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Meeting Form | Survival
tips for freshmen |
101: The First Year Experience Seminar,
Agenda, Spring '07.
Jeremy Lewis, Flowers 209, ext. 4521. Page revised 28 Jan. '07.
NO classes, Spring '07:
8-9 Mar. (winter
break), 26-30 Mar. (spring break), 6 Apr. (Good Friday), W 11 Apr. (Senior
test), T 8 May (Dead Day).
| Who's Who at HC | Time management
| Honor Code | Professors
| Test Anxiety |
Careers | Diversity
| More Diversity | Communications
| Money | Service/ Finals |
Week 1, NO MONDAY CLASS (ONLY WED-FRI)
Week 2, M Jan. 22:Introduction
to the Course,
Getting to Know You
Week 3, M Jan. 29:Who's
Who and Where's Where
Use of College People and Resources -- check
the phone list for HC staff offices.
Week 4, M Feb. 5: Time
Know the office and extension of your academic
adviserfor you rmajor field.
Business, Accounting, Economics, Psychology --
Business Office, FInancial Aid, Registrar
Dean of Arts & Sciences, designated Academic
Dean (signs forms) -- Cloverdale
Humanities -- Flowers
Human Performance, Education -- Cloverdale
Mailroom, snack bar, bookstore -- Delchamps
Music -- Smith
Religion -- Jackson home
Residential Life, Dean of Students -- Hut
Sciences -- Bellingrath and Pratt
Stallworth dining room -- back of dining hall
Tech team, copy shop -- basement of Flowers
Tutoring and Supplemental Instruction
Most common needs are writing and math
Study group may help each member by pooling
Notes are useful -- when you actually
Do try DVD programs -- and live language
tables at lunch -- for languages and mathematics.
Practice makes perfect.
The daily triangle is equilateral:
Week 5, M Feb. 12: "On My Honor:"
8 hours work, 8 hours sports,
or cultural enhancement, 8 hours sleep.
Work only counts class, lab, reading,
writing, problem solving.
Anything else comes out of the play category!
Be sure to "read around" your subjects
on materials that are not required for any one class.
Cultural enhancement: try classical music,
Shakespeare Theatre, dance, World Affairs Council, ISA banquet.
Take every chance you can to particpate and lead
in HC major field clubs.
Three hours study on average needed for
hour of class time.
(includes heavy periods of study or writing,
averaged with quiter periods.)
Sleeping short catches up with you in
than three weeks.
Pulling an all nighter catches up with you next
Sports -- even serious team commitments
-- come out of play time, not out of study time.
Midnight cramming empties your brain.
Not a good idea before a test.
On a written project, put down your thoughts,
plans and work up a bibliography early.
Writing to deadline for some people works
well -- provided you laid the groundwork early.
In college, if not in all high schools, deadlines
usually come with penalties.
Introduction to Values
Academic values are based on openness, learning
Openness depends on trust that information
will be used fairly.
Academic values uphold culture and learning
Academic values uphold truth even where
it embarrasses or conflicts with power.
Academic freedom to research and speak
tolerance for alternative views
(Bring student handbook to class).
Honor code is open ended: comply with
academic and ethical principles.
trust & flexibility: e.g. leaving
test for bathroom trip; make-up tests may be unsupervised.
brings equity: you, who work hard, know
others don't get off cheap.
violating code is hated by students: J
board students are claimed harsher than faculty.
self-responsibility for behavior and reporting
requirement to confront others is sometimes
the hardest. It takes leadership.
Can you give examples where you have stood
up for ethics in face of peer pressure?
Cheating: Surveys show US freshmen
no longer recognize cheating as evil.
Week 6, M Feb. 19: Etiquette
and eMail - How To Talk and Get Along with College Professors
Not just copying answers, which avoids learning.
Not just dishonest responses.
Observe rules on group work or
Plagiarism is using others' work as your
Essays and short "think pieces" which do not
need citations may have different rules from research papers.
Improper citation on a formal research
paper may be taken as plagiarism.
When in doubt, check with instructor on
the ground rules for the specific written project.
It is wise to build good credibility early,
for it may carry you through difficulties later.
Off campus behavior counts also:
let's not embarrass our friends & college
by public drunkenness, rudeness.
Drugs and Alcohol Lessons: Healthy Living
Attrition of freshmen due to distractions.
Adult living means making own choices.
