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End of 2011 Congrats to Students Past and Present

(unpublished)

This is it, the end of 2011. For all of you, its ended on a fantastic high note. I'm proud of those who finished what they sought to do and ended up getting those A's they were coveting when we began. For those in for the long haul still, I'm proud of all your hard work studying, doing extra problems, extra practice exams, developing good studying habits and more.

Reflection for 2011, which almost all of my students can probably attest too:

1. Half of the battle is mindset. Once you realized you could do it, you raised the bar on yourself even higher and are now achieving those goals.
2. Memorization will only get you so far in the math and sciences, yes, even you business people, don't let others tell you different. It's important to derive from first principles so you can always return to the fundamentals. Likewise, you can memorize how to use the Excel sheet, but often that breaks creativity in finding the better solutions to those path optimization problems.
3. Word problems are gold. The more word problems you do, the more it brings different pieces together for your brain to map.
4. Learn to play chess. It's amazing how a "simple" and fun game ends up affecting other areas of your life. Studies have shown remarkable improvement in reading, reading comprehension (which affects EVERYTHING you try to learn), and math areas for those who learn to play chess and play it often.

Here's to looking at a Happy New Year in 2012!

<*> The Particle Physics Ninja <*>