Category Archives: Class

Missing Class?

Sep 18, 2014 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

We’re almost a month into the semester now, and I’m sure you’ve been a diligent little student attending all of your lectures and labs. Here’s a disclaimer before I even start this post, do not miss class unless absolutely necessary; you are very sick, you have a family obligation, or it’s an emergency.

So, one of those three reasons came up and you have to miss class, here’s what you should do:

1.) Tell your professor as soon as possible. If you have your cousin’s wedding a weekend in November, and you know when it is in August, tell your professor then! They will make a mental note of it, and know that you take their class seriously.

2.) Write an email either the day of, or the night before just reminding your professor that you are going to miss class. (For how to write a super profesh email check out fellow UC Blogger, Elaine Paravati’s post about how to write an email fit for a professor to read.)

3.) Get the notes you missed from a classmate. Find out the important things you missed, and try to understand what happened during the lecture. Reference your text book, and any notes your professor may have posted online.

4.) The day you get back, or feel well enough, go to your professor’s office and apologize for missing class. Explain that you understand how valuable their time is, and then ask what you missed. If you already attempted to understand the notes ask for clarifications on any “murky” points.

These steps are essential if you happen to miss a class. However, don’t be one of those people who stops showing up. Even if your professor doesn’t take attendance, you want to be present so your professor can connect your name with a face. Important things are happening during class, why would you miss that? People tell you time, and time again that actively listening in class helps students achieve better test grades, something every student wants! So, get those better test grades; you are paying for your education, why throw that away on missed classes?

 

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Never 2 Early

Sep 16, 2014 | Author: Juwan Wilson

 

So I know everyone has  heard its never too late for anything, right? Well its never to early for anything either. I know school just started about three weeks ago and you maybe didn’t have a test yet, but think about getting a tutor or seeking help  from someone in classes you think will be challenging. Now this post is more toward freshmen because seeking help is not something you probably want to do  three weeks in on being by yourself, but in fact by asking for help you show true maturity and responsibility because you are seeking to be better than just average and that’s always a good thing. Now this was just something short I felt everyone, but more freshmen should be aware of because I know last year I could have had a 3.5 and not a 3.0 if I stood up and asked for help.

LOL, OMG, WUT? Writing a Professional Email

Sep 11, 2014 | Author: Elaine Paravati

As classes are now in full swing, many students find themselves needing to communicate with professors beyond the classroom setting. The easiest way to do that effectively is, of course, dropping by a professor’s office during his or her office hours. However, with busy schedules and different office hours for each professor, sometimes it can be hard to find the time to drop by a professor’s office, and sending an email is often the next best way to get in touch. With today’s smartphones, it takes just a quick moment to jot a note to a professor and send it instantly.

Not so fast! Emailing a professor – and any professional, I may add (your coach, area coordinator, academic coaching expert, etc) – requires a level of respect and courtesy. Sometimes, students forget that email is still a form of communication, and that it is important to set the right tone when communicating both in person and online with any individual who is considered a professional. Getting into the habit of sending out appropriate emails is helpful not just in academics, but certainly also will aide with internships, job interviews, and the real world. So, without further ado, here are some tips on how to write a professional email:

1. Write a subject line. Professors are busy people, and may receive a multitude of emails every day. Including a concise subject line will help them remember your email and retain the important information. For example, if you are emailing about a missed class, a subject line of “Missed class 10/31/14″ will let them know the exact date you are addressing before they even open the email. Similarly, writing “Essay #3 Assignment,” “Advising Appointment,” or “Lecture Notes Question” will let them know the purpose of your email ahead of time. A short subject line is very helpful and demonstrates thoughtfulness.

2. Use the right title. When writing the email, it is appropriate to begin with “Dr. Appleseed“- writing “Dear Dr. Appleseed” is also fine, but not truly necessary. Title is EXTREMELY important; if your professor is a doctor, he or she spent many years earning that title, so it is definitely necessary for you to use it. If you are unsure of if your professor has a doctorate, you can search them on the Utica College webpage and read their credentials, or look at the syllabus for the class. When in doubt, you can also address them as “Professor Appleseed“. Then, when the professor emails you back, look at how they signed their name and use that as an indicator of how to address them in the future. Another important part of the correct title is correctly spelling your professor’s name. Take the extra minute to ensure your spelling is correct; you don’t want to start off the email on the wrong foot!