Aristotle: Good man has good habits.
regular meals, sensible diet, 8 hours of sleep
Temptations to excess: alcohol, drugs, sexuality.
Optimize, don't maximize.
As adults, if questioning rules of morality,
should focus on the damage done by excessive consumption. (Utilitarian
ethics better than none?)
The point of banning substances is that they
are harmful to the body.
Public health issues usually reinforce moral
Social habits: Good reputation
is all you have -- and it lasts for years.
In freshman months, unfair dating leads to bad
reputation; fair behavior leads to better social repute.
Letting down your friends, breaking appointments
-- send messages to your associates.
"Man is the sum of his acts." -- Jean-Paul
Doctor means "learned" in Latin.
Address faculty who hold the PhD degree as Dr. X, or Professor X.
Week 7, M Feb. 26: Test
Anxiety and Study Skills
other faculty may be learned also, but you can
safely address them as "Professor".
Meet with your instructors and advisers during
their office hours at least once per term, even if all is going
Building a relationship with questions about
their subjects go help you greatly when you have a later problem.
Keep appointments, especially if outside
normal office hours.
Get to know the emphases of your faculty -- some
are more focussed on rules, others on good content. Some are sticklers
for good writing, others for good preparation.
By knowing them, you will not be misled by rumors
from other students.
Visit with an instructor for about ten minutes
-- only stay longer if you have a serious issue to discuss.
Credibility is vital in the relationship
If the instructor's body language indicates you
can continue the discussion, then OK.
If an instructor invites you to a research
assistantship, a class home dinner, or a cafe seminar -- take it! These
are great opportunities that no longer exist in many universities.
be sure to follow through on any promises; reliability
is essential to credibility
a student who is punctual to class, and attends
regularly, has more credibility when asking to be excused from a class
a student who achieves top grades has much more
credibility when asking to repeat a "blown" test.
When you have a problem that needs a favor
from the instructor, you will more likely succeed it:
you confess your sins, apologize, explain the
you are aware that you are asking for a discretionary
favor, and ask politely
you only give one rationale or excuse
you are willing to make-up a test at the instructor's
convenience -- not just when you fancy it.
you keep the appointment time, and show up a
few minutes early.
When you have a really serious problem,
such as plagiarism or cheating:
if innocent, explain why, politely but firmly.
Try to bring evidence of innocence or a witness.
Remember than an administrator or teacher must
uphold ethics -- and does not have perfect information.
if guilty, confess your sins, apologize, explain
the mitigating circumstances -- and only then request a reasonable solution,
such as repeating work or doing extra work.
be polite -- you are not in a position to be
When you observe cheating among others:
according to the Honor code, you are not to tolerate
for a minor issue: tip off the instructor, perhaps
without naming names, in a way that enables the instructor to prevent further
for a major issue, consult the Student Handbook
on taking the issue to Judicial Board.
Tutoring Help Slide: [PPT]
Punctual and regular attendance
correlates with success. Reminder: 3rd absence means sudden death in FYex.
Listening, note taking and review.
How long an attention span do you have?
Study groups are part of your social life.
Week 8, M Mar. 5: Lunch discussion in
Russell Dining Hall. Look for our table.
Week 9, M Mar 12: Career
They correlate with success -- if there is a
good social dynamic.
Extra-curricular lectures are really co-curricular:
they help you with future courses in ways you do not plan.
Library skills: visit librarians; Nordis
Smith (analogue) and Brenda Kerwin (electronic).
As soon as you have your homework assignment,
before they are too busy.
Develop bibliography early, and order Inter Library
Writing in structured way, preparing and
which works for you? prose, tables, diagrams
Are you visual, auditory, or textual learner?
Communication with instructors (type of
assignment, purpose, delays, absences.)
Ask what kind of study habits work for their
classes, seminars or labs.
Course grade formula, absence policy and
rules awareness: instructors vary.
Some emphasize a few major graded projects like
exams and papers, others give weekly quizzes.
Schools now have over 25% sudden death rule on
Instructors may enforce "drop dead" deadlines
-- others allow make-ups.
Steady, regular study works much better
than desperate midnight hours.
Music and Languages need to be practiced daily
to enjoy any improvement.
Midnight papers only work if you have gathered
sources in advance, then
"When a man knows he is to be hanged in the morning,
it concentrates the mind." -- Dr. Johnson.
Work on your weaknesses -- extra study
group time for math, languages or whatever ails ya.
Second half of term, avoid attendance and study
drop off, as you tackle homework projects.
