On Motivation

Last Monday, my classmate Zoey and I got a chance to take a few minutes off our own problems, and sentiment with some freshmen who (unfortunately) failed their General Chemistry 1 subject. They were waiting outside the Instrumentation Room, where some of their ‘regular’ classmates were having a post-laboratory discussion on their General Chemistry 2 Laboratory Class. My classmate and I happened to finish early for our Physics class, and went straight to the Chemistry Lab since we have a 2:00 – 5:00pm class there.

There were 5 girls waiting outside the Instru Room, and they were huddled near each other when we passed by. The girls waved their hands, and we smiled back, and chatted with them.

One of the girls were asking us questions about keeping up with the demands of our course. She came nearer and asked me, while looking at her lengthwise piece of paper: “Kuya, papayag ba si Sir na pipirma siya sa Dropping Form ko?” (Kuya, will Sir agree to sign my Dropping Form?) Upon seeing her dropping form, I saw that she was about to drop the laboratory subject that her classmates were having inside the Instru Room. I, couldn’t help but be baffled over the form. Was she really dropping this subject? But GC2 (General Chemistry 2) is an off- semestral subject, and she wouldn’t be allowed to take the subject with anybody else but her fellow Chemistry majors?

Having known the situation of these girls, kinda made me a little bit worried about our future graduates, especially if most of them flunked the basic subjects. Some of my blockmates would tell me “Buti nga pinapatagal pa sila dito sa Department, at hindi sila pinagshi-shift? Isipin mo po, GC1 na lang, naibagsak nila. Paano ba kaya kung higher Chemistry na?” (They are fortunate that they still belong to the (Chemistry) Department, and they were not asked to shift out to other courses. Think of it, they flunked GC1. What more, if they were to take higher Chemistry subjects?)

My classmates seem to be very confident at times, but they do have a point. And the Department does take note about our class: Majority of our 20+ population taking up both Quantitative Analysis and Organic Chemistry 2 simultaneously, have good grades (not to mention taking up a 5-unit Calculus with Differential Equations subject). But the freshmen population of 21, was cut down to a small number of 9 regular students is not a good sign.

Not wanting them to cut down in number further, and to at least help them in a “moral support”-ish kind of way, I tried to do a motivation talk with these girls (and controlling Zoey not to scare off the freshmen with our very tiring schedules), and making them think over decisions that they might only regret in the near future.

But a thought came into my mind, as the girls left the laboratory and I hung out inside the Instru Room – was I the ‘right’ person to do that kind of speech? Me, who’s struggling to catch up with my academic standing, yet earning decent grades? Someone’s who’s eager to finish chemistry (now), but had second thoughts early on? I couldn’t help but wonder.

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