I came across this post via Dustin Boyer’s blog and really enjoyed it and thought I’d share it here too – link.
“Salman Khan, founder of Khan Academy, did a great Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Reddit a couple weeks ago. This comment really hit me:
Hi my name is ****** ** and I’m a second year student in the University of Western Australia (UWA) majoring in Physics and Maths. I was originally from Singapore where I spent the first 15 years of my life failing school, day after day I would not understand a word the teacher was saying as they said, “you must remember this or you won’t get a job in your future.” and every year I would fail school. When I was 14, I started failing pretty badly and fell into a world of drug addiction. When I was 15, my drug addiction got so intense that it affected my grades so badly that I had to be held back a grade in my high school in Singapore. Finally in January 2008 (the year I was 16), my parents decided to move to Perth in Western Australia. They had me enrolled in a private school where within 8 months I was expelled for fighting and drugs. At the end of that ordeal and closely evading arrest, my parents had me enrolled in a local public school where I was faced with the worst problem of my entire life. The final exam of high school that determines if you go to University or not was coming, and I had no idea what to do as I never listened in class since I was 13. All I could do was expand a bracket and that was it, no factorizing, solving an equation or doing trigonometry. I first met the Khan Academy in December 2009 where I stumbled on his videos on Complex Numbers on YouTube. I had a whole load of heavy weight subjects like Literature, Physics, Advanced Maths, Chemistry and Biology. Everyday when I came home from school, it would be a 4pm – 10pm study session driven by my own fears. With 5 years of work to catch up on and only Khan Academy helping me, it was a grueling experience. I failed every test and exam that year, thankfully none of those tests and exams contribute to your final University determination grade. I worked through the Khan Academy playlists on Basic Algebra, Trigonometry, Physics, Chemistry and Biology before moving on to the “higher level” things like Calculus and Differential Equations. Thanks to Salman Khan for quitting his day job as a Hedge-fund Analyst, he has allowed a drug addict whom the public would look down upon to persevere through his A levels and come out on the other side with a result good enough to get into Western Australia’s best University. I hope and pray that the Khan Academy will expand to do subjects like Modern Physics and Maths topics like Topology, Differential Geometry and so on. In any case, I thank you Salman Khan, and the effort you have put into the Khan Academy. You’ve opened doors for us that we would have never been able to unlock alone.
::: I am Salman Khan, AMA via Reddit ::
Salman Khan’s Ted Talk is pretty rad too
There is another question from the AMA that I found pretty interesting:
What made you study for so many degrees? (Three from MIT and an MBA from Harvard!)
Also, thanks a lot and much respect from me, a student from Hong Kong. You make learning truly enjoyable.
MIT let you take as many courses as you wanted for the same tuition. I was the hungry kid at the all-you-can-eat buffet
My prime motivation for going back to Boston in 2001 to get an MBA was to find a wife (and it worked). Silicon Valley in the late 1990s was not a great place to be a young single guy. My secondary motivation was to broaden my experiences and allow me to think about what I really wanted to do longer term (I did end up changing careers).” – via Dustin