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Learning how to learn and how to succeed in College

I teach a number of subjects. I am from the old school where students studied to learn, not to pass a test. For 15 years I taught at several universities part time. Without exaggeration I would say that a good 40-45% of college students drop out during the first year. This is not because they are incapable of learning, it is because they have not been taught how to learn. They expect that the pat on the shoulder and the sugar coated, "That's all right, I'm sure you're going to do better next time," is going to be the professor's response to poor work. Being successful in college is a simple as this: do what you have to do, when you have to do it and do it well. You cannot produce what I have come to call 'overnight wonders.' Written work has to be well formatted, contain credible support and be well written. Of course that means you have to know what you are talking about, which in turn means you have to study. Unlike the kiddy sports in elementary school where... read more

Opening up new horizons

Some years ago I was teaching at one of the secretarial schools in New Jersey. In one of my classes was a lovely young lady from Haiti. I immediately knew after working with her in one session that she had chosen to aspire below her ability. One day after mustering up enough courage and hoping that I would not offend her, I asked, "Why are you taking this course?" and she looked at me and said, "Because I want to become a secretary." "No you don't," I answered. The girl was quite surprised at my response. I then said to her, "You're too smart to be contented with a position like that." After she insisted, I told her I would find her a job as a secretary, which I did. However, I had the foresight to find one for her at a university. About three months later, I met her in the supermarket. "Still want to be a secretary?" I asked. Her prompt response was, "No!" I looked at her and smiled, "That's why I found... read more

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