College Life


What is the least I can do to pass this course? College Life

Hello everyone: “What is the least I can do to pass this course?” Yes, that is a question I was asked by a student just this morning. Are you kidding me? So this gal, a graduate student, doesn’t want to do her best. She doesn’t want to excel, she just wants to barely scrap by. Again, are you kidding me? She is fine with being...

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Diversity at college College Life

Hello everyone: One thing about college: it is a diverse place. When I stepped onto a college campus for the first time in years, it was a big surprise to find that my instructor was a female African American with a Ph.D. I was a female, white, lowly freshman. Maybe that doesn’t sound too weird yet, but we were the same age and had both...

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Hang in there, buddy! College Life

Hello everyone: it’s the time of the semester when you might have just taken your first exam. Let not your heart be troubled. You can overcome a bad first grade, in most cases. If your first exam was worth 10% of the grade, you still have 90% of the grade to win or lose. If that 90% shows a great improvement, then the instructor might...

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Don’t go barking up the wrong Letter of Recommendation tree College Life

Hello everyone: Every term about this time, I get requests for letters of recommendation. Students need them for acceptance into the college they’ve always wanted to go to or for their dream job. Some students will get them; others will not because they are barking up the wrong tree.  Why is that so? Let’s talk. Students who are always on time for class and turn...

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Getting settled but not settling for College Life

Hi everyone: Today’s blog posting is about adjusting to college life. Maybe it’s the second or third week of class. You’ve heard the instructor’s lectures. They seem pretty tame. Maybe you’ve even stopped taking notes because it all seems so easy. Yep, this isn’t going to be much different from high school, right? Nope, this is high school on steroids. If you think you don’t...

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College is a place where everyone is not just like you College Life

Hello everyone: One thing you will realize pretty quickly when you walk into a college classroom is that not everyone is just like you. That’s actually a good thing, since everyone brings their own point of view to the table and you can learn a lot of new things from them. When I was an undergraduate at the University of Maryland College Park, one of...

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Heading back to class College Life

Hello everyone: While students across the nation go back to school at various times, our students in Maryland are starting back tomorrow. Here are some tips to help smooth your transition. Stay in touch with the instructor. If you have a question, please ask. But, when you ask, make sure that you communicate with the professor the way he or she prefers. One of the...

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Time to pack up the bags for school College Life

Hi everyone: Most folks who are in school are getting ready to start their fall classes, if they haven’t done so already. Here are so helpful tips as you put the books in the backpack and head back to school or college. First, show up. I am one week into teaching an eight-week course and some of the students just showed up yesterday for the...

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If all else fails, read the syllabus College Life

Hello everyone: Some folks are getting ready to start back to college, perhaps for the first time in a long time or maybe for the first time ever. Perchance you are a returning student who was just there last semester. You may all have one thing in common: the failure to read the syllabus and/or the announcement page. As an instructor, I use both to...

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Reaching for the Stars College Life

Hello everyone: Sometimes folks think that a college education is like reaching for the stars: a wonderful idea but not achievable. Folks, let me tell you right now- you can do it! If you are a first generation college student, then you may find it more challenging, but take some tips from me (even if you aren’t a first generation college student!): Take things seriously...

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