my other subjects I was confident in? Nope. I must be destined to perform poorly in those as well. My future seemed written in stone - I would be the great disapointment who showed a spark of potential and self-immolated in it. I got 53% on that SAC - my first SAC of year 12 (not the kind of thing you usually hear from people who got 98 ATARs but it's the type of thing you should probably hear more often).

After that SAC, I struggled to believe in my mathematical ability but was still too stubborn and self-concious to ask for help. I would answer questions well in class and when it came to the SACs I would be consumed by doubt and forgetfulness - which resulted in making a lot of "stupid errors". Over the course of the year it became clear that my aforementioned friend would get rank 1, despite me explaining concepts or questions to them more commonly than the reverse.


 In the revision lectures I went to I was the one answering questions, and a lecturer (not AN this was a school organised one) told me I'd probably get 45+. (That would've been nice.) Finally it was exam 1 day. I'd completed lots of practice exams and learnt from them, so I was getting around 100% on exam one and a bit lower on exam 2. I walked into the year 12 study room to wish people good luck and my friend/rank 1 told me I was going to be annoyed at them. I learnt that they had not done any preperation. That they had only written a sentence in their english exam, and were "screwed already so why bother trying". 

They were wrong - "annoyed" wasn't the most accurate description of my emotions at that point in time.

I worked my way through the exam, and attempted the last question early so I knew how to pace myself for the rest of the exam. My answer didn't work with VCAAs graph (it was actually the right answer, VCAAs graph was just weird) so I crossed it out and tried again. And again. And again. And in that moment, the graph was almost like the graph at the start of my first maths SAC.

This is not a story where I get a 45+ study score for methods. Because I didn't. I only got a B+ on that exam - and that alone would have been enough to make 45+ impossible.

This is a story about how I went home and cried, realising that my study score wouldn't amount to what maybe it could have been. Realising that my SAC scores would be low and probably my exam 1 score as well. It's a story about after hours of failing to do anything remotely productive I practiced math problems through my tears until they went away. I did better on exam 2 than exam 1.

When I got my ATAR my main reaction was disapointment at my methods score - I scored a C+ for my SACs.
It meant I would never tutor methods. It meant I wasn't a maths person. It meant I was less than I thought I was.
I'm not usually a vindicative person, but I was glad that rank 1 didn't dux methods

In my sem 1 maths subject, MTH1020, I cruised at the start and stopped putting in any reasonable effort in towards the end (I got bored because the content felt too easy and familiar). I still got a decent score, but it was certainly less than my potential. In my sem 2 maths subject MTH1030 I have not been cruising. I've been reminding myself that I'm here to learn - not to already know everything.

Now when I look at my maths scores, it means I'm learning. I'm trying. And so what if I don't full-mark the exam? That's just a reminder that I can keep learning and making progress.

It has taken a while, but my methods score doesn't mean all that much to me now. Maybe it was even a good thing - maybe without wanting to "prove myself" after methods I wouldn't have taken MTH1030 and wouldn't have the opportunity to do more maths next year.


The takeaways for year 12s reading this:
- it's ok if your  exam 1 desn't go as well as planned, there's always exam 2
- it's ok if your study score isn't what you wanted it to be
- it's ok if you feel a whole bunch of emotions about it anyway
- those emotions change overtime
- it's healthy to let go a bit of wanting to look smart / not wanting to look unintelligent


Best of luck to all of you :)

(questions are allowed if you ever have them)

Thanks for posting this mt <3

(Also, good luck for your math exam)
2016: Psychology [37]
2017: Biology [44], English Language
2018: Environmental Science, Further Math, Outdoor Ed, English

miniturtle

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Re: A turtle's exploration of the world of science & leadership
« Reply #32 on: November 14, 2018, 04:51:47 pm »
+7
I've finished exams! 
Still got course related things tomorrow and the day after but that's by choice so this is kind of the end of another academic year.

Today was enviro bio which is the first exam I've done on a laptop and I have to say that eassessment isn't all that bad for multiple choice.  We could highlight (in several colours), type notes,  flag questions we were unsure of etc. (And unlike normal,  we didn't have to use our phones to log on)

I found having an evening exam (maths) difficult & feel like I could've done better but the exam was fair and I think I did alright.

