Life as a graduate student

OMG! Life as a graduate student is sometimes unbearable. We are all graduate students and you all know what I am talking about. Sometimes it is fun that there is no time obligation; you can stay up all night working and go to school the next day not earlier than noon. You can leave early from your offices and continue working at home. Do you know the common point in all of these scenarios? You always have to work!

Interdisciplinary research

Disciplines are more than just knowledge about a certain science, a few courses that teachers teach and students learn. Each field teaches students a certain method of thinking. After graduating from college an engineer does not see the world around the same way that an artist does. An engineer sees the world from the engineering window and an artist from the art window. If a group of people are asked about a familiar object, for instance a bicycle they all would say “it is a bicycle” but if they were asked to explain it in one unique sentence, each individual will define it differently. An engineer sees it as a machine that converts energy. An artist would see it as a combination of lights and colors. All of that is because we are all tough to see differently, which is the beauty of science. And it gets more interesting and more useful when all of these methods of thinking come together and solve a complicated problem. This is called the Interdisciplinary research that has caught more attention in the last decade. An interdisciplinary research is defined as integrating knowledge of various disciplines and tackle a complicated research that cannot be studied otherwise. Although the definition is complete, but I think there is more in this type of researches. It brings different methods of thinking together!

Come up with better examples!

I think that being creative in class is the most important thing for a teacher. Students are sick of the same old same old lectures that just narrate the textbook and have no real life example what so ever. When I, a trained and expert one, do not create the link between my lecture and my students’ everyday life, I cannot expect them to all be intuitive and do so.

Another point us that examples should be updated by time. They should be realistic and students should feel them. It does not mean that teachers must go crazy to find real life examples, but just update the old ones. For instance in my major, to teach earth gravity force, I can make an example about a pen falling down or can be more passionate and make an example about a football falling down and embellish the example with a pinch of excitement of a football game. Which one can dig harder in students’ memory?

After years, I still remember almost all of the examples that my professor was made in one of my classes, combustion. The feeling that I have when I think about all of that examples is that they were playing with student soul and make them feel the example. They were mostly real stories about combustion, fire and different ways that fire spreads, which was the subject of the course.