Classes begin on Monday, but it's not too late to get a head start. Check your Blackboard account to see which classes have been activated. Look over the syllabus and begin thinking about what you will be discussing in each course. Be sure you know where your classrooms are located -- and, most importantly, the closest parking if you are driving to campus. Give yourself some extra time for the first week by arriving early on campus. A good parking space is often very difficult to find, but if you are early, you stand a better chance. Be sure you know about the Baylor shuttle service.
NY Times today - A Professor's Review of Online Cheat Sheets - Here's a really informative piece on how to use (and not use) SparkNotes. Decide for yourself if study guides constitute cheating. Decide with your professor if study guides give you additional perspective not achieved in class.
The NY Times reported last week that studies show lucky charms really work. Well, maybe. Read the article and see what you think for yourself. Serena Williams won't change her socks when she is winning in a tournament. She just won her second consecutive Wimbledon (4 wins in all); she might be on to somthing. Do you have a lucky charm? Have you tried using it during finals week? Give it a try and let us know how it works for you.
You have already received an email with this message. However, it bears repeating. And, you will be one mad bear if your don't prepare for your advising appointment and meet with your advisor every semester, even when it is only "recommended." Little misunderstandings about your degree plan can become really big problems when you are ready to graduate.
Subject: Important Advising Information for Early Registration Text of message: Who is Your Academic Advisor? Your specific advising areas are listed for you. Log into BearWeb – www.baylor.edu/bearweb >Student Services and Financial Aid > Advisement > Advisement Contact Information to verify that your major is listed correctly, determine if advising is required, and find your assigned advisor(s). Also, verify that your “educational goal” is correct – premed or any pre-healthcare field, prelaw, etc.
Verify Your Major It is very important that your major is correct so that your assigned advisor(s) will also be correct. If you need to update your major, go to this link: http://www.baylor.edu/advising > Academic Goals > Changing Majors/Minor/Program and follow the change of major procedures. Call Academic Advisement if you need more information at (254) 710 – 7280. Any time you make a change to your major, minor and/or program, refer to BearWeb again to find your new Advisement Contact Information.
Check Your Program If you need to add or delete participation in one of the following programs or educational goals, please notify the office where you are directed to change your major: Pre-Dental, Pre-Dental Assistant, Pre-Physician Assistant, Pre-Dental Hygiene, Pre-Medical, Pre-Occupational Therapy, Pre-Optometry, Pre-Pharmacy, Pre-Physical Therapy, Pre-Veterinary Medicine, Pre-Law.
When do You Register for Spring Classes? Find your registration date: http://schedule.baylor.edu/ > Registering for Classes > Current and Returning Students>Early Registration Schedule
Study Hacks - a great study skills blog. If you are a blog-follower, add this one to your list. If you are not, you should be. Especially helpful this week is an entry about using your smart phone to maximize your free time so that you work in frequent brief study sessions wherever you happen to be. Cal Newport, author of How to Become a Staight-A Student, introduces you to Ricardo, a computer science major who maintains a 4.0 and studies only about 30 minutes before each test. Sound too good to be true? Read what Ricardo and Cal say, and then let's talk about it.
The Christmas break was a good time to catch up on reading. I’m always amazed when I pick up a newspaper and find a story that parallels something I’m reading at the time. This week it appeared in the Tuesday edition of the NY Times science section – “Chimps and Monkeys Could Talk. Why Don’t They?” As it happens, I’ve just finished the chapter in Stanislaus Dehaene’s new book Reading in the Brain titled “The Reading Ape.” Dehaene, a French mathematician turned cognitive neuroscientist, cites research that indicates macaque monkeys respond to line junctions resembling some letter shapes, a first step in decoding written words. Observers have discovered that chimpanzees, apes and all their kin have distinctive sounds to communicate information. However, over the last 30 million years, as far as we know, monkeys have not spoken a single sentence.
The real point of this posting is not that monkeys apparently have the physical ability to speak and choose not to, but that the excitement of seeing parallels in what’s going on in our personal lives and what’s happening in the global community often leads us to greater understanding in both arenas. Often I even find information on the sports page that relates to study strategies, or on the cartoons page.
How does this translate to improving study skills? Frequent reflection on course material, even while strolling about campus, makes it more likely that we will make associations between what we see and hear in our everyday lives and what we study – a key element in creating long-term memories that produce quick and accurate responses to test questions.
Share Information on Blogspot, Blackboard, Bear Space, ETC.
I moved this feature up on the blog so that it's the first thing you see when you open the blog. Here is a place to ask technology questions such as "How do I add my syllabus to my blog?" Ask away if you have a question; if you have an answer, please jump in. This will be a great exercise in collegiality.
Do you ever find yourself up a tree when it comes to acing that important exam or nailing all the points on the research paper assignment? If so, this blog may be for you. It's a place to explore learning strategies, best practices in picking the perfect professor, and ways to play the academic game so that you end up scoring a university degree. You may also visit my Baylor blog for more information about the Paul L. Foster Success Center and Academic Support Programs. If you find you cannot open some of the files posted to this site, be sure you have Adobe Reader on your computer. You can get a free download at http://www.adobe.com/.