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The other night I had a heart-to-heart conversation with a student’s parent. He was trying to understand why his daughter had a failing average in a statistics course.We explored some possible culprits. Maybe the homework instructions are not specific enough for the the class. It is quite probable that the assignment is being used to weed out the weak.Or perhaps the instructor is this sick , twisted individual who loves to torture his students. After all the class is being administered by faculty at an ivy league school- so the work must reflect the school. Hmmm. But there was one point where I had to say wait a minute…

The parent told me that his daughter believed she could only do as well as the other students around her. Their success determined how well she did in the course. Their success meant her failure….their failure meant her success. Okay wait a @#$% minute. I stopped the parent right there…Don’t forget I am a tutor and an educator myself. People come to me for all kinds of help. I told the parent the truth. It is quite probable that the other students in the class  have tutors. It’s not necessarily an intelligence thing. Those days of struggling organically are for not. People enlist the help of more seasoned professionals on every level. Your child is not stupid, she is just needs “back-up”. Some classes just require extra help. Think about it. No one walks around with a natural ability to solve mathematical proofs. There is specific training that requires a mastery of details in skill. And in many cases, there are not enough hours in the day to retain every aspect of a course effortlessly within a 6 hour after-school window. So don’t do it. Stop crying over your french fries late at night as you struggle to understand what page 4 says….don’t fret about your intelligence or lack there of and get someone to help you understand the course.


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