I have two students. One, let’s call him Darrel, is obviously brilliant and has a natural talent for languages. The other one, let’s call him LeShawn, finds languages to be very hard. Everything comes to him at the cost of a lot of effort.
Darrel relies on his brilliance, never prepares for class, fires off exams and hands them in without going over them, and eventually ends up being the worst student in the class.
LeShawn, however, comes to my office hours twice a week, goes over every single correction I make in his homework, constantly asks questions and participates in class. By the end of the course, his Spanish is phenomenal.
I’ve seen this happen so many times that it isn’t funny any more. Students who rely on their natural gifts and invest no effort into their work end up staring at their failed exams in shock. Plodding hard workers, however, always end up succeeding.
It’s all about hard work and consistent effort, people.
P.S. This post is actually a message to myself because I’m starting an intense research stretch that will last from now until the end of August. I need reminding that brilliance is nothing while perseverance and consistency are everything. I’ll tell you how it goes.