Bears. Beets. Office Hours.
Monday marked the first time a student has ever come to my office hours. It was not at all what I had expected. This sophomore not only came to my office hours, he managed to stay for over 60 minutes. Being that I TA Biology 101, (which is exactly as it sounds) a very elementary biology course, I don’t expect my students to come to my office hours at all.
What’s worse is he didn’t even ask questions about class material. He simply wanted to hear my thoughts on how he should start a biofuel company. Barely legal (he is probably 18 years old) and a self-claimed “entrepreneur,” I told him he has a lot to learn. His naivete didn’t go unnoticed as I explained to him the difficulty behind not only biofuel production, but also commercialization, government, and many many issues he is completely oblivious to (I guess that’s why he’s in my Biology 101 class). His world is so small. I tried my best to help, but it just turned into frustration.
I couldn’t get him to leave. I read papers my PI sent as he continued to blab about his ideas and thoughts (so many misconceptions…). I tried to ignore him in an attempt to hint that he should leave, but I had to correct him on many things as he seemed to think 2+2 = 5. I learned a lesson here.
Don’t argue with an idiot. If they don’t know what they’re talking about, let them yap. I realized that my frustration stemmed from my knowledge and his lack of understanding. Trying to correct someone’s stubborn misconceptions is only going to stress you out. But I tried…
I grew impatient trying to explain finance, competition, and science to this student. What may be easy for me to understand was extremely difficult for OfficeHourStudent to grasp. This is the basis of frustration. It’s hard for me to believe that such simple concepts could be so difficult to others.
Number fourteen: Be Patient.
Take your time, you have to be patient with others and with yourself. Though we live in such a fast paced environment, you may catch things you may not have otherwise noticed if you just slow down (powerthirst).
I thought students only come to office hours to either complain about grades or discuss what they need to study to do well on the next test. This is FALSE, black bear.
^Favorite Office Episode – Product Recall