Tuesday, February 12, 2013


STUDENT TIP: CHOOSING WHAT TO STUDY … This follows my last post … 
 When I left my home province on the coast for another to start Grade 11 in the national high school in the Highlands, I was excited.

When school commenced, I was hooked on Economics. After a few weeks, I decided that I would become an economist. (I loved Commerce in Grade 10 and my guardian was managing shops for a company back then and must have influenced my way of thinking about a future career – one that was related to what he was doing.)
I made sure I was in the top 5% in Grade 11 Economics in each term.

My interest in Geography (especially the physical aspects), since I was in primary school, had me working hard in the subject to be comfortably placed in the top 5% rank in that subject also.

In the mean time, I surprised myself by doing well in some Science subjects and Maths. We had a remarkable Grade 11 Sri Lankan teacher who also inspired some of us in the subject. He challenged us in the subject and we said he had a computer in his brain because he could calculate sums without a need for a calculator.

When the time came for us to choose a strand, I walked into the deputy (academic) principal’s office with my subjects – English, Economics, Geography, Maths B, History, Music.
The deputy was not happy. He said: “You are good with the sciences, do the Science strand and Maths A. Drop Music and take up Economics with the sciences.”
I disagreed and we debated for some time.
Finally he convinced me to take all sciences.
But I did not allow him to have me drop Music. I took the sciences. Maths A and Music.
However, the big surprise was “I dropped Economics”, the subject I worked hard in for the last four terms.

I do not regret that choice. In learning Physics, my wonder of the skies and stars, fuelled by learning other stuff from an Astronomy book I borrowed the library, opened up another wonderful field to me.

Also in taking the Maths A course, I came in touch with another teacher (my Grade 12 teacher) who helped me a lot in the subject. She helped me learn how to really master Maths and be comfortable to work with that subject.

In university, towards the end of the first year, we (all UPNG science students) chose to study specific strands in the second year onwards.
Two of my best friends went on to study Medicine. I chose not to because the hospital makes me feel sick.

A second year Geology student came to our rooms and told us of all the good things that Geology could bring us – including the money. Some of my friends chose to study the subject and are now doing fairly well.
I chose not to, because I was not interested in rocks, I was interested in the stars and heavens, flying objects, Einstein, Newton and Kepler.

NOTE: You have to make your own choice. But once made, you have to live with your choice. That is true in many other aspects in life also.        

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