Tuesday, September 5, 2006

One Big Crazy Freaking List of Suggestions Designed to Make the Classroom Better...Really...We're Not Joking. This is Stuff People Send Us.

Recently we've been getting lots of lists, lists of things students should do in order to be more successful, lists of things faculty member should stick up their asses because we're notoriously (or famously?) tight-assed - at least in the view of the modern and hip students who apparently aren't.

We've decided to put together a compilation list of advice for students, drawing from several submissions. If you'd like to play a game, try to guess which of these are real, which are phony and fun, and which were composed by people who need to start doubling up on the meds. You'd be discouraged at how many are real suggestions from students and faculty. We won't even bother telling you.

  1. Go to every class. Being present is often more important than being a good student. You'll pick up a lot just from being there. It's important never to miss class. Missing class is okay, as long as you do the work that is assigned. Call the professor before you miss class. Call the professor after you miss class.
  2. Do all the assigned readings before class. If you read in class, you won't be able to highlight the things the lecturer says. Read aloud all of your assignments to a roommate or friend. Do the assigned readings in a quiet space. Do all reading in your normal study environment. Try to stay after class and read before going to the cafeteria or your afternoon job.
  3. Do the homework as close to the time of class as possible, so that the material will be fresh in your head. Do the homework the night before. Do the homework with a classmate. Do any homework after showing a rough draft to the instructor. Type all homework. Keep your homework in a binder.
  4. Do professional-quality work. Type your assignments. Make them look good. The appearance of your final project is more important than the content. Do not worry about typing formats. The content of your work is far more important than its presentation.
  5. Use standard English spelling, grammar, and usage. You look terrible if you don't, because they really do help communication. If you need help, a copy of The Elements of Style by W. Strunk Jr. and E. B. White costs only about $8 on eBay.
  6. If you can't get to class, go to the professor's office and ask for help. If your professor doesn't have any office hours listed, go to the office of the Dean of the University or the Chair of the Department to request the hours.
  7. Be organized. Enjoy your youth and party hard, but only on the weekends. Manage your time effectively. Always have something to write with and on. Don't let time get away from you. Don't forget to enjoy each sunrise.
  8. Make sure you keep your phone set to vibrate.
  9. If you need to use the bathroom, just go. This isn't high school.
  10. Don't sell your books at the end of the semester. Don't buy your books until it's clear which books your teacher is actually using. Buy your books on half.com. Don't buy used books. Buy only used books. Find books in the library. Don't write in your book. Write in the margins of all of your books.

photo from http://apple.qj.net/