Role Reversal


Like most people, I enjoy engaging in activities that I have a good time in. Seeing as many of my preferred activities are sports (though I do hold mathematics, science, reading, and writing in high regard as well), I like to be good at what I do as well. Therefore, the kinds of activities I do usually are ones I am good at. I’m good at basketball, so I play basketball with my friends. I’m good at running, so I enjoy running with others. I’m good at mathematics, so I’ll frequently help people out in their studies.

Because of this tendency to do things I’m good at, I’m not often shown the other side of the equation: the side where people aren’t good at the activity. I can only empathize so much when I talk with most of my friends about grades, because only a few get grades that are similar to mine. In this same way, I can hardly imagine what it’s like to be less than stellar at a sport, because I’m decent at most that I participate in. This isn’t to brag, it’s simply to say that I am usually towards the “stronger” side of the spectrum.

Of course, no one is good at everything, and this reality was brought into sharp focus once again while doing an activity with my friends. It was an activity that was enjoyable, but I simply am not great at it. Therefore, I was the weaker link on a team.

And honestly, it wasn’t fun. I didn’t enjoy being the worst on a team, but it was an interesting experience. It gave me the chance to see what a team or an activity looks like from the perspective of those who aren’t as good at it. It made me think about how I behave when I am in a position of being better than others at an activity. I hope to be more humble and treat those others not just as liabilities (such as in a team sport, perhaps), but as participants who want to succeed just as much as I do.

Related Posts

Balance As A Student

The Grit to Push Through

Behind the Equations

Quantities in Context

Black Boxes

The Priority of Education

A Splash of Colour

Outside the Curriculum

Through the Minefield

Visuals in Mathematics