University of Southern California
A Special Session of Physics Tutoring
4. Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma - anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
“Ridiculously disrespectful,” I mumbled to myself. I’d just seen two students stealthily looking into their desks, utterly disinterested. Shocked by their distracting whispers, which rose above the sound of my voice and the harsh scratches of my marker against the whiteboard, I kept writing solutions as if I’d seen nothing, my anger growing. My responsibility was to the class… Turning back again––on the brink of losing composure––I, and 22 other students in the room, stared squarely at Jimmy and Zack, now blatantly speaking at normal volume as they played video games! As class tutor, I couldn’t tolerate such insulting behavior. Apparently my lesson on Kepler’s Laws interrupted their “strategizing.” But I didn’t know how to control the situation as eyes turned on me.
Emotionally, I found myself thrust back into a classroom at thirteen. My deskmate, Jessica, teased me for being short, making me cry. The class’s meddlesome, snarky whispers mocked my breakdown as I just stared at the ground to avoid eye contact. Later that day, I complained to my social science teacher, expecting her to assign me a new desk partner. How could she not? Jessica was the bully. My voice trembling and legs shaking as my teacher did nothing and...
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