Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Everyone has an Opinion

Written by Ms. Berman
Dedicated to all of my SDHS students

"Have you tried acupuncture?"
"You shouldn't be eating XYZ..."
"Your brother can get you an appointment with the top neurologist in LA."
"You should take off the rest of the school year."

Though well-intended, these words come at me like porcupine quills as I am trying to decipher the recommendations the professionals are providing me.  As I step outside myself, for a snippet in time, I realize that my life is momentarily not so different from that of some of my students.  Suddenly almost everyone has an opinion  about what I should and shouldn't be doing.  I know that these suggestions stem from their love and concern for my well-being, and yet it is not my responsibility to please others.  Sometimes in our attempts to calm and satisfy those around us, we drain ourselves of the energy required for our wellness.
The human body is a real life application (RLA) of Le Chatelier's Principle.  When equilibrium has been displaced, it must work diligently to restore balance.  At times, medical intervention is needed to assist in this restoration.  The teenage brain, however, is also an RLA of this principle.  It is taxed on a daily basis as equilibrium is shifted for a myriad of reasons and a young adult must utilize energy until the body has equilibrated.  Being surrounded with positive people who provide a calming influence will enhance this process.  Associating with critical, impatient, and demanding people can impede it.
If it is a challenge for me, a strong-willed, established adult, to remind my loved ones that I must pave my own way, I can only imagine the obstacles that some teens face.  This post does not devalue the immense support that I receive from many wonderful people on a daily basis.  Support being the key word here.  It is merely a reminder to all of us, young or old, that even during difficult times we should be collecting data and having faith in our own hypothesis.  This is not only what we have been trained to do, but it was what we were born to do... as the scientific method is within all of us.  Sometimes we might just need a little space in order to recognize it.


  1. Ms. Berman, I don't know if you realize this but it is the support that we will be missing while you are gone. Many of us anxious sophomores are wondering what is going to happen with our grades, who our sub is going to be, and how long you are going to be out. I talked to one of your juniors today who told me not to worry, that you would have our backs. I am trying to believe her since she has known you a lot longer than I have, but this is still stressful. Thank you for writing this blog or I would have no way to tell you this. Please get well soon!

  2. Glad to hear a junior was trying to help you out, as she was correct in her assessment. Dr. Ankeney will coordinate the sub arrangements for me and the TA's and Science Scholars will continue assisting in the teaching process. I will be writing a practice test and the final exam. The group projects (Ethics and Chemisty Review games) will be grade-boosters. Focus upon learning the material and your course grade will reflect this. Remember to pace yourself, as last minute cramming has not proven effective for most students in Honors Chemistry. Best of luck to you!

  3. Hello,

    Just a quick shoutout to all of the freaking out sophmores in CHem, I have some advice for studying for the final. Take the standards, (either CA or IB standards for chem) and try to answer them. I don't know if Ms. B has assigned this already, but it will definetly help. Don't freak out that she is missing (as in don't worry about your grades) you are all in the good hands of the amazing TAs and SS kids. Ms. Berman will get better in due time. Meanwhile, study hard and give your best wishes to hear for a better year. :)

  4. Ack I meant give your best wishes to HER for a better year

  5. Can you explain this to- IDK- everyone? I know I am still a kid and am going to need some advice along the way. Just wish more people gave us the respect that comes from you so naturally.