Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘dream field of study

Big Fish, Little Pond phenomenon: Never listen to the prevalent common sense

Big fish eats little fish, and the smaller the pond the quicker the trapping.

And when you are accepted in an Ivy League university, and your “intelligence level” (IQ test scores and other tests) is in the third tier of the all the admitted students, and you lack the required character for the long haul, then you drop before graduating.

You keep comparing your “performances” with the brighter students.

And you end up switching university and discipline and you graduate as lawyer, accountant, tax expert… anything but your “dream field” of study.

You were capable of graduating in your dream field, but you selected the wrong kind of universities.

It is Not the program, the professors or the courses offered in the Ivy League universities that generate “geniuses”: It is the bright students graduating from these universities who are.

You still make plenty of money, but how happy is your life?

Innate intelligence can be downgraded by diseases, sicknesses, harsh conditions, inhospitable situations… that alter the necessary characters required to improve your intelligence level.

For example, you cannot reach a satisfactory level of smartness if you lack this stubbornness of doggedly resolving any problem, of solving the easy exercises as well as the hardest at the end of each chapter in math, physics, chemistry, biology… and using paper and pencil for the that matter, and writing down the solution in neat handwriting that demonstrate determination.

And you need this capacity to completely focus during the class sessions and concentrate on the detailed information.

I attended a university that didn’t rank anyway on top of the elite institutions in the USA: It was a Little Pond, not in size of campus or number of students or variety of disciplines and departments, but mainly one of the newer universities that didn’t enjoy “historic” funding of private or State or federal funding in order to set up these rigorous selection processes for applicants.

It is was not a university that had Nobel Laureates and funded Chairs for illustrious professors or recognition to be listed among the Ivy League.

I think there were or must have been many Big Fish in many disciplines and fields of study, but Not in my new field of study called Industrial Engineering. That was in 1975, and this department was a new comer among the disciplines.

When I applied from Lebanon, I didn’t even know what was the program of study or the courses offered. I assumed from the name that it must be a hands-on engineering related to whatever the industry needed from graduates. Even if I had the luxury to have a detailed list of courses, I wouldn’t be the smarter or changed my application.

As a foreigner lacking laboratories, I figured out that this discipline in a developed nation will offer plenty of opportunities for hands-on facilities.

It was Not of this sort by any long shot. Actually the field lacked laboratory or any hands-on facilities. The course materials were indeed more of the same bookish, theoretical and mathematical handling of problems.

It turned out that the objective was to spew out new breed of graduates capable of handling the management part in any production and manufacturing industry, like optimizing production, inventory, scheduling, transportation

Even today, I am harassed and hard-pressed to explain what I was trained for or “how I can be of aid” to industries.

I felt there was a lack of brilliant students in my disciplines to look at and emulate. And I let myself drift off to lazy study behaviors.

I guess not many high school students knew of this relatively new discipline and anyway, the connotation was to be desired.

Note: I had graduated with MS in physics. I covered exotic courses such as quantum mechanics, relativity, nuclear physics, solid state, thermodynamics, organic chemistry, all the fundamental physics courses taught for engineers, and the mathematical foundations and basics…

I loved and comprehended most of the course materials, but it didn’t improve my grades, and much less improved the IQ tests scores substantially.

The few courses that I loathed were the methods used to resolving the problems: the methods were lengthy and defied my patience.

I recall that in taking Relativity, the method to solving most mechanical problems was clear, quick and straightforward: It took barely 30 seconds when the classical method required me half an hour.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

March 2021
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