3. Be concise, but OMG, don’t use abbreviations. Emails are not short stories. A professional email should be to the point and only a few paragraphs at most. If you find yourself needing to write a small novel, perhaps the topic would be better discussed in person. Likewise, if you are addressing a subject briefly but could add more information, you can end the email with “Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. I am also available to meet with you if you would like to discuss this more in depth in person.” As far as the email itself, keep it short and sweet- but don’t use Internet slang (LOL, 2GETHER, HW) in order to keep it brief! Remember, you are communicating with a professional, not your Facebook friends.

4. Wrap up the email respectfully. As I mentioned before, leaving the lines of communication open with your professor will let them know you are willing to talk more in person if necessary, which is always a good thing. If you are sending an email because you need something (such as help with an assignment, or to set up a time to meet), finishing up with “Thank you very much, and I look forward to hearing from you”  demonstrates that you are appreciative of their help. This also shows that you are expecting a response. This is important because professors are busy people, and may not necessarily feel inclined to respond to an email unless a student specifically indicates that they would like an answer. If you do not need an email back, a simple “Thank you” is always suitable ending. You always want to finish an email with the expression of your gratitude for their time. Don’t forget to sign the email with your first and last name, so that your professor knows who is writing to them!

5. SPELL CHECK! Double, triple, and quadruple-check your email for any spelling and grammar errors. Nothing ruins a professional email faster than a silly mistake! Typos are totally normal, but can be easily avoided by looking over an email before pressing send. It is always worth the extra minute to look over your email and make sure it is a flawless piece of scholastic merit before sending it off into the permanent abyss that is the World Wide Web.

It may seem strange at first to write emails that include subject lines, professional titles, cohesive messages, conscientious endings, and plenty of spell check. However, with enough practice (and trust me, in four years here, you will get plenty of practice), writing a professional email will become second nature. Good luck, and TTYL!

Senior Year Bucket List

Aug 28, 2014 | Author: Karita Rawlins
buck·et list

noun: bucket list; plural noun: bucket lists
a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish before dying.
I am not dying.

I am, however, coming close to the end of something… my college career. As I prepare to close this chapter of my life, I realize there are some things I have never done, as well as some I have, that I need to experience before I leave college. Thus I have decided to create a Senior Year Bucket List.

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My friends and fellow bloggers, Laura and MaryEllen, helped to come up with the list.

Each time I accomplish something on the list I will cross it off this post as well as share my experience in a new post!

  1. Become a blogger
  2. Land an internship
  3. Go to Senior Ball
  4. Road trip with friends
  5. See my first concert
  6. Attend a Toga Party
  7. Dress up for Halloween and go trick-or-treating
  8. Take a class outside of my major
  9. Join a new organization on campus, specially one I would usually never consider
  10. Watch SlapShot
  11. Audition for a role in the school play
  12. Sing the national anthem at a varsity game
  13. Become a vegetarian for a week
  14. Have lunch with my favorite professor
  15. Hike a mountain
  16. Run a 5K marathon
  17. Be an ally
  18. Take an upper level art course
  19. Donate Blood
  20. Go on a real date
  21. Study Abroad
  22. Volunteer at a soup kitchen
  23. Learn a new language
  24. Join an intramural sports team
  25. Take a tour of the Saranac Brewery
  26. Graduate

My list is in no particular order and I am giving myself one school year to complete it. The first thing off my list is Become a blogger. I’ve always wanted to bog/vlog but never really knew what about until one day while I was reading through the Daysheet I spotted an ad for UC bloggers wanted. I contacted Ryan Mortensen in the Office of Advancement and then within a week or so I was a UC Blogger.  I even got my picture on the website (ironically that has always been a life goal of mine, I am also now on the Homecoming brochure!)

I hope my list inspires you to start your own and hopefully not wait until your senior year to have all these great experiences! Feel free to comment things that are on your own bucket list or ones you suggested I should add to mine.

FINALS WEEK

Apr 28, 2014 | Author: Juwan Wilson

you can smell the summer air , your shorts and tank tops are calling your name. you can see the beaches from your dorm room windows. It could only mean that school is coming to an end and that means FINaLS are here. Now i know I’m only a freshmen but i do have some quick and easy steps to stay on top of your finals and get ready for the summer.

