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The Presence Of Young Ladies In Science

2316 words - 9 pages

As I sit and recall the many classes that I have taken in my short student career there are many that stand out. They could stand out to me because the teacher was always very attentive, or because I would spend endless nights attempting to master the subject. Although, there is one class that stands out in my memories above the rest. In this class I had a great teacher and did spend many hours trying to understand the formulas, but those are definitely not the reasons why. It was my Physics 11 class.
The first day of class started like any other. I showed up early to make sure I got to sit near the front and to not make a late entrance; those are always so awkward. I attempted to look casual while walking towards my desk, in an attempt to hide my first-day jitters. Then I sat down as gracefully as I could, hoping not bring too much attention to myself even though there weren’t many other students there yet. Once seated I began watching the students file in one by one. Many of the students had nervous faces, or happy ones because they recognized a friend from another class. But, what I slowly began to notice as the time got closer to the start of class was that many of new classmates had one thing in common. They were all guys. Two other girls and I made up the female portion. For some odd instinctual reason, this male dominated presence in the classroom shook me to my core; they’re over population of the classroom rattled my confidence. I couldn’t help, but try to listen in on their conversations. I wondered did they know something I didn’t? Were mainly guys taking this class because physics is a “guy-thing” and the other girls and I were here by mistake? Their overwhelming numbers not only made me feel out of place, but by extension not as capable as them. I automatically assumed that they must’ve known something I didn’t.
The real kicker out of all of this is that I just took this class last year, when I was 23 years old. I should’ve taken this class back when I was 17. So why didn’t I? There are many reasons as to why I refused to take Physics back then and many other science classes which include the typical: being a slacker, missing too many classes, and trying to take the easy way out. However, one of the overlooked reasons could be that I nonchalantly thought Physics was for guys and definitely did not feel like Physics or most sciences were promoted to the girls of my grade. So, perhaps the overwhelming feeling of intimidation I felt that day was due to feelings that stemmed from earlier incidents.
I grew up with two brother an older one and a younger one. I was constantly being reminded of how cute I was, to clean routinely and to stop playing in the dirt with them. They were told how strong they were, how smart they were for building model airplanes, and most of all to go outside and play! If you’re a women or a man these descriptions must sound familiar. Us girls are always being reminded either by our mothers, T.V....

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