Homework: meet with a professor
for advising and return the meeting form,
filled in, by Friday.
Consider your skills and match them to the best
fit career, not just the most lucrative.
Week 10, M Mar. 19: Career Services
Week 11, M Apr. 2: "Get Over Yourself: Diversity
One of the most common experiences of going away
to college or the military is being confronted by people of different cultures
and personalities than in your home town and family.
It doesn't matter where we come from, we are
always going to be the odd one out in a different region or country.
The theory of the marketplace of ideas
holds that truth is best discovered when all ideas compete in debate, and
evidence is marshalled to support each argument.
This requires academic freedom to research
and speak -- and implies
tolerance for alternative views
You might think that the Britain from which I
came is socially homogenous. But even there, diversity has been an
Week 12, M Apr. 9: More Diversity
In the nineteenth century, it took a statute
law to open universities in Ireland to Roman Catholics -- the majority
of the population.
Now in the UK (Southern Ireland is now the separate
republic of Eire) the government supports muslim as well as protestant
and catholic public schools.
You may think I'm English, and you'd be correct
-- but my father was beaten up in elementary school for not speaking English.
He was a Welsh immigrant, and spoke only Welsh (a form of gaelic). The
wesh for a flag is "baner", good morning is pronounced "boro dah", and
Wales is Cymru (pronounced "Cumree").
Now when I visit Wales, the street signs have
welsh language first and English second. For names, there may only be one
letter different -- but try reading quickly in welsh "Trucks over 3 tons
cannot cross this bridge except on Sundays, or if they have more than two
Wales is a country of unemployed steelworkers
(including my grandfather) and coal miners. But more Welsh now live
in England -- and many are successful teachers, actors and playwrights.
Rugby football is the Welsh national game --
and passion. The new national lottery now pays for a grand Welsh
stadium, so they no longer have to play in the mud of Caerdiff /Cardiff.
However, for some years -- unthinkably -- they have been beaten by the
I have a southern English accent, which northerners
consider upper class. But when I was a boy, my parents were poorly-paid
art teachers, my mother only part time.
My boyish stereotypes of the United States came
from television (we got a little black & white set when I was about
eight years old. I vaguely recall the cuban missiles (1962), and
definitely president Kennedy's assassination (1963), and the Selma police
I drew many picture stories as a boy. The
Americans were known to be richer and everything was bigger and better.
We had double-decker buses -- so I drew American
buses with five decks.
I knew that Americans were violent, bold and
very masculine. That's still true.
We played Lone Ranger and Tonto, Zorro and Cisco
kid, based on American TV.
I drew cowboys constantly shooting each other
and indians. When, as an adult, I met real cowboys in Texas, I found
them very gentle fellas who looked after livestock and loved horses.
We usually, out a sense of fair play, had the
indians beat the cowboys -- and sometimes the robbers beat the cops.
When I arrived in New York, as a freshman in
1974, cops (not "bobbies") had guns in quick draw holsters, and when i
asked for directions, they were gruff to the point of rudeness.
The subway (not "tube") had incorrect signs and
mismatched colours (green train, purple platform).
All the street signs were unbelievably ugly,
and with words rather than icons.
The taxis were battered and ugly, then resprayed
a ghastly yellow.
People dropped rubbish on the street in front
I sat down on a bench next to a gentle-looking
old man. When a large black woman lolled by, he spat out "fat piece
The money -- whether one dollar or twenty --
was all the same size and colour.
In Port Authority greyhound bus station, I was
accosted by dozens of beggars in a few minutes.
To get there, i walked past numbers of streetwalkers,
colourfully (and tightly) dressed, calling out brazen offers to me.
When I first visited California, still a naif
freshman, I couldn't believe my eyes:
In long Beach, my friends smoked pot on the streets
-- but were shocked when I "jay walked" across the street without using
I was startled that college girls could afford
a car and a nice apartment on just a part time job -- and the apartment
held waterbeds and boyfriends.
The local high school held a fancy prom, put
out a music record of the marching band, and had huge locker rooms for
sports -- but it had no string quartet, orchestra, and very limited writing
ability in the students.
American young women were brought up to be brash
and loud, just like the men.
Female cheerleaders shouted LOUDLY, jumped in
the air and showed their underwear to the crowd -- who roared with approval.
At Dodger stadium, people drove cars (no buses
or trains) and there was a huge traffic jam to exit. Hot dogs were
big enough to feed an entire family.
