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I Flunked Statistics! November 26, 2008

Posted by lyndastucky in Communication.
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I confess and will explain the truth about flunking statistics exams in college due to the speech of another human being.

Alright, maybe it’s not entirely the speech of another person. Statistics, afterall, was a tough course for me. So, I needed every advantage I could get. My statistics professor was a wonderful guy and very, very smart. He arrived each day on time ready to engage our minds in the most statistically possible way. He was animated and clearly excited about the topic. I dreaded the class because the content was the hardest of all the classes I took. But I’m a positive person ready to take on challenges. (Actually, I had to take this course.) So when I arrived the first day of class pumped up to do my best, I was greeted by my professor with a heavy Chinese accent.

The first thing I thought to myself was, “Ok, I can probably do this. I’ll get used to his speech and there won’t be any problem. After all, the university wouldn’t hire someone who isn’t understandable to teach a difficult college level course.”

As I listened to him, I understood about 25% of what he said and I knew it was going to be a tough and long semester.

Admittedly, for the next four weeks, I did the wrong thing but I was just too proud to do it any other way! I didn’t seek help. I came to class though, listened with all my energy and I would even talk to the professor before I left. I went to my dorm room to study only to find that the material hadn’t sunk in. I took two major exams during this time and I flunked them both. I knew I was in trouble and if I dropped this required class for my major, I would not be able to graduate or I would just have to take another statistics class.

After five weeks and another exam looming, I finally ended up giving in to my pride and hiring a tutor who helped me by explaining the entire lesson from beginning to end. If only she had been my instructor to begin with! I ended up with a “C” in the class and I have never been so proud of my grade!

Here is the moral to the story….I know that there are a lot more people out there who are wonderfully talented, exceptionally smart and good at what they do. But is that enough? Shouldn’t we expect to listen to people who are articulate and easy to understand if we are paying them for a service? Don’t employers owe it to their customers? Don’t businesses owe it to their employees to help make them more understandable to build positive relationships amongst colleagues and to encourage the pursuit of career mobility? I think so.

The goal as far as I’m concerned is not to change someone’s personality or eliminate a person’s heritage or ethnicity by making them sound just like an American. The only goal here is to make individuals understandable so that communication flows easily and misunderstandings are prevented. Afterall, some expressed content needs every advantage it can get!

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