Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Chemistry

It has been almost two semesters I have been teaching Chemistry 2 for Foundation Programme Students.

And some could not just stay silent but to ask in curiosity - why Chemistry 2?

"Ahhh...Welcome, welcome to my laboratory. I'm making some tea. Want some, you?"

Well why not?

Some said, and I answered:

1. You're a Mechanical Engineer not a Chemical Engineer. You should have taught mechanical subjects.
- Yes, by fact I am a Mechanical Engineer. But the field of Mechanical Engineering covers a little from every other engineering fields. We learn a bit of circuits (Electrical), some structure and stability concept (Civil), chemical reactions and environment (Chemical), and even a bit of hydrocarbon mining (Petroleum & Geo Science). So in a way I am able to teach Chemistry as well, since I was educated on Chemistry too not too long ago.
2. Chemistry is just way too easy to teach. It's no challenge at all.
- Try it. You might get away easily when it comes to explaining physical chemistry but when it comes to organic chemistry, that's where the game begins. Especially with the freshmen who do not have any engineering background at all.

3. It won't help your research at all.
- Says who? My research is 70 percent by empirical method. And gasification is all depending on thermochemical reactions. How does that not helping my research?

* * *

It has been two semesters. And I am enjoying every bit of it. Sure, it is not always sunshine and rainbows, but it really worth it.

Nothing makes you smile at the end of the day than knowing your students get along with you well. To see how they learn in the fun way than the usual formal with all seriousness.To see how they show their curiosity and ask endless questions to satisfy all the 'whys and whats' in their heads. To see that the end of the day, your students change because of what you have been doing all these times.

There is nothing more heartwarming than to have your students shaking your hands before leaving the laboratory. Or having them saying 'thank you very much, sir' with their smiles on their faces. Or seeing them liking to hear what you're saying in so much interest rather than just listening for the sake of it. And laughing at all your jokes.

No, I do not do this for the sake of money.

"...yep you were right sir, it has its own mind, this pee sample."

I do this because of what it gives me - some peace of mind. It makes me feel I am doing something good in my life. I don't even know if I am either a good or terrible teacher, but during the past laboratory sessions I tried my very best to explain all the information the students need to know, and all the side information that might keep them interested with what they're doing. I try not to put up anymore tension since these students need some time off from the tiring lectures and tutors, so why not let them play in the lab, having fun while doing something that matters?

These kids need someone who can teach them, guide them. They're only 18, some are 19 years old. If the exposure that they get at this age is not proper enough to make them ready for the undergraduate years, then they will face a lot of trouble once they make it into the First Year. That would be me and my fellow colleagues' responsibility in order to prep them properly for the next years to come, to expose them with the campus environment and how we do stuffs around here since the first two semesters are the most critical part of a student in order to adapt to the campus life. You screw the first two semesters, and it will be a dark future ahead for you. And we are trying our very best to avoid that.

But well, there is just another a week or two before the laboratory sessions for this semester reach the end. I hope my target is reached comfortably with less difficulty. And I could not express what I feel inside. I will sure miss those students I have been teaching. And nothing is more saddening than to miss these fun people.

But then like I said, people will eventually leave.

So what I am going to do is to enjoy the hell out in these two weeks to come before I officially commence the end of the laboratory sessions for January 2009 semester.

Hell yeah.


miza said...

to think you actually *have* students.


tak lama dulu kita yg stadi.and that was like only a year ago. skrg ko ngajar org stadi lak. gila la kita dh tua!

Silverleaf said...

oh oh then u can teach me how to make love potion no.9 hahhaha...

W. Suhailaliza W. M. H. said...


the satisfaction of educating and teaching.



Mohamad Nazmi Zaidi said...

Miza: haha. yeah kita dah tua, za.

Silverleaf: the ingredients are ready. will get to this in my next writing.

Liza: well the satisfaction isn't always there.

W. Suhailaliza W. M. H. said...

well. the spur of it at that particular moment then.