I couldn't walk among museums in Los Angeles
without crossing huge roads (eight lanes across) and fences. There
were no footbridges and not many pavements (sidewalks).
There was no public transport, yet when I hitchhiked
with a female friend thorugh downtown LA and Watts, my cousins were shocked
that i had done something so dangerous.
I had just completed by freshman year of reading
Philosophy, Politics and Economics. When I asked my cousin what she
had "read" in college, she had "majored in sailing and men".
At home, my cousins lived in a suburb that was
about five miles square without a footbridge, a bus stop or a town centre.
They couldn't believe I couldn't drive anything except a bicycle.
Working in an entertainment park, I had to take
a three-hour "orientation" about making sure customers had FUN. I was a
busboy clearing carts of waste food in the chicken dinner restaurant.
I had to live off peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
at lunch for two months, since I couldn't afford the chicken meals that
we were serving. People complained about British food.
I loved the Watergate hearings on television.
Many people told me Watergate was a communist
plot. President Nixon resigned on Aug. 10, 1974.
I couldn't afford solid food on my Greyhound
bus travels for two or three days at a time -- just soup and hot water
for a magic powder called "instant breakfast".
Numerous people told me about the wonders of
free enterprise and pioneers -- and the evils of welfare.
Well, of course, I have since married an American,
raised two American daughters, and after 9/11/01, obtained for citizenship.
The point is, that every culture seems bizarre
at first -- to a foreigner seeing it for the first time.
Prof. Harald Rohlig
spoke in Fall @Ligon Chapel, and we
can use notes from his lecture.
Dr. Rohlig grew up a methodist preacher's son
in Germany in the 1930s.
He became our organ scholar and professor for
half a century.
Methodism was considered by the Nazi party a
"gutter religion", and his family was oppressed.
When the Nazis rose to power he was drafted into
the Hitler Jugend (Youth) and the Luftwaffe (air force).
His story is one of the most compelling you will
Workbook questions [Form]
(lecture is live, and may vary this year, but most questions will likely
Just how differently does the world view differ
from the American view? Let's take a global survey of some
salient issue, and examine the differences among countries.
How was Methodism treated in the Nazi state?
What kinds of topics were discussed in the family
kitchen in the evenings?
Why was his family shunned by shopkeepers?
What forms of pressure "encouraged" him to join
the Hitler Youth?
What was the significance of cleanliness in the
What kind of training did the Hitler Youth provide?
What happened at the synagogue as he watched?
How did this emanate from the theology of Martin
How did he find himself engaged in the second
What were his duties in the Luftwaffe (air force)?
When he encountered an American soldier on a
night patrol, how did he survive?
How did Dr. Rohlig's war end?
Week 13, M Apr. 16: Communications
before going home.
global attitudes survey, July 2005 finds contrast between muslim and
non-muslim publics in attitudes to Islamist terrorism. [Chart
and summary by Dr. Lewis]
What's the culture in the HC dorms towards
these individuals (for example, do you sit together at lunch or share conversations
in the dorm with):
a foreign student -- does she get asked
interested questions about her own country?
a jewish student or neighbor -- do prayers
get adjusted to remove "In Jesus name", to be sensitive?
a gay or lesbian student -- does one ever
get asked to share with hetero dorm friends about being in a minority?
a member of a white supremacy group such
as the national alliance -- do you engage in a reasonable conversation
about race relations?
an African American student (who's not
on the same sports team as you)?
Mature way to return home:
Week 14, M Apr. 23: Money
and Credit Management.
clean clothes, well organized, modest, respectful.
just more knowledgeable and grown up.
rebellion against parents is immature.
you're living independently at college; be responsible
Your family and friends will be perplexed by
the New You. They won't have changed as much as you in the
last fifteen weeks!
You may be bursting with new ideas --
some of these sound out of left field to the folks at home.
While your professor uses a purely hypothetical
scenario, you may breathlessly relate it sounding real.
Your family probably needs some preparation before
you tell them -- hypothetically -- how you should parade naked down main
street, while advocating for "lesbian nuns protecting the rights of unborn
animals in outer space" (or some other group)!
You have learned the excitement of critical
thinking -- they may feel you are negating all their ideas.
You will have met classmates with totally different
from other regions, religions or countries. The home folks have only
met the regulars at Jenny-Sue's beauty shop, live bait and tackle.
You have met thirty five new friends and
enjoyed five new dates. Your home town honey sat up at night,
lighting candles besides the photo of you wearing a high school haircut.
