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The Difference

By Harry Pearse
Staff Writer

The first day of school… a little anxious, sort of excited, but pretty scared to see if the classes you have chosen have a good teacher, understandable content, and friendly peers. But what else helps us, as students, relax, and welcome the semester with open arms?

Feeling ready and prepared is massive for me. I couldn’t just roll out of bed, chuck some clothes on and rush to class in the first week. I have to wake up with plenty of time, shower, eat a good breakfast, put my makeup on, and dress as us Europeans do.

Nicole Bellinger, a senior English major, prepares for the new semester. Photo: Jenny Edengard
Nicole Bellinger, a senior English major, prepares for the new semester. Photo: Jenny Edengard

This applies to punctuality, as well. The creak of the door to a silent classroom, the turn of 30 heads at once, putting you into the center of attention, then having to mutter “Sorry, I’m late,” because you panicked when the teacher glares at you. From that moment, trying to find a seat, which is most likely in the middle of the classroom, of course isn’t the greatest way to set a good example to your classmates or professor, nor does it set you up for a good start to the day.

Getting books, pens, notepads and all the other academic accessories, which are required for a “bursting out the seams” semester,
is another important move in the game of academic chess. The obvious candidate would probably be department stores, such as Target. They provide all the necessary tools to become the most ready student on campus.

I may seem like a little bit of a hypocrite for trying to preach such readiness, because I am actually the schmuck who didn’t do this before the term started. Therefore, I am actually trying to prevent you guys from feeling like the “helmet” I am feeling like at the moment. It’s not great!

One massive factor that I feel extremely strongly about is the attitude of the teacher. For me, the first impression of a teacher on a student is equally important as vice versa. This initial greeting and first explanation of the subject syllabus is key to engage any student, and to gain their respect as well as their attention to keep their mind stimulated in excitement.

For example, I made the decision to take philosophy this semester with the wise guidance from our very own Alex Billington, Co-Editor- in-Chief of the Bottom Line magazine. When I walked into class, the energy was instantaneous: positive, humorous, and unperturbed. Professor Alexander Najman was the sole reason for this brilliant, atmospheric experience.

His enthusiasm and excitement for the knowledge he wanted to convey to the 30 students in his class was admirable, and for someone like myself who reacts to this type of teaching, it gave me an instant, positive outlook on what the course is going to entail. His manner in which he spoke to us was almost “hip” to the usual professor with tenure. Maybe this is because he is much closer to us in age and generation? Either way, it makes a huge difference.

Many of us here at Post have that same dull boredom when we have a teacher who is monotone and halfhearted in their teaching of their subject. They must remember that we are young adults who need to be engaged, and we need tutors who can inspire our developing minds and imaginations. This may mean during the “add-drop” week that you research or ask your success coach if he is a good teacher, and has good reviews from other students.

These factors are the difference from going into the semester with a negative mind. Do whatever you can to enjoy what you are here for, besides the partying and degenerate memories; this academic sustainability of knowledge is what you’re paying for!

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