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March 26, 2019, 07:11:54 pm

Author Topic: A turtle's exploration of the world of science & leadership  (Read 3195 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  Research Methods Practice

AN Science Games Jan 7-31

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)
2019: B Environment and Sustainability/B Science @ ANU
courses
BIOL1003 (Biology 1: Evolution, Ecology, and Genetics)
CHEM1101 (Chemistry 1)
EMSC1006 (The blue planet: An introduction to Earth system science)
SCOM1001 (science communication 1: Science and public awareness)

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 »
+6
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 mightíve 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  Research Methods Practice

AN Science Games Jan 7-31

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 »
+14
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  Research Methods Practice

AN Science Games Jan 7-31

miniturtle

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Re: A turtle's exploration of the world of science & leadership
« Reply #34 on: February 24, 2019, 12:38:26 pm »
+9
Abbreviation help: GC = Global Challenges = my course, Bachelor of Science Advanced Ė Global Challenges (Honours.). We can pretend that calling it GC makes the title seem less pretentious :P

Itís been a decent while since my last post on here, so I thought Iíd catch you up on whatís been happening with me. There have been a few catch-ups for a range of events but excluding those:

December:
Helped out with course interviews. This involved greeting the applicants, trying to soothe their nerves a bit, providing info about the course and being involved in discussions with staff about the interview process etc.

January:
More volunteering for course interviews. Mainly international applicants in these ones.

Spoke about science and my motivations for studying it at MySci, a Monash event run by the science faculty for high school students studying science. One of the graduating GC students spoke with me, and they were from the team doing an honours project I was highly interested in (sustainable sourcing of food for zoo animals), so it was an added bonus to be able to chat with them.

Led group discussions / q&a about studying science at SEAMS camp, a Monash event run by Access Monash for students studying science. At the training for this I networked with other Access Monash mentors and it happened that one of them would be a mentor leader for my mentor group.

February:
Couldnít go to pre enrollment as I was camping with friends at the time, but a coursemate who went to a few of the interview days was there and able to speak with them so at least they could still get a 2nd year perspective. Also didn't speak to the year 12s from my highschool as I was unwell on that day.

Access Monash Mentor training was better this year than last imo. The activity which people seemed to get the most from was one about examining privilege and recognising that if a mentee isnít engaged there could be a bunch of reasons why that have nothing to do with us, the mentors, or their choices. Having gone to a highly underrepresented school myself it was strange to see people going through the activity and not pitying people in those situations but seeming to make a bigger deal of them than myself or my classmates seemed to. I donít think Iím doing a great job of explaining it, and obviously the same situation can have different impacts on different people, but it just felt kinda weird.

I participated in the first year global challenges camp as a mentor which was a brilliant experience. The incoming cohort are a brilliant group of people, and I hope that our year levels keep interacting with each other throughout the degree. We (the mentors) were also able to run an activity, which was particularly fantastic. Weíll be writing up a guide so that it can be ran again on future camps; I hope that future years find it as beneficial and engaging.

The day after camp was an amazing race mass^3 (Monash Advanced Science and Science Scholar Society) ran for the first year students. Seeing as Iím the events co-ordinator for mass^3, it was slightly stressful to have this the day after camp but we still managed to get things sorted. There was a roughly even balance of GC and research students (in terms of participants and volunteers) which was fantastic to see as I hoped for the event to help bridge the gap between research and GC.


Feb isnít over yet, but the only other GC event Iíll be part of this month is an o-week welcome bbq where all year levels of GC will be mixing. All of the first years should be there and several people from my cohort have indicated that theyíll be there too.




Thankyou everyone for all of your support last year; it's great to dive into this one :)

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

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

AN Science Games Jan 7-31

miniturtle

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Re: A turtle's exploration of the world of science & leadership
« Reply #35 on: March 16, 2019, 12:51:55 pm »
+7
I've avoided the month of absence warning!

My schedule each week looks something like this:
Monday:
8am - 10am  math tutorial (got the same tutor as I had for MTH1030 last sem which is fantastic!)
11am-12       math lecture
3pm - 5pm    ecology lab
 
Tuesday
8am - 10am   math tutorial
10am - 1pm   GC workshop
1pm - 2pm     math lecture
2pm onwards I usually hang around chatting with other GCers and studying

Wednesday to Friday I have the remainder of my lectures, which I livestream from home. Livestreaming is great since it allows me not to travel in & I get to sleep in rather than waking up super early.


Impact through science
I thought that 2nd year would be my least favourite in terms of GC, but I'm really enjoying it so far. Sure, creating a pitch deck and being assessed on it within the first 2 weeks of classes is stressful and we'll probably all get bad scores since the rubric criteria was essentially impossible (eg. one of the HD requirements was world-standard design & another was having the person marking your work consider investing), BUT there's something nice about doing things despite a high chance of failure. (If anyone wants to actually look at my pitch deck lmk & I'll send you a link.)
In other business-related news, I've updated the website with new prices & improved its formatting. Unfortunately, in making the homepage better on desktop I made it terrible on mobile & tablet so I'm going to need to add some more CSS in there to fix that (shouldn't be too hard but I haven't gotten around to it). I've got a meeting with my co-founder next week, which will be great to get more clarity on things (plus I'm also keen to just see them again) :)
On Wednesday my cohort had the chance to meet with some great people with experience in start-ups who shared their stories, answered our questions and talked to us about our businesses; I'm grateful to everyone for being so involved and making time in their busy schedules to be there.
Next week we'll be digging more into our business ideas & I'm keen to see more about what people are planning - it was hard to get a deep nderstanding in the 1 minute pitches due to the very short timeframe. We'll also get to hear more about internships & exchange which I'm very keen for. I've waited to contact organisations about interning there until this so it'll be great to have this session.

Other science
We had our first field trip for ecology last week in the Dandenong Ranges. Plant identification was very difficult, even with the guidebooks and notes we were given - I can't wait to get more proficient at this, and I think I'll look up common species in advance before our next field trip (to the ocean!!!). I'm hoping to get some experience doing research this year but I don't have specific plans around that yet. I'll attend the CURIE (undergrad research center) invitational on Tuesday & I'm keeping my eye out for opportunities through the biological society - if anyone has advice I'd be happy to hear it :).

My math units have been mostly covering prior knowledge so far but I'm sure things are going to get more challenging as semester progresses. I was sent an email at one point saying that I'd gotten a very low score in the diagnostic test and to withdraw from the unit before census date, and a few hours later another email saying that that was an admin error due to my scores not being entered in Moodle. I was shocked by first first email and still apprehensive after the second so it was good to get confirmation in my tute that my diagnostic scores were ok.


Access Monash

I've now been matched with 2 mentees in the Access Monash program and accepted the community leader's scholarship. I met one last week and will meet the other tomorrow - it's good to be working with VCE students this year (and both of them are interested in biology so double-win). I hope they both continue with the program rather than dropping out, but I can only wait and see what happens I guess.


I hope you've all had a great start to semester! :)
VCE: Sciences, eng lang & methods
2018: Science Advanced - Global Challenges (Honours) @ Monash

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

AN Science Games Jan 7-31