Communicating with Professors

“All I Want is to Accomplish My Dreams… Yet I’m Constantly Facing Huge Roadblocks.”

Posted by on Jan 24, 2013 in Communicating with Professors, General, General College Success/Responses to Other College Entities, Interpersonal Communication | 15 comments

(“They drive into the parking lot with a dream. We are all a part of that dream.” These words were spoken at 2000 Darton College Opening Week by my former college president Dr. Peter Sireno. I was a wide-eyed new prof, believing, just like my students, that college is a ticket to dreams coming true. I still perceive college as a gateway to more confidence and competence. But I know now that on the way to a student’s dream, someone or something within a college or class can suddenly tear everything down. Maybe even the student, themselves. A few students have written to me about threatened dreams. I’m going to spend a few posts on the subject....

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“Help! I’m Only Graded on Multiple-Choice Tests!”: How to Survive and What to Say

Posted by on Jan 15, 2013 in Communicating with Professors, General, Interpersonal Communication | 0 comments

(Quick programming note! I’m on #InternPro radio tonight at 6 p.m. PST. The topic is important: The Soft Skills Gap and the Young Careerist. I have TONS of thoughts and tips! Call in: (347) 843-4970. Now on to business: I promised that I’d cover inquiries I received toward the end of 2012. Here is a very universal problem: Grades that are comprised by nothing more than multiple-choice tests! Ugh! Let’s discuss it… As always, please… everyone jump into the comments! What are your thoughts? What did I miss?) Ellen, I have never failed a class before. I have always been an Honors student. My lowest grade ever was a B. I am so stressed in my...

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Why You Fell Just Short of Perfection And Got the Wrong ‘A’. What To Say When You Do.

Posted by on Jan 8, 2013 in Communicating with Professors, General, Interpersonal Communication | 20 comments

(Happy 2013, my fantastic blog audience! I am back and can’t wait to interact with all of you! As students return to school, some are rebounding from grade goals that weren’t quite met. I struggled with my return topic because this post–“You Failed Your Class… Now What?” –from 2011 on the old Blogger site had over 2,000 hits in a two week period. I worry about so many students concerned about failing grades. I promise to cover that topic further in many upcoming posts. Let’s start on the opposite side, which can be frustrating in a different way: When you are thisclose to getting a 4.0, but you don’t. What then? Once...

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Before You Demand What You Believe You Deserve, Ask Yourself These Questions

Posted by on Dec 4, 2012 in Communicating with Professors, General, Interpersonal Communication | 34 comments

(End of term craziness is here! My last post involved students talking to their professors about grades before the end of a term. This post reflects the next stage of that conversation. I have to believe that some of this advice translates to workplace evaluations, too). Can you feel an uprising afoot? I’m not talking about lingering sourness from those dissatisfied with national or local election results. I’m talking about students who are calculating/seeing their final grades and thinking (in a huge huff!), “I don’t deserve that!” Yep! Floods of students around the country will e-mail and suddenly storm professors’ offices about...

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Mini-Post: The College Conversation That I Hope Parents & Students Will Have This Thanksgiving

Posted by on Nov 21, 2012 in Communicating with Professors, General | 6 comments

To all my treasured blog readers, I hope you have a magnificent holiday! I wish you all abundance. I was thinking about all of the students who will be visiting home or even speaking to their parents from afar during these next few days. Inevitably, this seemingly benign, but potentially charged question will arise: “How’s college going?” or “How are your classes?” Now if college is going great, then a wonderful discussion, right? (Too fuzzy?). If things aren’t going so well, then the conversation could become tense, uncomfortable… disastrous. And who wants that? So I have two requests during this holiday: First, for parents:...

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Good News: One Prof Apologized; Bad News: Another Answers E-mails on Mondays and Thursdays

Posted by on Nov 15, 2012 in Communicating with Professors, General, Interpersonal Communication | 6 comments

I’m going to jump right into this post… It will take a couple of twists and turns, so hold on to your handrails. First, so honored to share this #STNT review that will only be available publicly by Teachers College Record (Columbia University) for a limited time before it goes password-protected. Message me for an exam copy of #STNT if your college would like one! Now, an inspiring update about the student who was upset over abrupt e-mails from the professor: “Ellen, I appreciate your response. I feel reassured that I had a right to my feelings. I took your advice and contacted the professor. I worded the e-mail as you recommended and I couldn’t...

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