I still need to reenrol, chase up what's happening with the yr8 stem camp, and start working on my business for next year   but I'm glad to have assessment over. 

This isn't the end of my uni journey journal for this year,  but it is an end of sorts so...

emotional intelligence journey
One of the things I've been working on this year is my emotional intelligence.  The first this was really raised to me was at Alpine School in year 9. One of the things that the school is supposed to teach you is independence, but I was soon told that I was too independent and that I should focus on interdependence (and maybe actually ask people for help, open up to others more etc). This set the foundation for later leadership work on emotional intelligence, and since last year at RYLA I've been thinking about the power of vulnerability in particular.  This year I wanted to improve my emotional intelligence & specifically explore the power of vulnerability more - and both AN and GC have been integral to this. 

In GC this has manifested in my speeches as well as conversations in and out of the classroom. My main weakness in public speaking has previously been lack of emotional expression whereas now uneven distribution of eye contact is probably a bigger issue.  I've discussed my emotions  transparently more often and been significantly more open about things I dislike/d about myself and my past. 

At the start of this year I didn't know whether to make a journey journal or not because "it'd be boring and it wouldn't be interesting because I'm too closed off" (thanks fellow mods for telling me to make one anyway) but it's safe to say that I've been more expressive than I originally thought I would be. 

I've been humbled by the trust and openness of other users - whether by pm or on forums -  and their willingness to share their emotions and experiences. Sometimes I occasionally see an aspect of myself in others' words and more often than not I get to see a perspective I otherwise might’ve never known.  I'm proud and grateful for how supportive the AN community is - which wouldn't be possible without vulnerability.

Thank you
VCE: Sciences, eng lang & methods
2018: Science Advanced - Global Challenges (Honours) @ Monash

Leadership  ; Scientific Methodology ; Wanting to stay productive?
Psychology Weekly Research Methods Practice

miniturtle

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Re: A turtle's exploration of the world of science & leadership
« Reply #33 on: December 04, 2018, 10:48:17 pm »
+15
I've reenrolled. The STEM camp has been pushed back to next year due to paperwork issues *sigh* and I've done a fair bit of work on my business. I'm hoping that starting early makes next year less stressful, and that some small amount of profit might be produced. Things still aren't 100% how I'd like them to be, but got to start somewhere right?

I'll also be speaking to my highschool's 2019 year 12 cohort and might be helping out at a Monash science camp for high school students next year, but I'm not sure yet.

I've kind of been a burnt-out and sleep deprived mess for the past 2 weeks, but I seem to be functioning better this week so hopefully the next few days are also alright. Sleep deprivation in particular puts me in an oversharing mode so hopefully I don't derail this thread too much with that ahaha.

Uni grades are out and I'm happy with my marks. haven't scored below 70 in anything and a 70 average is what I need for my course so I'm content with that. I'm not sure if this has been at all noticeable from changes to my signature, (all study scores > just ATAR > neither) but I've been learning to let go of academic perfectionism and grades. Being in a different environment has definitely helped with this; I don't know if I could have adopted this mindset in high school.

I've done a little bit of prelearning for some of my maths next year and will probably continue that over the holidays, but it seems like I don't have access to the Mathematics and Learning Centre on Moodle atm, which is a bit sad.


Looking back I've had a lot of growth and development this year - which is what I really wanted - so although some things have been less than ideal I have a lot to be grateful for.


One of those is the people I have been around so thank you:

- to J41, for your support and encouragement - both this year and last
- to K8, for reaching out & your kindness
- to Calebark, for being AN's favourite reptile
- to Insanipi, for bringing brightness
- to PF, because how could I not feel rapport with you
- to Poet, for the courageous openness that builds connection
- to AngelWings, for the guidance of your wings
- to the math mods, for your dedicated examples
 I could go on forever so I'll wrap this up with:
- to everyone who interacted with the psych section this year - you made being a mod mean something
- to the other mods and the mods before - you've built these foundations
- to the users - this community is for you
VCE: Sciences, eng lang & methods
2018: Science Advanced - Global Challenges (Honours) @ Monash

Leadership  ; Scientific Methodology ; Wanting to stay productive?
Psychology Weekly Research Methods Practice