Everyday I’m studyin’

Wow, I’m feeling great. I get to choose a different set and subset of friends to study with each day, and sit in the bright sunshine streaming through the windows of Madge, West Mall, Chem, or another nook or cranny of SFU’s campus currently basking in the (finally) seasonal weather. Studying feels good with the company of occasional entertainment through conversations and good music, and I have medium expectations for these exams so my stress level is solidly under control (though sometimes spikes when I realise I’ve forgotten to review something, like fermentation in the midgut of a moose for example). Studying is something I’ve always had a dismissive relationship of, preferring to learn concepts properly the first time and have sustained retention. This changes with more classes, and more other commitments during the school year, and I’m thinking about the quality of my education because of these diversions and responsibilities. And how this relates to my ultimate educational goal? Pretty high competition for my level of academic effort, I’d say. (As seen here)

How does this relate to Ghana, you ask? Well, I had the opportunity to befriend students in multiple stages of their education, and witness some interesting differences and similarities between our studying styles. Firstly, my high school friends like Basit, Mutallah, Yusif, and Sali all studied A LOT. Now this isn’t necessarily the average, but they were doing about 5 times as much as I study, if not more. Partly I think this is due to the poor in-class instruction, and the focus on information organised in categories rather than concepts. These guys were smart, but it’s ridiculous trying to memorize how to do calculus if you don’t understand the meaning behind the functions. The other part has to do with opportunity, where getting into a specific subset of colleges in Ghana seems to be the only real guarantee to get a job after graduation. If you’re enrolled in any other post-secondary, it’s up to fate and good connections whether you’ll be able to find related work within the next 5 years. But they study for that slim chance of either, and that is something that I’ll never have to face.

Though we both study to varying volumes of popular music, sit for hours poring over biology texts and notes, and are subject to the emotional dynamics due to weather, that chance that I will move on from this degree to a meaningful job are almost exponentially higher. Not because I’m smarter, work harder, or have any other particular intrinsic merit. SFU and Ghana have very different levels of opportunity, creating interesting incentives for work ethic.

What relationships do you see? (In Canada or elsewhere)


About Janine Reid

What is Janine? -board game enthusiast -political observer -Vancouverite -questioner -listener -health provider
This entry was posted in Canadian Connection, Life in Ghana, Medicine. Bookmark the permalink.

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