December 12, 2005

Faculty Interviw Assignment

Here are the professor you interviewed:

Shelly Christman
College of Biological Sciences
Freshman seminar professor “Battle of the Sexes?
Seemed like a motivated, successful and happy person.
Talked about:

  • Experiences throughout college (undergrad., masters and doctorate)
  • What she’s doing now

  • Advice for students

    • Remember why you’re here

    • Remember your goals

    • Don’t let bumps in the road distract or discourage you

Feel better about approaching faculty members now.
“I learned that they are willing to talk and usually get bored during office hours and like when people come in to visit.?

Dan Dooghan
Wanted to interview someone from the Sociology department, but couldn’t get a hold of an instructor.
Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature Department
Chose him because he was interesting and made CSCL interesting
Talked about:
  • Undergrad. Education

  • Value of Liberal Arts education

  • ? no matter what you chose to major in, having a liberal arts degree, will force you to ‘look outside of the box’?

Nervous about approaching a faculty member at the beginning of the semester, but now is comfortable.

Rod Ferguson
American Studies Department
Thought he would be interesting
Talked about:
  • How he came to be a professor in American Studies

  • What I want out of my career: money, something you enjoy, something that makes a difference?

  • Being well rounded in terms of a Liberal Arts education

Feel more confident about approaching faculty.
Glad to be forced to talk to a faculty member so early in college.

Gordon Hirsch
Wanted to talk to someone in the Theatre Department, but they were too busy
English Department
Talked about:
  • What English majors do in the future

  • Liberal Arts education

  • ? He started as a math major; now he teaches Victorian era literature.?

Fell much more confident about approaching faculty now.
Contact professors more through e-mail and office hours, than at the beginning of the semester.

Amy Kaminsky
Women's Studeies Department (WoSt)
Major exploration
Taked about her research experiences:
  • Majored in Spanish as an undergrad.

  • Did research on Argentinean film, literature, and culture

  • Studies abroad in Argentina and Sweden

  • Authored many publications about fmeinists, Latinas, and Latin American culture

  • Active in the Center for Jewish Studies at the U of M

  • Current chair of the WoSt

Kaolee Christine Marran
Asian Languages and Literature Department
Major exploration
Went to Japan when she was 15 and stayed there for 5 years
Found interviewing faculty to be very interesting.
More curious and open minded about talking to other faculty memebers.

Dr. David Martinez
American Indian Studies Department
Find out about a major
Talked about his experience in college:
  • Grew up in California: equal proportion of African Americans, Latinos and Caucasians.

  • Went to college at the University of Rhode Island, 95% Caucasian

Always felt comfortable around grown-ups, so feelings about approaching faculty haven’t changed.

Ann Meier
Sociology Department
Recommended by Current professor
Talked about:
  • How choosing sociology affected her life

  • Her experiences with choosing sociology as a major

    • “she saw the extreme difference between the high class prep students she rowed with in the morning and the poor she helped at the kitchen in the afternoon. The phenomenon of these differences created a deeper desire in her to study Sociology.?

  • Which classes and student groups to pick in the future.

More open to speaking to faculty after the assignment.
? It’s nice to see them as more than only professors.?

Pang Rhodes
Family Social Science
“she was young and seemed like she could give me some good advice about college and my major?
Talked about:

  • How her overall college experience was

  • Balancing socializing with academics is really important during the first year of college

  • “realizing that ‘she was now a small fish in a big pond’?

Feel as lot more “ease? about approaching faculty memebers.
“faculty are more than happy to share their experiences and their advice with students as long as they ask

Posted by at 9:07 AM

December 4, 2005

Mid-Semester Reflection

Things you've learned:

Have instructors look over you papers, because then you can see firsthand what is expected of you

When you don't understand something, ask the source, not your friends

Study is small doses, so you won't have to cram (especially before or after class)

Sleep well the night before a test. On the day of the tests, eat all your meals (especially breakfast) and stay hydrated

Even if you have been studying regularly, step it up a week or 3 days before the test, depending on how hard you have to work to do well in the particular subject

Find out what works for you, in terms of studying and stick to it

Be open to changing your study habits, because you may just find something that works better for you

Don't compare your high school standards, in terms of grades to college standards, which aren't always the same

When you like whatever you are studying, it makes things 20X easier

Stick to first impressions when it comes to deciding if you like the instructor, or if you should change instructors

Never do a once over of your answers, unless it's to see if you've skipped any questions

All of you know your study habits and what works best for you, you're just having trouble motivating yourselves to do things. Midterm grades are great in at least one class, and good in the rest, but there's room for improvement.
Posted by at 11:38 PM

Managing Your Finances

A lot of you contribute to paying for your education through: scholarships, savings bonds, savings accounts, money earned from work, and student loans.

