Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Chemistry student takes it slow and steady

David Denofreo photo

By Tamara Letkeman, doug Editor

Got a big goal but scared you won’t meet it? Natasha Ali understands. If the Chemistry student were to star in the fable of the hare and the tortoise, she’d be the tortoise. In high school, she had a tough time keeping up with the boys, who dominated her chemistry class.

“They were very fast,” she recalls, “and I was intimidated. They were so good with numbers and could do calculations quickly. I could do them, too, but I was slower.”

But soon Natasha came to realize that a flashy performance didn’t always translate into good marks. “The boys looked like they were doing well, but some actually weren’t. They were rushing through.”

Natasha brought her methodical approach to Douglas, where she won a national chemistry award. She’s taken two years of chemistry here and is heading off to UBC, where she plans to get a bachelor of education degree before entering medicine or pharmaceutical sciences.

She’s got a long and challenging road ahead, but any time she feels overwhelmed, she remembers the wisdom of the tortoise. “I know my goal is long-term – it can’t happen overnight. I focus on each day as it comes and try not to think about the next stage. And I know that I’m going to be just fine.”

Find out more about studying Chemistry at Douglas College on our website. Read more inspiring stories about our students and instructors in our new viewbook.