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“I Hate This Damn Course”

My wife and I are taking Hebrew classes.  I haven’t always been the best student, but it’s been worthwhile. After a year, I’m at the point where I can read the language and have simple conversations. It’s made our lives easier here. It’s also taught my throat to do some calisthenics I thought were previously reserved for hacking up phlegm.

Last night was the first class in 2 weeks for me since it has been Passover here and I missed the class prior to that due to a late night in the lab. We spent a good chunk of our vacation taking some friends on a trip through the Golan , and around Jerusalem, and studying Hebrew was basically the farthest thing from my mind. So when I sat down for the class last night I knew I was in for a bit of an ass-kicking.

Sure enough, about half an hour through the class, I noticed that I was feeling:

In short, I was having one of those days where I was saying to myself over and over, very loudly, “I hate this goddamn course. Why the hell am I taking it? ”

These feelings gave me flashbacks to all the tough college courses I’d taken, and I had a sudden flash of insight: “This is how a lot of students in organic chemistry must feel!” 

I couldn’t wait for the class to be over. Talk about a painful 2.5 hours. When I had some quiet time late last night, I finally sat down and sorted through my feelings about the course.

Realizing those factors, I decided to take the following actions:

In general, We all value the things we are good at and dismiss as unimportant the areas where we’re poor. There must be some official psychological name for this tendency but it’s currently escaping me.  It’s human nature to place ourselves at or near the top of little hierarchies and often judge the value of whole fields of human endeavor based on how good we are at them. All the “I Hate Orgo” Facebook groups are a part of this.   It’s fine to complain about how badly orgo sucks and whatnot, but there’s one thing that’s even better: crushing the damn course because you studied smart. 

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