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  1. #21
    Senior Member Jive A Turkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainChick View Post
    Trust me on this one, research your professors prior to signing up for classes!!!

    RateMyProfessors.com
    Damn that's a big ass font. Why does that matter?

  2. #22
    `~~Philosoflying~~` SillySapienne's Avatar
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    If one is interested at all in having some control/say in what type of classroom environment their course will be taught in, ratemyprofessors.com affords one that opportunity by providing one with insight and information as to what a professor is like both on a personal and academic/professional level
    `
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  3. #23
    Senior Member Bear Warp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainChick View Post
    Trust me on this one, research your professors prior to signing up for classes!!!

    RateMyProfessors.com
    Thanks!

  4. #24
    Member MJ_'s Avatar
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    The advice I wish I'd been given/Things I've learned:

    1)Go to the first year undergrad advising sessions, and be prepared to have an idea about possible majors/minors. Register for your courses ASAP. Preferably, find someone in the advising center who has the same or a related major. Similarly, don't take advice as the gospel truth even if it comes from a trusted source. (I got some very bad advice from a student adviser who did not know what she was talking about and it made my second year hell. I got advice from a prof that I should not have taken. I took advice from a high school teacher that did me no good whatsoever). Think it over. Decide what makes sense to you, decide what will work best for you. Don't be afraid to change your major. Don't be afraid to leave your options open.

    2)What electives do you want to take? Do you have a foreign language requirement, science requirement? Take things that interest you.

    3)With an eye to getting a job/career/grad school...

    Go to the college calendar (or course listings) and look at the 4th (or 3rd) year course descriptions. Look at the offerings of several departments, figure out what the pre-requisites are. Work backwards to figure out what you need. This is very important in your second year.

    4) Rate My professors? Its a start. Talk to someone you trust. If a student can't say anything good about a prof or a course, its a bad sign.

    5)Balance is very important. If you are serious about your studies, you will be very busy as a full time student. It doesn't matter if you take arts or social sciences or sciences or engineering- you will spend a lot of time reading and writing and preparing for exams and/or doing labs or tutorial sessions or group projects. Eat a healthy diet and get plenty of sleep. Don't become a caffeine addict. Don't get too attached to the idea that you can do everything all at once (work part time, commute long distances to save money, get wonderful grades, have something resembling a social life).

    6) At some point, you may fail a course. The world will not end. Your life will not be ruined.

  5. #25
    Wonderer Samuel De Mazarin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    I don't know about that, I'm about to graduate from a science degree and haven't taken any arts classes (unless psychology counts), and I don't regret it at all. Why would I take classes I wouldn't enjoy at the expense of classes I would enjoy, just to be more "diverse"? I don't really care if I can't discuss classic literature (for example) once I graduate, because I have absolutely no interest in doing so in the first place.

    Attempting to be well-rounded is good up to a point, and that point (IMO) is when you start sacrificing what you really want to do. By all means though, explore the interesting-sounding classes that aren't in your major.
    Well, at this point it just comes down to one's pedagogic philosophy... but I've found that the interconnections between and amongst various disciplines are almost as numerous as the strict differences. Psychology doesn't really count as an art, unless you're getting deep into Lacan, Jung, or Freud.

    By the way... note that I NEVER said to sacrifice one's own interests... that's a red herring in your response to my post... but the fact that you took NO arts classes outside your science courses? That sounds rigidly unadventurous to me.

    As Aristotle once said, we're the political animal... there's more to life than technology. Ultimately, business is run by relationships and technology and science are often handmaidens of political wills in conflict with one another. The embeddedness of the sciences in a social world is inescapable and someone immersed entirely in sciences like physics, or computer programming, or mathematics, or chemistry, or even biology, misses out on a major and important element of life as human beings. And, frankly, someone who doesn't read literature misses out on some of the most exciting discussions of what technology and science can do to humanity...

    I feel bad for those who haven't read some Shakespeare, or Hemingway, or particularly good slices of the Bible or the Gita or the Dao De Jing or whatever whatever whatever.... One doesn't have to be able to give a discourse on English or Chinese literature... but some exposure to thought outside one's own immediate ken can make a world of difference to one's personal development, in a good way. Also, someone who doesn't do anything but the one thing he's good at can get, well, boring.

    By the way... in my opinion, the key reason for scientists to understand liberal arts discipline is our reliance on language... we have been called homo loquens (the talking animal)... language systems... signs... neuroscience and quantum physics are having to deal with what it means to think, what our consciousness is... people who read Kant were much quicker to grasp the implications of many modern advances in science... computer sciences is quickly discovering that human language and intelligence, which is not merely linear or even parallel, is important to understand for the development of things like AI... look at the use that the transformational Paninian grammar of Sanskrit is being put to in computing... there's so much thought out there... why wouldn't one take a few courses in something outside of one's own general field? We're human beings after all, not robots (this coming from an ENTP).
    Madman's azure lie: a zen miasma ruled.

    Realize us, Madman!

    I razed a slum, Amen.

    ...............................................