A lot of you also have a little help from parents: helping pay for your education, spending money, doctors visits, health insurance, car insurance, gas, everyday items, a few meals and gifts.

For some of you having a budget of a $100 a month is something that you're not used to. For others, if you $100 isn't too much. If you did have to cut down on your sepnding, you would stop eating out as much, you wouldn't by things that don't have a real purpose. To prevent spending too much money, you try not to carry around too much cash, go shopping to make you feel better, and put a certain amount into a savings account each month.

Some of you have started planning for the future by opening up savings accounts, as well as putting away small amounts of money, to provide as cushions if something unexpercted comes up.

Posted by at 11:12 PM

Week of Dec.5 to Dec.12

Hello y'all,
I hope y'all had a fabulous weekend. This week, we will be meeting in Blegen 415.
Your Faculty Interview Journal is due by noon on Tuesday (December 6) e-mailed to Charles and me.
Remember:The goal of the journal, is to go beyond summary and think about what you got out of the interview.

What we will be doing in class on Wednesday

We will talk about the faculty interviews for about 15-20 min.

Everyone will talk a little about their interviews (who they interviewed, what they learned, etc.) in small groups. Then we will talk as a large group about the big picture of student-faculty interaction.

For the rest of the class time we will do something else...

Posted by at 10:52 PM

Resource fair

Here are all the organizations y'all visited:

Parking and Transportation Services
Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence
Women's Student Activist Collective
Individually Designed Major
Studying Abroad Center
National Student Exchange
Community Placement Services
ADCS (Academic and Distributed Computing Services)
Radio K
CCLC (Career and Community Learning Center>
UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program)
Community Engagement Scholars Program
BIS (bachelor of individualized studies)
University Libraries

Here are the things y'all are interested in doing:

Why do you Volunteer?
Learning about other cultures
Teaching people to be computer literate
Meeting people from different backgrounds
Sense of accomplishment
Studying abroad
GLBT Programs
Academic Skills Center
Speed reading workshop
Pre-Law Workshops
Volunteer Opportunities
Summer jobs

Posted by at 8:00 PM

October 31, 2005


Y'all did an awesome job on this journal entry. They were very detailed, and seemed like you did a good job thinking about the subject.

Stress management
For a lot of you, your life has been very stressful since you started college. Especially when it came to working, many of you had trouble balancing both. You cant stop working, because then you cant pay for your education, but at the same time, you want to have a good education.

Some of you also said that college wasnt really stressful for you until recently. Thats because tests, midterms and papers started to come up. Time has really started to become an issue. A lot of you procrastinated, or did things that you liked more than homework. This doesnt leave much time for finishing up your homework, much less studying.

Almost everyone in college knows how they should study; its forcing yourself to do it thats half the issue.

Here are a few things that result when you get stressed out:
I get really tense and anxious and as a result I tend to get little work or studying done, I become easily annoyed and frustrated, and in extreme cases, my chest becomes constricted, usually get really mad and freak out.

Yall dealt with stress in many ways: sleeping, hanging out with friends, shopping, yell at people, exercising, listening to music, take a break; but most of you said that they ways you deal with stress arent really efficient.

Test taking
There was a lot of anxiety related to test taking. Especially when sitting down to take a test, you suddenly dont remember anything you studied or even what the test is about. This is really common, and also really hard to avoid. On Wednesday (Nov. 2) we will talk in class about how to prevent psyching yourself out.

There was also concern about different types of tests, especially finals. Mostly yall were worried about short answer and essay tests. There were also a few who said that multiple choice was the test they did the worst on, because they had a hard time choosing the best possible answer. We will talk more about this in class on Wednesday.