STEP 1 : Don’t Procrastinate

when you procrastinate you find your self in trouble , because then the work starts to pile up and we all know the clock loves to faster when the work piles up

STEP 2: No Marathon Studying

When your studying you need to know when to take a break. Marathon Studying does nothing for you but blow your head up into a million pieces.

STEP 3: Don’t Forgot To Sleep

sleeping is the most important thing … have a great night sleep or nap can be the difference between A or B

i hope that this info was helpful Peace , Love , and Good Grades

Embrace Your Inner Nerd: Do Research!

Apr 20, 2014 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

I think the term “nerd” has a negative connotation for absolutely no reason. I take pride when someone calls me a nerd, and so should you! Nerds are typically people who are super interested in a certain topic (or several topics!) and I don’t see how that could possibly be seen as a bad thing. In fact, I want people to think that I’m super interested in almost everything I do! What’s the point in doing something you’re not interested in?

I think, by far, the nerdiest thing that people associate with me is my major; I’m a biology major. But I love my major. It is so interesting to learn about so many different things, and, plus, my major affords me the opportunity to take an active part in my learning…I can do research.

(Disclaimer! Sooo many majors give people the opportunities to do research, not just biology. My friend is a psychology major who is doing research on sexual kinks and habits, so it doesn’t have to be all super “sciencey” stuff.)

So, my botany class this semester requires a research project. Some of my friends and I decided to do something related to tree cores, or dendrochronology, and the rest is…history. We did a load of work, and then went a bit further; we were given the opportunity to present our research at the Northeast Natural History Conference, which was located in Springfield Massachusetts this year.

(Mary Brockett and I discussing our research with a fellow conference attendee.)

(We explored Springfield, Massachusetts which is where our conference was held. …It was super windy.)

So here’s some tips for how to maybe start (and eventually present!) your own research.

1.) Choose something that interests you.

Pick a thing you “nerd” out about! I’m a huge environmental person, and once my group decided to look into tree cores being influenced by climate change, I was “hooked.” Make sure you want to do something because you want to, not just because your professor wants you to. You’re going to be spending a ton of time looking further into your selected subject matter, so it should definitely be something you’re at least a little bit interested in.

(Farwa Dalawar and I are clearly super interested in tree cores, and snowfall records.)

2.) Don’t get discouraged.

Sometimes, things don’t work out the way you expected. …But, in all honesty, when do things ever go exactly as planned? If your research goes exactly as you expected, then I envy you. There are always going to be little bumps along the way, just assess the bump, work through it, and move on.

3.) Be proud of your work.

Research takes ages, and when you’re done with it you have the right to be proud of it. Even if you didn’t find the cure to some crazy horrible disease, your findings still deserve to be documented. So once you find what you find, tell people about it! Don’t feel ashamed. You have a right to brag, so do it.

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(My group and my research poster is hanging in Gordon…I flail around it every so often.)

So there’s that. Find something that interests you, stick to it, and then have something to brag about. Being a researching nerd really isn’t that hard after all, is it?

 

So You’re Taking a Summer Class

Apr 18, 2014 | Author: Colleen Bierstine

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You might think you know what you’re getting into with summer classes, but it’s a whole different game. Summer classes are condensed versions of what you take during a normal fall or spring semester, and they’re consequently that much more intense.

Each summer class runs for about a month as opposed to the four month time span you’re used to. That means summer class professors have to take four months’ of information and squeeze it into one very short month. That’s why your summer class is probably held every day of the week.

I learned the hard way that procrastination absolutely does not work in the summer. In truth, procrastination is never an efficient or helpful method, but if you default to your procrastinating ways during a summer class, you will not survive. This is because you simply don’t have the time to put things off.

In the class I took last summer, we had a weekly exam. It sounds like a lot, but again, it’s a much shorter time span, and it made sense, equating to about four tests. I often put off studying until the night before, and it was always a huge disaster. I wound up pulling all-nighters almost every week, and completely burnt myself out.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Quite simply, just don’t procrastinate. Even if you’re a procrastinator at heart like I was, you just have to remember that you only have to act like an on-top-of-things productive human being for a month. You can handle that.

You’re likely to have a smaller class in the summer, which is great because you can develop a closer relationship with your professor, and there will be more time for questions. You’ll develop a little bond with whoever is in your class because you’re all in the same boat.

