Failure and Science are secret lovers!!!


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Regular folks have a glorified view of the pursuit of scientific research. They believe that science is this organized, structured by rules when gathering facts for research, this is far off from the truth. Science is often eccentric, filled with twists, undertaking in uncharted territories, lots of wrong turns, bogus findings, and the intermittent remarkable success. Contrary to popular belief, this is a good thing! Scientific research was based upon trial and error, with this, there is no guarantee for success, it leads inexorably to a hefty dose of failure. In fact, scientists all through history have used failure to guide the scientific process, viewing mistakes as an indispensable part of research.

Now how do we translate this to our beloved children; our students? Ngozi was an A student, she excelled at all of her academic work. She always won prizes at the end of the school year and loved the sweetness of winning. Seated in the auditorium, in the middle of her classmates, she loved the sound of her name being expressed over the speaker system; all necks craned in her direction; mumbles of ‘she again’ It was in her blood. She was determined that she was going to win overall best student when it was time for graduation.

This was her ultimate goal, the culmination of four years’ sweat and perseverance. She had easily made it every year on the Dean’s list and was favored to graduate Summa Cum Laude (1st Class.) Getting Magna Cum Laude wasn’t an option. No one of merit ever finished second. That would simply be a defeat. Failure was not something she was accustomed to or prepared to deal with. Then Richard transferred to her school, he was par excellence personified. In her mind, however, Ngozi knew the competition was tough. It was to be all or nothing. Her parents certainly wouldn’t congratulate her on getting second place.

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