  • University Counseling & Consulting services also has a great site on test taking.

  • This website focuses especially on overcoming test anxiety.

  • This site talks about strategies for picking the "best possible" answer on multiple choice tests.

    Posted by at 6:48 PM

October 24, 2005

Journal 4: Four Year/Graduation Planning

With this journal, I noticed that a lot of you have changed majors since the first journal entry.

Posted by at 8:53 PM

October 21, 2005

Journal Standards

Hello all,

Your journal entries for this week were all over the map. Some were very well written while others seemed haphazard. While this isnt the hardest class that you will take in your career at the U of M, there are certain expectations for quality work.

Journals should be turned in on time the Tuesday before class. They are to be 300 words long at a minimum. I am not checking the word count on every assignment but if an entry looks short I will check it. Also, make sure you spellcheck your assignments before you send them in. If you scroll down on the blog, there is an entry with suggestions on writing good journals.

Posted by at 4:37 PM

October 11, 2005

Journal 3: Time Management

Here are the things that were present in all your lists:

  • School

  • Work

  • Sleep

  • Leisure/socializing time

Here are some of the other things that were also important, but didn't show up across the board:

  • Family

  • Job(s)

  • TV watching time

  • Spending time with siblings, friends, boyfriend/girlfriend and son/daughter

  • Money matters

Firstly, I'm just glad y'all included sleep. Some of my friends go with 2 or 3 hours of sleep in order to do well in school, have a social life, and a killer party/concert life. How come y'all didn't include like eating time? Is it just part of the social/personal/liesure time? What about de-stress time?

A lot of you also mentioned that you were surprised by the difference between how much time you thought you spent on some priorities, and the actual amount of time you spent. When I kept track of how much time I spent on stuff, I realized that I only slept 6 hours a night, had 5 hours of exercise/socializing/personal/lesiure time, 3 hours of volunteer work and an astonishing 11 hour studying time on an average day.

Time management is one of those things that almost everyone has to work on. Even if you have a system that works, you still have to stick to it and do the daily maintainence tasks. Even if it takes you 20 minutes a day to maintain a callender, that's still a lot of time over the course of a year. But in my opinion, it's very much worth it.

During your time in college, you will figure out what works for you. So hopefully we will all get so good at time mangement, that when we get jobs after college, will end up having like 6+ hours of free time a day. We'll just have to see.

Posted by at 8:22 PM

Journal 2:The Liberal Arts Advantage

Many of you had the kind of sentiment represented in the following quote, in regard to the Dean's lecture:
"At first I thought that I was just going to space out into space and daydream but he really had something to say that got me going otherwise".

Y'all also mentioned how the lecture also brought about the realization that "a liberal arts education prepares [you] for a plethora of career opportunities". How some of your professors had you "think[ing] about things that [you've] never thought about before". This is because your cirriculum mostly focuses of getting you to think formally, or logically.

You also learn how to apply it to a wide variety of topics, which makes you capable of doing so much more. Most CLA students graduate with a a large 'box' of knowledge in different areas", which gives you the ability to better communicate with larger numbers of people.

I was surprised that not many people mentioned that Dean Rosenstone also emphasized that many students, especially during their first year at the U, get most of their education outside of classes.

More than anything "the most important skill my Liberal Arts experience will provide is the capacity for me to be the best that I can be in whatever I decide to do".


Posted by at 7:54 PM

October 4, 2005

Journal 1

Here are some of the things that I found interesting in your journal entries:

"College is considered the next big step in a teenager's life."

"As a kid I always thought how awesome it would be to walk around campus and know that it was my school."

"I am excited to meet new people and to learn about their lives and cultures."

"I can't wait to be challenged to see who I really am... background in high school of a pretty light workload will come back to bite me."

I also noticed that a lot of you came to the U because of the majors: Architectural design, Economics, Interior design and Japanese.

Many of you were also concerned about how to meet people and build solid friendships, when you have to commute and can't be around on campus all the time. Managing school and extracirriculars was also mentioned quiet a bit.

Posted by at 8:52 PM