September 12, 2008 10:53 PM
What are they? Every professor and GSI at UC Berkeley has blocks of time each week during which students are welcome to go into their office and ask them questions. I know it might seem daunting to approach your professor with a seemingly stupid question, but you'd be surprised how willing some of the professors are to share their knowledge.
This semester I'm taking Bio 1B, which is basically plant biology. I took AP biology in high school, but even then, I never really understood the life cycle of a pine. Megaspore...megosporophyll...megasporocyte...they all sounded the same to me! Back then, I just blankly memorized the steps for the exam and forgot all about it immediately afterwards.
This time around, however, I wanted to fully understand what I was supposed to be learning. I stared at the book and the powerpoint notes, but I still didn't really get it. Today I finally went in to my professor's office hours after lecture. I wasn't the only student there. The entire table was filled with students and even more students were standing just inside the doorway. Professor Carlson was really friendly and answered every single one of my answers clearly and concisely. I'm extremely happy that I went to his office hours, and I'd go back everyday after lecture, but unfortuately, I can only make it to his Friday office hours. Just hearing some things a few more times helps you absorb the information that much better.
I feel so much better now that I finally get the pine life cycle. Sometimes I just feel like it's hard to continue studying something when you just can't get your head around a few details. Now that I don't have to worry about understanding that anymore, I can move on to studying the other things.
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