If You Had to Vote Today . . .

In class today, I asked my FYE 1220 students to write down the answers to these two questions.

  • If you had to vote for US President today, who would you vote for?
  • Why?

They then folded the papers, and put them back into their notebooks; I won’t collect these.

Tonight, the students need to go to Glassbooth and take a short survey. As Glassbooth puts it, “Glassbooth connects you to the 2008 presidential candidate that represents your beliefs the best.”

Wednesday in class, we’ll discuss reactions to similarities and differences between who they initially indicated they’d vote for and which candidate is most closely aligned with their stance on issues.


Revising Your Four-Year Plan

After reviewing the four-year plans submitted last week, Mackenzie and I found several common themes in the plans:

  • Not listing the prerequisites. Use the Georgia Southern Catalog 2008-2009 to check for prerequisites and corequisistes for classes. Prerequisites must be taken prior to the course; corequisites must be taken at the same time as the course. If you try to register for a course in WINGS without first taking the required prerequisite, WINGS will not let you register for the course.
  • Taking the courses out of sequence. Often this is because the prerequisites weren’t checked when developing the plan. On many of the plans, it appeared as though you simply listed the courses in numerical order.
  • Not including all the required courses from the CORE. You cannot graduate until all the courses have been taken.
  • Attempting to schedule a course when it’s not offered. In many majors, upper division electives are not offered every semester. Check with your department to see what the rotation of courses is. For example, see the Spanish major course rotation.
  • Listing all the courses in a given area, when you only need to choose one of them.
  • Not choosing your electives wisely (or at all). Look at the minors you might be interested in, and consider using your electives to fulfill the requirements of a minor.

In addition, there are often other requirements that must be met before taking certain courses. Be sure you know what these requirements are. For example, many majors require a minimum GPA before declaring the major, or sometimes a C or better in specific courses.

You have a second chance in preparing your Four-Year Plan. Return your revised Four-Year Plan in class on Wednesday, October 8. Also return to us the plan you originally turned in AND the requirements for your major, so that we can see your changes.

Questions? You know where to find me.

Photo Credit: “Only a Little Off Course,” originally uploaded to Flickr by pnoeric

You’re Not Going to Vote? Seriously?

Take a look at this short video. It’s worth your time, especially if you are considering not voting in the November election.

And if you aren’t registered to vote yet, you don’t have much time to waste. Visit http://maps.google.com/vote to learn how much time you have left to register. Soon, you’ll also have information available there on where to vote.

I am registered. And I will vote early to avoid the lines on Election Day.

Cheap Dates

When I was in college, I lived on a really tight budget. Things aren’t much different for many of today’s college students.

Trying to come up with something fun to do on a date, something that doesn’t cost a lot of money, can be a real challenge.

My favorite “cheap date” in college? A stop for ice cream, followed by a walk through Auburn University’s Arboretum. I’ve been married to my college sweetheart for 23 years, so cheap dates can have long-lasting impact!

What are some of your favorite “cheap dates”? Please share your ideas by providing a comment. Thanks!


Time Management? No, PRIORITY Management

For the deliverable for the module on Time Management (which I’d rename as Priority Management), this is what I’ll need from you:

Fall 2008 Semester at a Glance: Fill this out with every assignment, test, quiz, final, etc., that you have this semester. You can do it in Word or by hand (if and only if you write neatly). Bring a hard copy to class on Monday, October 6. Nothing is necessary in WebCT Vista.

An alternate: If you already have all of your fall semester’s assignments (etc.) entered into a planner, show me what you have. You may just be able to make me a copy of what you’re already doing.

To earn all 100 points on the Time Management module, you will need to also include milestones for at least one project in each class. For example, if you have a research paper due, list your internal deadlines for when you need to finish research, write outline, complete draft, and complete final version.  Without milestones for at least one project in each class, the maximum you can earn on the this module is 85. Or if you have a test to study for, indicate when you need to finish reading certain chapters, when you plan to study, etc.

Blog Posts for Making Connections


Blog posts can be written informally; that is, they don’t need to sound like a term paper. However, there’s still an expectation for proper grammar, spelling and capitalization. If you have questions about how informal is “too informal,” please let me know.

Blog Post #1

Blog Post #2
  • Set up your own blog at WordPress
  • Create an About Me page
  • Deadline: September 15, before class
Blog Post #3


Blog Post #4

  • Your reaction to one of the Success Series seminars
  • 250 words minimum
  • Deadline: October 1, before class

Blog Post #5

  • Blog review (review two or more blogs that are of interest to you)
  • Include hyperlinks to the blogs
  • Add at least one tag to the post
  • 250 words minimum
  • Deadline: October 15, before class

Blog Post #6

  • Podcast review (listen to at least one hour of podcasts that are of interest to you)
  • Include hyperlinks to the show notes of the podcasts
  • Add at least one tag to the post
  • 250 words minimum
  • Deadline: October 29, before class

Blog Post #7

Blog Post #8

10 Tips for Success on Assignments

College assignments may be different than the ones you completed in high school. Here are several tips that may help you succeed in your assignments.

  1. Read the assignment thoroughly. Ensure that you understand what the instructor is looking for as a deliverable.
  2. Use standard English grammar and spelling. Though abbreviations and lack of capitalization or punctuation may be fine in text messages or Twitter, they are definitely not acceptable in other written assignments. Need help with grammar? Check out Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing.
  3. Use spell check. Don’t rely on it exclusively, but do use it.
  4. If there’s a minimum or maximum word or page count, write enough, but not too much.
  5. Consider writing a draft of your assignment for your instructor to review prior to the deadline. (Yikes — check the second definition included in the deadline link.)
  6. Post or turn in your assignment by the deadline. Many instructors (including me) do not accept late work. (See some views on late work at the Chronicle of Higher Education’s website.)
  7. Thoroughly review your course syllabus. Many instructors include a weekly schedule of discussions and assignments. Don’t be surprised if when you ask when an assignment is due, your instructor replies, “You’ll find that in the syllabus.” Check WebCT Vista for due dates if they are not specified on the syllabus.
  8. When taking a quiz or test in WebCT Vista, make sure you are aware what the rules are for using materials to help you take the test, that you know how many tries you have, and how the final score is calculated. (In many of my classes, the quizzes are “open-everything,” at least two tries are allowed, and highest score counts. But that’s just me.)
  9. If your instructor specifies or indicates a preference for fonts and margins, use these when writing your assignment.

Hmmm . . . that’s only nine tips. What is one addition tip you could offer to complete this top ten list? Please comment with your suggestion.

Photo Credit: “Success,” originally uploaded to Flickr by kevinthoule.