You Failed An Exam. Your Friend Aced It. Same Study Guide, Two Different Tests.

Posted by on Apr 2, 2013 in General | 5 comments

(Back to a student write-in question that came in on “You Failed Your Class” from my old Blogger site. Since we’re nearing the end of another school year, let’s tackle this one in case others are going through it, too…) Ellen, I have an issue that is really bothering me. My friend and I spent all day Tuesday in the library studying the same exact material for an exam on Wednesday (It was a practice test for our exam online). The only difference is Friend’s class is lecture style and mine is online. Wednesday rolled around and Friend aced the test. I didn’t take mine later that evening but my friend said the test was identical to...

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Does Your Prof Care More than You Do? Will Your Boss?

Posted by on Mar 26, 2013 in Communicating with Professors, General, Interpersonal Communication | 48 comments

(No major intro on this one. Student questions will be back soon. In the meantime, here is what I’m thinking about right now…) In my Interpersonal Communication course, my students submit a question-prompted journal fairly early in the term. The first question? “Analyze your communication strengths and weaknesses, based on communication competencies in the textbook.” If other questions go awry, (they usually don’t–interpersonal communication may be hard as hell in real life, but it isn’t rocket science), I can typically count on students answering this one question. Until now. Student’s journal literally had a polar bear in...

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“I’m Failing by One Point–and I May be the Target of Discrimination”

Posted by on Mar 20, 2013 in Communicating with Professors, General, Interpersonal Communication | 14 comments

(Some personal blips kept me away from my blogging longer than expected. Writing is my whole heart and when I miss it, I really miss it. Spring break is upon me soon and my hope is to get back on track for at least my weekly posts! A couple quick updates: While I was away, my third piece in USA Today College published: 6 Things You Should Say to Your Professor. Very proud of this one because obviously, the topic is my whole heart. Read it and grab two pocket phrases to sound ultra-professional in most pesky classroom situations! On to a difficult subject, one that has layers of complexity, but requires sensitivity and care. This comment was posted on my old Blogger site...

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An F on Your Transcript and Your Dream Job: What Do You Say About That?

Posted by on Feb 12, 2013 in General, General College Success/Responses to Other College Entities | 25 comments

(I was not intending to take a two-week hiatus, but apparently, a hiatus decided to take me! Darned winter illnesses that strike family members back to back–but fortunately, not Mom. I’ve missed interacting with everyone and wanted to continue on our theme from a couple of weeks ago: When college is supposed to help dreams come true, but then something in college actually threatens that dream. Here we have yet another letter to that end. What do you think about this situation?) Dear Ellen, I read your blog about failing a class. I am a graduate student. I took a course last semester and failed it. I am feeling very depressed. I wanted to pursue a career as a...

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“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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