Weekend Question Thread

Were you a good student?

I was not as good a student as I could have been, because I am lazy. I did my homework and studied for tests but the only classes I really did well in were the ones I wanted to do well in. I did the thing I hate so much now, where I decided I couldn’t learn certain things and wasn’t “a math person” and just sort of gave up on math/science. Granted, my brain doesn’t naturally work that way, but I could have worked harder at it.


10 thoughts on “Weekend Question Thread

  1. Horrible student. Horrible person. Decent test-taker.
    When I first started college, I was in engineering and the tracks for first-year EE students were pretty narrow because of the amount of required coursework, so you ended up taking calculus at 7:30am. I’d gotten some AP calc credits in HS (not a full year, that would have meant studying, but I tested out of a semester or so) but had to finish more for engineering, natch.
    Never been a morning person, first time away from home, living in an all-male co-op with about 50 other low-budget students (at the time, 1979, first-year students were required to live in University-approved housing and the co-ops were the cheapest thing going). Shared a study room with a couple other guys; it was barracks bunkbed sleeping with everyone on the third floor. 7:30 in one of the old buildings on the Oregon State campus with the steam heat turned up in the winter. I’m never going to make it through a class without falling asleep. Ended up having to take all my math classes twice, even after I moved to UofO in CompSci, because some sort of weird precedent had been set for falling asleep in math classes.

  2. Through high school I was VERY good student and didn’t have to put out very much effort. I also did extremely good on the SAT and ACT (good as in good enough to qualify for a number of scholarships). College was a different story, but that’s usually how it is when you start out in a small town.

  3. I was a fair student when it involved the English language, never a math person and I let that define me until I grew frustrated/bored with college and walked away in the first semester of my senior year. Now I’m back in college and while I love the five week courses and the faster pace of online learning, I’m finding myself feeling the strain while I retake math. I always swore that I’d become good at math when I had an application that would require me to be good. But instead I’m finding myself frustrated trying to master skills that so many take for granted.

  4. i was lazy. but i did my homework in study hall, procrastinated doing papers, but i did them well under time pressure. BUT I HATED EQUATIONS cause of dyslexia, plus higher math + science. NO WANT. i much preferred history. now, dyslexia is PERFECT for shakespeare. i guess english was easy. i was a reader. i should have taken the SAT. of course my ACT math score better. i am good at multiple choice.
    i am still pissed about a C+ on a paper on cannibalism i did, ‘is cannibalism tradition or an acquired taste’. you can’t bring up communion + cannibalism.

  5. I hated school. Tried to keep the low profile as much as possible and succeeded until my junior year of high school when my English teacher, newly graduated from college, discovered (despite my best efforts at concealment) I could write and so boosted me into college track courses my senior year. I still pretty much hate school, but I find I love learning.

  6. I was an awesome student. I had the perfect circumstances for being a good student from a dysfunctional family: my role at home was to be as subordinate as possible (obedience = less pain), my family considered themselves superior to the neighbors (if I did better in school that reflected well on the family), school and the local library got me out of that house, and “I have to study” was (sometimes) a valid excuse for getting left alone.
    With those kinds of incentives to do well, and the training to be as obedient as possible (which is actually a large part of being a good student), you better believe I was good.
    The icing on the cake was that the books I was praised for reading…were full of protest against the very environment I was living in. What a good little child I was, to read Dickens and Orwell and John Stuart Mill!
    And what a joy it was to me that my family had no idea what Dickens, Orwell, and Mill actually had to say. Fortunately they never wanted to talk about anything that actually happened at school or anything I was studying, and I never let on.
    Things came to a head when it came time to graduate and my mother got a notice that she should make sure we would both attend because I was to be given an award. She had been planning to miss it, of course, but the letter provoked my mother’s ire; now I would have to miss it. “They’re going to give you something insulting, like ‘most improvement,'” she told me. I was sorry, but avoiding a blow-up and making sure I had her cooperation (such as it was) for going to college was much more important to me. I picked my battles carefully, and this wasn’t one worth fighting. So I missed it.
    After the end of the term I went by the school and ran into the librarian (whom I knew well). She said to me, “Why weren’t you at graduation?” I asked her, “Should I have been?” She just had this look on her face when she said to me, “You were valedictorian.”
    don’t envy the good students, you never know what is going on there.

  7. I always found the math and science to be easy. I liked history and did well in it, but English was always hard work. It took years before I could really “get” fiction. Still, hard work pays off, and I wound up doing pretty well in the humanities as well as my favored courses.
    It helped that my high school was full of serious students. It’s easier to motivate oneself to grind through Spanish idioms when one of your friends speaks eight languages and heads the Latin Club. (Like a lot of the language freaks, he learned his German and Italian at the opera.)
    It also helped that my parents were first generation, so they still had the immigrant work-study ethic. They learned English on the street and earned advanced degrees that let them get good jobs. My job was to do well in school.
    (We were Jewish, so the joke is that we didn’t consider a fetus viable until it graduated medical school.)

  8. Awesome student. I love being a student so much I only stopped for a year and then came back for more because I missed being a student. I’m sure I’ll have some sort of existential crisis when I finally get my PhD.

  9. I was a so-so student; I roller-coasted in both high school and college. I loved science and did fairly well but was really bad with mathematics. I dropped calculus in college and dropped my major in chemistry. After that I majored in Political Science and minored in Physics (Astronomy). Academic problems with foreign languages led to having that requirement cancelled. But still needing the same number of credits, I got to take all sorts of interesting courses in other areas. So my final grade point score was a C+ but I learned a lot in many areas (Ancient Near Eastern religions and culture, astronomy, etc.). I’d probably do college the same way again, and at NYU again.

  10. I was terrible.
    Read all my textbooks the first week and was horribly bored thereafter.
    Didn’t pay attention, didn’t care what was going on, just waited for it to be over.
    My parents were afraid I was “mentally challenged”, and sent me in for a round of IQ testing to see how simple I really was.
    Tests said 158.
    They knew THAT couldn’t be right, so they sent me in for a second round.
    Tests said 162.
    So they sent me to Allen Military academy.
    Oh joy.

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