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Show up for the First Day of Class or You May be Playing Catch-up for the Rest of the Term College Life / Uncategorized

Hello everyone: Today, I had four online classes start. They were all pretty full, meaning that I have 70 new students as of today. You know how many showed up for class? Less than ten. Less than 1/7th of the students cared enough to be there. In a residential program, that would make for a very empty classroom. It did online, as well. Guess what?...

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Using Your Spring Break Wisely College Life / Uncategorized

Hello everyone: Spring break! How wonderful! A great time is to be had by all, right? Well maybe it shouldn’t be. There was a gal in my Spanish class at UMD who talked about her spring break at length when she returned from a holiday. She had gotten SO drunk in Mexico that she…. but, no, this is a family-oriented blog posting. I won’t tell...

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Beware of tunnel scams College Life / Home Life / Uncategorized

Hello everyone: I was faced with another scam recently and I wanted to pass it along to you. Based on the website for the Elizabeth River Tunnel company, I am not the only person who has been charged with running their toll gate without paying. Here is my reply to their bill for about $6.00. It’s not the bill; it’s the ethics involved.


“How many bodies are we supposed to have” and other questions that don’t make much sense Uncategorized / Writing & Grammar

Hi everyone: Okay, so I have seen some pretty weird questions in my time as a college professor but the one you see above takes the cake. [If you don’t know what that saying means, please ask your grandmother.] Students were required to write a business report that contained a cover page, letter of transmittal, Table of Contents, Introduction, Body, Conclusion, Recommendations, References page, and...

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The Word’s the Thing: Part Two Uncategorized / Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: Today, my students suggested more words for our “The Word’s the Thing” blog posting from yesterday. They are fond of the misuse of the word “there.” Or is it “their?” Or “they’re?” The first incarnation means “over there, next to the really cute guy (or gal).” The second is possessive, like “their books.” The third is the contraction of “they are,” as in...

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The Word’s the Thing Uncategorized / Writing & Grammar

Hi everyone: So, just how important is it that you use the right word? For someone like me, very important. For students, they are also very important. Here’s a sampling from this week: A student finished off her letter, writing the following: Respectively, Sally Student Huh? She meant “Respectfully” but didn’t quite make it. The word she meant is defined as “with deference and respect.”...

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Failure to Plan on Your Part… Uncategorized / Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: It happens all the time: Students wait until the night before an assignment is due and then they panic over the instructions. There may have been hundreds of other students who have successfully understood the assignment but now, suddenly, the teacher is an idiot who wrote bad instructions. This happened simply because the student waited until five hours before the deadline to start...

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Research before Writing Uncategorized / Writing & Grammar

Hi everyone: It’s amazing. Students think that they can sit down and write an assignment without doing any research. Folks, that’s a good way to end up with writer’s block. If you haven’t seen what scholars have said about your topic, you can only write so much, especially if you don’t know anything about the topic. Please don’t “fake it till you make it.” This...

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