Is there such a thing as wrong course for wrong student?

This is the story of Joe and Pat (not their real names) about “wrong course for wrong student”.

Story of Joe:

Joe was in his second year studying for Environmental Science in my chemistry practical classes. There was just one issue – he struggled with almost all aspects of the subject and one afternoon he came in with a look of despair and exasperation. I asked, “why are you studying for this degree?” “Because Mum says I should” …. This last sentence is something I hear often, and it saddens me that many students feel they need to study for a degree because that is what is expected of them. Joe was one of those.

I asked him what he enjoyed the most. With a big smile he told me ‘Working with soil’ and said he relished working at a garden centre. The sense of being at one with Nature was what he enjoyed the most. “WOW, how wonderful “, I responded. Then I looked him direct in his eyes and said, “Quit the course!!” (this is NOT something I would have said prior to studying the SEJ).

He looked back at me with tears in his eyes and said something I have never forgotten…’ no one has ever given permission for me to do that.’

The next day he came back to say he had decided that he would work full time at the garden centre and quit the course. The last time I heard from him he was dreaming of opening his own place full of trees and plants. He sounded much more like the Joe I met at the start of his course.

Story of Pat:

Pat was a polite, well-turned-out student who was studying to be a Pharmacist with about 6 months left of the course. He was struggling as the course was demanding and he was feeling isolated and overwhelmed by the commitment expected of him in his final year of study.

From his academic profile Pat was considered a good student in all respects and he was expected to graduate comfortably. Yet Pat said he didn’t feel ‘right’; he had lost motivation and wasn’t sure even why he was studying to be a Pharmacist. We applied the SEJ process together to find his answers. The SEJ empowers the person using the simple yet powerful processes to find their own voice/Truth and their own solution.

After the SEJ powerfully revealed to Pat he did not want to be a Pharmacist but rather to run his own B&B with his sister, he was at peace.  When this came out he was both shocked and delighted. He decided to complete his training and qualify as a Pharmacist as he realised working in a professional health care environment would give him a unique and desirable set of skills. I have yet to visit his B&B, but I am sure he will achieve his dream in the not-too-distant future.

So, were they doing the wrong courses? Were they the wrong ‘type ‘of students? It is not for me to judge here but what kind of students are the ‘right’ students? What determines a successful student?

I don’t have the answers but one thing I am sure of is that the SEJ has undoubtedly assisted everyone involved to see the student’s Truth. The SEJ process has guided me to walk beside the student so they can see their path clearly. A teacher’s role is to point the student to their path, but the student must walk that path themselves.

Dr M Howard-Kishi

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