Opportunities that we have lost so far!

OMG! I cannot get over the fact that I may have lost so many opportunities in my life so far.  I was reading the “Whistling Vivaldi” and thinking how many times this “cloud in the air” has covered the sun in my life. Let’s start over. Since my first memories from my childhood, I was told by my parents that I can do whatever I want to. Everything was so great back then before I start school. During those sweet days, my whole world around me believed in me and I believed that I can do anything.

Since the first day of my life outside of that safe place, my brain has manipulated by negative stereotypes in the society. I still vividly remember the time that a boy from a close by school angrily muttered something about girls and how they will all end up in kitchen so what is the point of studying so hard. It was after the time that I beat him in science competition between schools. The trend continued to today. Now that I am thinking about my life, I cannot get over the number of opportunities that I may lost during my life because of this stereotypes. I might not even be aware of all of them at the moment but I am confident that I can find many of them if I keep digging my memory.

The time that I did not do as well as always in my math test, because I knew that I am competing with all boys and girls. To my eight-nine-year-old self, it was so true that boys are better than girls in math or maybe at that time I didn’t see girls as competitors but boys were competitors.

A few days ago, I was in my own world thinking about lost opportunities and surfing web. I ran into this youtube video: Women, math, and stereotype threat. It is crazy interesting and so true. When an individual lose confidence in a subject, the effects will continue to the other subjects that he/she is pretty good at. Let me tell you a funny story about the subject. As an intentional student I speak English more fluently when I am around international students. The reason is that my brain knows that they are not better than me in the subject. Now that I am thinking, I am noticing that I think more actively and solve my homework more easily when I study with my international friends compared to times that I study with my American friends. Pretty amazing! It sounds like our brain functionality act as a chain.


Stereotype threat

Stereotype treat is an inseparable factor of diversity. I believe that regardless of how much we try to keep our opinions unbiased, we all can remember times that we judge others just by what they wear, how they look, what gender they have, what nationality they are, and so on.

The hidden Brain article mentioned that our brain can be set on “pilot” and “auto-pilot”. It is so true but the point is that: does “pilot” mode means full control of our thinking? I don’t think so. I believe that if stereotype poisoned our brain in any shape, it would affect our behavior somewhere and sometime. It could even show itself in reverse form.  Try to recall a time when any of us tried to compensate a common stereotype by leaning toward the other side and gave more credit to that group even in our mind.

In some aspects, our brain is likened to a computer’s memory. There is always ways to retrieve data from your PC, even though you had deleted that. It doesn’t really matter that you don’t want to recall data and try hard to forget them, they are somewhere in there!


What about a shy student!

Since the first time in class, I am wondering how blogging affects student’s interaction skills. Although in our world technology is a known method for communication, the value of   face-to-face communication is obvious to everyone. Isn’t blogging persuade shy students to hide behind their computers and communicate in a virtual space only?