Saturday, December 3, 2011

Dec. 3: addendum to Dec. 3 blog....

sorry. I forgot two things.

1. Our Current Events group meets at the Moncton Library at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 6.
I have to mention it here because The Moncton Times and Transcript won't include it on their weekly events page.

We'll begin with why school ratings, like those in MacLean's Magazine, are a fraud - and why the ranking of public schools in New Brunswick is not only a fraud, but a scam. As well, both the MacLean's ratings and the AIMS ratings of public schools are doing damage.

Then we'll switch to topics you would like to raise.

2. I unpardonably forgot to mention the Whatever Section with its columns written by students. As usual, all of them are thought-provoking and worth a read. The one by Tess Allen particularly struck me because it brought back painful memories of my undergraduate years.

Ms. Allen argues that it is very important in university not to skip class.  She's so right.
Part of the reason she's right is a sad one. But it's a reality. Many, perhaps most, university undergraduate classes are really about memorizing what the professor says. It's too bad. But it's true. University should be about developing the mind. But most of it is about memorizing information for an exam, information you will forget forever within six months. That's reality.

But going to classes, in any case, is not the whole story.

To do well in university, it's also essential to set a rigid schedule of study, and to stick to it EVERY DAY, no matter what. If you have nothing assigned, study anyway. Go back over lecture notes. But set a time every day.

Give  yourself free time. Have a schedule for free time, too. You won't learn any more by overdoing the study.

In my BA years, I often skipped classes. I rarely studied until the night before the exam. My average was so low that professors referred to it as beneath contempt.

So I did another undergraduate year. This time, I took it seriously. I went to classes. For a half hour each day, I went over the notes for that day, for the classes three days earlier, for those seven days before that, and again on the thirtieth day. In the last two weeks, I went over all my notes.

The night before an exam, I didn't study. I relaxed so I wouldn't be walking into the exam all tense.

Result - straight As.

University isn't hard. Just don't skip classes - and don't leave study until the night before.


  1. As I don't live in Moncton, I am unable to attend the current events groups. I am still interested in the topic however. A blog entry on the subject could be interesting. thanks

  2. That's a good idea. I do have several on this subject - way back among my earliest ones.
    But it would be a good idea to put it in compact form.