Monday, August 28, 2017

Making Some Changes

Today is the first day of class, and the essential purpose of this blog is changing.

During the summer, it was general friendly advice for incoming college freshmen. Any good bookstore has half a dozen books designed to get high school kids ready for college, and most of them are pretty good, but this was my personal take on the subject. (Besides—oddly—I have never seen any book make a big deal of typing or handwriting. You do these all the time in college. Why don't the books mention them?)

Now in the fall, the purpose of this blog is to give you some background information about why things are happening in the course, along with some personal advice. I am very aware that we just do not have time to do everything that is necessary, and I am also aware that a classroom with fifteen students has at least six or eight completely different sets of needs. This blog can help customize things for you.

Attitude: One big change you need to make

  • Did vacation time just start? Most college freshmen are astonished at just how hard they have to work. Maybe they slid through high school on a combination of good looks, extracurricular participation, and teacher affection. That doesn't work here. You really do have to figure on about 30 hours of study and homework outside of class.
  • Anger. Here you are, stuck in a Developmental English class that doesn't even count on your GPA. For my part, I intend to make this a writing class, not just a fixing-what's-wrong class, and I set it up so any college freshman can get something from it. I also do not intend to talk down to you, even when we are dealing with material you should have caught in the third grade (capitalizing proper nouns, for example).