You’ll also probably have to be willing to take initiative. There likely won’t be as much time for dissecting things and going over topics as in-depth as you might prefer in class, so you’ll have to be willing to work hard outside of class and get help from your professor. And don’t forget how helpful your good friend the internet is. Can’t figure something out? Try Googling it before you implode.

Most of all, give yourself a pat on the back. It might seem like a drag to take a summer class at first because you’re passing up what’s supposed to be a break, but think of the lighter semesters to come that you’ll have as a result.

Just stay calm and remember to manage your time wisely. You probably cannot go out partying every night and get through your summer class alive. But if you’re diligent, you’ll do just fine.

finishing strong ?

Apr 10, 2014 | Author: Juwan Wilson

The Weathers is raising, your summer clothing is calling your name, being home with no worries and your friends seem like a dream. But standing in your way is the final turn like in track, the hardest part of school the END!. The ending of school Is so hard because all you really want is that break, your brain is beat, your drive is slowly going down and down. Well Today I will try and give you some tips I currently use at the moment to help me keep my eye on the prize and finish through the line.
1) Try your best to stay organize
2) Get more sleep
3) Use time wisely
4) Remind yourself of your goals
5) Tell yourself to keep pushing its almost over ( this really does work trust me)
6) Lastly have fun, enjoy your down time with your friends it’s the only thing that will keep you from not going crazy when work starts to build up and test start to shoot its way into you schedule
Hopefully these very simple steps will allow you the chance to turn down the straight away finish strong and end with a goal metal

Coming To An End

Apr 8, 2014 | Author: Toni Vernon

I feel as if August was just here, as if my freshman year had just begun. It is currently April which means my first year at UC is coming to an end.  This year has has been filled with many new experiences as well as many lessons learned. If you were to ask me in August what I expected from my freshman year at UC, I would have probably told you that college would be a piece of cake. If you asked me now I would tell you, college is what everyone tries to tell you it is. The courses aren’t the same as high school and the time and dedication you need to put into your work is tremendous; especially, if you want to excel. I came into my freshman year as a biology major, and currently I switched to chemistry because I realized biology in high school was way different than the biology courses in college. I also realized my passion for chemistry. In these last few  weeks at UC, I hope to finish up strong and start preparing myself for the wide variety of courses I need to take next semester.

17 Things Students Who Graduate Early Will Understand

Apr 3, 2014 | Author: Colleen Bierstine
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Photo by Kevin Waldron

College students know it’s hard enough to graduate on time, let alone early, but some of us are on a different path and kick things into high-gear so we can get our diplomas sooner. It isn’t easy, but we stick to the plan of attack come whatever may. And with a few heavier course loads and a lot of determination, we finish up a semester or two early feeling on top of the world.

Anyone who’s been there knows our lives are a little bit different than our fellow students on the normal 4-year timeline. There are certain things only we can understand, and for that, we share a special bond.

  1. There is no such thing as an “easy” semester for you. You have a full or overloaded course load every time, even as a senior.
  2. If you’re like me and only graduating one semester early instead of two, you wish you’d gotten yourself going sooner so you could graduate two semesters early.
  3. Free time? What’s that?
  4. Maintaining a decent GPA is twice as hard.
  5. You’ve inevitably had those full days that start with 8am classes and end with a night class, at least once every semester.
  6. People assume you’re really smart, but honestly, it was more about taking on extra workloads than anything else.
  7. People get really confused when your age and your class don’t match up (You’re 20 but you’re a senior???).
  8. You’ve come to accept the inevitability of all-nighters.
  9. Your time here with your favorite professors and classmates is all the more precious since you’re leaving sooner.
  10. People who say college goes by in the blink of an eye don’t know the half of it.
  11. You’ve been forced at least once to cram some of the most labor-intensive classes for your major into the same semester.
  12. You felt like a boss when you made it out of that semester alive, and with good grades too.
  13. You have a special bond with your adviser who helped you make graduating early possible. Without them, you would’ve gone crazy trying to put your schedules together.
  14. You’re a master at packing a whole day’s worth of meals into one lunch box since you often wind up spending entire days on campus.
  15. You are the ultimate multi-tasker, and your time management skills are incomparable.
  16. You learned to embrace planners and calendars to keep your plethora of deadlines straight.
  17. You know graduating early isn’t for everyone, but for you, it was worth it.