You might take a moment to prepare before you blurt out the good news.
You will have been writing exams and papers frantically
for two weeks before you saddle up the ole mule and trot home. Your
family -- having proudly sent off the future lawyer or doctor -- won't
be expecting a white-faced, stressed-out, gibbering idiot to clamber
off the mule.
Now for the World-Famous "My Big Brother Roger
anecdote" about perplexing changes to a personality during freshman
When he returned home after freshman term, my
brother's clothes were badly fouled and he was pursued by evangelical letters
peppered with random biblical quotations. What on earth had changed
him? My father ceremonially burnt his clothes and filled all his
coffee mugs in Ajax cleaning /disinfectant paste, and we settled down to
hear the story.
Remember to ask family and friends about
their experiences. If you only babble on about your own, folks at
home will think you don't care about their lives at all.
Make sure you have paid your bills and
all requirements in courses.
Your folks are probably sacrificing to
send you to college. Thank them for the opportunity.
After the earthquake of your going off to college,
the folks at home don't need any unpleasant aftershocks!
Break 'em in gently to the new you.
Roger (now a university architect and an evangelist)
had been leading his freshman dorm's rivalry by putting all the other dorm's
trophies in the duckpond, and daring them to come and get them. (Roger
had extensive experience in military war games and cadet exercises).
After the pitched battle in the green slime, the "enemy" advanced to his
building, only to be met by defense in depth (worthy of the Alamo) with
a battery of fire hoses. After three months of this, he returned
home without laundering his possessions.
He was then bombarded with letters and cards
festooned with biblical quotations, because he had found a Jesus group
in the dorm.
The moral of the story is to return with
respect for family and friends -- and conduct a reality check on your own
changes in ideas and behavior before you inflict the whole lot on others
on your first day home.
Go home as an adult -- that means clean, folded
and in order.
Students, nationwide, often are not used to managing
money, and often bounce checks.
Credit ratings are vital in American society
for borrowing money for a house or a car.
Week 15, M Apr. 30: Service
to the community through Investment in College
How should we build credit ratings now for our
How can we find out our credit rating?
Compound interest, and compound growth.
How does compounding make the first ten
years of savings into the majority of all the resources you have by the
time you retire?
How badly does an unpaid credit card hit you
after 12 months? (18% interest typically, plus any fees).
At 10% interest, how long does it take to double
your money? (7 years). At 20%? (3 years).
display: different interest rates compounded make
exponential curves of misery! You may be shocked at how quickly you
dig a hole for yourself on 18% credit terms.
Economic trade-offs: the iPod or the rent?
Let's work out a monthly budget for rent, car,
phone, food and clothes.
After taking your first full time paycheck, will
you actually have money left over?
Sage advice: spend your scholarship money or
paycheck first on essentials, like rent and basic food. Save 10%
automatically. Only use the remainder for inessential items.
The best investment you can make is higher education,
which pays off seven times over.
Some subjects pay better than others.
Some subjects require a longer training than
Often the less well paid career is a more attractive
option -- it's a trade off.
Work fewer hours for pay as a student -- take
extra classes and graduate early. Then you can earn a full salary
one term early. The investment pays off in just about three -four
discussion of money management, Exam preparation,
view of first term experience and questions at home
display: different interest rates compounded make
exponential curves of misery! You may be shocked at how quickly you
dig a hole for yourself on 18% credit terms.
Opportunity cost (trade-offs you make
Week 16: F May. 11: Evaluation
(required) at 11:30 in regular FYex classroom.
college versus not college
cash down versus credit with interest
clean credit rating versus minimum payments,
falling behind on payments
what you can save up for (travel experience spending
money, car, grad school)
spending money now (cell phones, movies, ipods,
investment (books, tuition)
Reactions from folks at home over Thanksgiving?
did they find you had changed?
what were the most common (or most obnoxious)
how different was the experience of your HS classmates
at other colleges (or in jobs)?
How do you feel different after a term
away from home?
in personal maturity?
in academic development?
How can you prepare for comprehensive
final exams and completion of papers?
keeping steady: power naps? cool, calm
and collected? midnight cramming?
methods? multi choice versus essays, problems?
cues from different instructors, different
making your own schedule -- check registrar's
How can we improve the FYex course?
Feedback from the first round led to major improvements
in the second year.
Take your shot at democracy while you have it.
Final Exams Study Plan