  6. #26
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Get something marketable. Take it easy on the student loans.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  7. #27
    Magical Firelie's Avatar
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    What are some things you regret doing at college?

    Not making my mind up about a major sooner (year 5 and counting...*GROAN*) and not taking some of my classes as seriously as I should have.

    What are some things you regret not doing at college?

    Going to more school events with my friends and meeting people.

    Are there any courses that you wished you had taken, but didn't? (because they would have helped you after school)

    No. I'm a firm believer in taking anything that sounds interesting.

    I have to second the professor research comment. I think it's a fantastic tool for learning about a teacher...if you can't avoid the bad ones, you can at least know how they are before you get into a classroom and mentally prepare yourself for the torture. Also, when you take a class, make sure you leave your own rating so that future students can learn about them, too.

  8. #28
    Wonderer Samuel De Mazarin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    Oh, and this is also kind of very stupid and only sets up a very bad record for startiting friendships. Forming relationships for business advancement is never something to recommend, ever.
    Notwithstanding your unnecessarily harsh language (it helps in a debate to be civil and not use words like "stupid"... only children or obnoxious people do that)...

    People start relationships for business all the time... business thrives on relationships... in fact, cultivated relationships are the sine qua non of business... trust me, I know, I was in finance for a few years and many of my friends still are... client relationships are everything... you have to take people to dinner you may find utterly distasteful... politicians have to rub shoulders with assholes just to get ahead, to get legislation (which is hopefully good for the community) passed.

    Secondly, I realize my post could very much sound like I was advocating just fishing for recommendations. That's not true.

    Getting to know a professor is important. You tap your potential in the class by exploring what the professor knows, learning his/her likes and dislikes... how does he/she REALLY like his/her papers written? Any books he/she recommends outside of class? These are things which give one an edge.... having a good relationship with a professor can also help with things like missing a paper due to an emergency... they're more lenient with people they know are really committed to the class... I'm not saying to just be friendly with a professor and flake out on the class... THAT'S dishonest... but the professor is the one with the grading pen, and the professor knows (generally) his or her material best... hooking up with the mainframe is better than relying on peripheral units.

    I always get to know my professors... if a relationship with a professor subsequently blossoms into a real friendship (this has happened twice out of ten times in the last year), then that's a bonus... and trust me, the professor knows you're a student in his/her class... he/she will keep things professional, as should you.

    Lastly, having blinders on is not a wise way to live in the world... the fact is, simply being a kid who got an A in a class isn't going to get you a great recommendation. Knowing the professor, having him or her take an especial interest in your work, because you do it well and CARE about it, is often key to getting a really good recommendation because they know you better than someone who just got handed A's via a teaching assistant. REAL LIFE... if you're going to go for scholarships or grad schools, recommendations are make-or-break.

    Cultivating a relationship doesn't always need to involve dishonesty. If you develop a (fake) friendship just for a recommendation, that's awful. If you visit a professor during office hours and ask for help, or clarification, and show a genuine interest in the class, in order to learn more and you know that this may help the professor to know you better and potentially be a good reference, then I see no problem with it. Professors know the game and students should understand it too. There's no need to be sentimental.
    Madman's azure lie: a zen miasma ruled.

    Realize us, Madman!

    I razed a slum, Amen.

    ...............................................

  9. #29
    Senior Member Bear Warp's Avatar
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    According to most of the current students I've talked with, it isn't hard to befriend professors and various faculty at the school. Many have had lunch or dinner with their professors. Hell, some have eaten with the school's president. It's a small school; under 2000 students attend.

    I definitely plan on diversifying my classes. I made a loose map of the courses (prerequisites and second choices all taken into account; it's not meant to be permanent) I'd like to take over the next four years, and it covers several topics; lots of writing and computer science, some mathematics, physics, philosophy, and business, and one or two courses in film, literature, biology, speech, and music.

    Is it weird to be really excited to go to college? So much great stuff to learn about...

  10. #30
    Wonderer Samuel De Mazarin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bear Warp View Post
    According to most of the current students I've talked with, it isn't hard to befriend professors and various faculty at the school. Many have had lunch or dinner with their professors. Hell, some have eaten with the school's president. It's a small school; under 2000 students attend.

    I definitely plan on diversifying my classes. I made a loose map of the courses (prerequisites and second choices all taken into account; it's not meant to be permanent) I'd like to take over the next four years, and it covers several topics; lots of writing and computer science, some mathematics, physics, philosophy, and business, and one or two courses in film, literature, biology, speech, and music.

    Is it weird to be really excited to go to college? So much great stuff to learn about...
    Just reading your post is getting me positively crazy about getting back to classes this fall... I think your broad base is fantastic and you'll get a lot out of school.

    I went to a student-population<2,000 school for my freshman year... if you can plug into the community (it's not automatic, but it's not too difficult either), you'll probably have some of the best times of your life over there. Good Luck!
    Madman's azure lie: a zen miasma ruled.

    Realize us, Madman!

    I razed a slum, Amen.

    ...............................................

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