Jeremy Côté

Bits, ink, particles, and words.

Understanding Is Hard-Won

When I first started my undergraduate degree in physics, I would get frustrated when I couldn’t understand a concept. This happened when I worked as an undergraduate research assistant with little previous knowledge about the subject. I suddenly had to start learning about more advanced ideas like tensors and general relativity, which were topics I hadn’t ever studied before. At the same time, I had to learn this largely on my own, since there weren’t classes for this during the summer. The result was that my first summer was a bit rough, to say the least.

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Necessary Background

If you go to a basketball game, it may take you a few minutes to understand the rules, but pretty quickly you will figure out what’s happening. Sure, there might be niche rules here and there that leave you baffled, but you can still follow along. Furthermore, you don’t have to be an expert at basketball in order to enjoy watching others play.

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Path Certainty

If there’s one skill I have, it’s worrying. I’m good at worrying about everything. From things that are worth worrying about to things I have no business being concerned with, I can find myself going down the rabbit hole of panic for just about anything.

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Looking Forward

When we are on the path to mastery, we tend to look in one direction: forward. We aren’t interested in looking anywhere else, because we are focused on improving. We look at the masters and try to figure out what we need to do to reach the same level as them.

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