Motivation Story

Mar 20, 2015 • Huixi Violet Zhang

One story of my demotivation experience happened during my first year in thePh.D. studies. I was taking this biocatalysis class with a senior professor who clearly didn’t care about motivating the students. His lecture slides and materials looked like from the 70s, where it was copies of hand-written facts and equations in tiny fonts. His voice was monotone and just made me want to sleep. My friends and I had a hard time understanding a lot of the class content, such that we had to spend a lot of time off-class figuring out the meaning of the concepts and equations. I also tried to ask him questions after class, and expressed my confusions. His answer was “…This is straightforward …. think about it more ….”. It was a huge demotivation for me, because I feel like I don’t understand because I am stupid and everything is on me. It was my fault. Unfortunately, that was a required course, so I had no choice but to conqure it myself, but it was a big NO for me to do research in that field.

What the professor could have done after to fix this might be to show us he care for the students to learn, and he is willing to assist us along the way. Maybe spend sometime update his lecture notes and slides so that they are legible. Maybe putting more current research topics in the lecture to get us connected with the field and generate interest.