Hi everyone, and a very happy new year. May you always be as productive as you plan to be.
Talking of which, I want to start of this year with a little rant. Or is it actualyl a rant? I’m not sure. All I know is that I’m still sitting in the lab on satruday, after a more than just laborative week, having a pretty serious cough on top of things. And why am I doing this? not even so that my own research would thrive. Nooo way! I’m teaching at the moment. – full time – The question is does it really bother me that I’m still in the lab on a saturday, despite this being the first day of real snow around here this winter? Or do those endless hours in the lab the last week bother me?
Not really. Becaus I’m doing something I actually really enjoy. You could even say love.
Teaching students, at the end of their masters program, bright and curious minds. Who spend almost as much time here as I do. I know a lot of people that don’t quite enjoy teaching as much as I do. But for me, that spark of understanding in their faces, that neverending question in their eyes; sometimes asking for which buffer to use, sometimes complete not-understanding what is going on at all, and sometimes really elaborate scientific questions demonstrating deep understanding of what actually is going on. Those questions, and the moment they find their own answers (with help at times) is really building up my own self confidence and I enjoy it, a lot! And it is one of the most important things in science if you dare to ask me. Of course, I’m kind of educating, almost breeding, my own competitors for the future (maybe even my own bosses). But what worth is knowledge, if you don’t pass it on?
I once heard someone saying about science and education, it’s not about passing on the torch, it’s about lighting the spark. And I don’t really agree. It’s about both, it’s teaching how to light a fire, and giving away tons of wood to burn!
Same thing goes for creativitiy if you ask me. Creativity, in a way, is synthesising all the things one knows and knows how to do, without being aware that that is what one is doing. And the combination of all those old things, with just a little new idea. That is what creativity is.
In the end, you cannot be a great singer songwriter on the guitar, if you don’t know how to play a guitar.
So, I guess what I want to say is, if you enjoy teaching, then do it, if you enjoy learning, just do it! And maybe you realize that both go along hand in hand. I’m learning the most when I’m teaching myself. Because I have to look at things from another point of view, my students point of view to be more precise.
I think we could all do that a little more often, and I think it is one of my good intents for the upcoming year. Try to actively look at the things I do (or everything for that matter) from more than only my own perspective.
Makes me curios actually, what would be your new years resolutions?