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Lessons from week one

My first week of classes have gone well. There are various bits of useful knowledge I have picked up that someone may not necessarily think to share as advice. There are also small things that I wouldn’t know unless experiencing them for myself. Here are just a few of the things that stand out from the week in that regard…

1. The Socratic method  seems to be a favorite educational tool for only one professor out of the four that I have. Being a philosophy major, I can understand the usefulness of it. It doesn’t make it any less stressful to be called on though. To avoid that, I try to volunteer answers when I can. Maybe if the professor knows my name she wont pick my name off of the seating chart? Its a theory I’m testing out.

2. There is a bunch of reading and its unclear whether the exercises at the end of the readings are to be completed before class as well. Since it is unclear I have been doing them anyway. So far we haven’t directly talked about them in class. If there are questions on the syllabus to focus on though, we do discuss those. I’m beginning to think those aren’t expected to completed as part of the prep work for class. Looking them over and jotting down a note or two just in case doesn’t hurt either. Its better to have responses ready than be in the hot seat with nothing to say. In general, it takes a class or two to figure out what the expectations really are when compared to the syllabus.

3. On that same note. The readings seem like they shouldn’t take terribly long to complete but they can. Its ok. Others are dealing with the same thing. Its just like the response exercises. Its hard to know what is really important, making everything seem important at this point. I’m looking forward to being able to decipher what key points are really pertinent to know retain. It will probably still be about 80% of the assigned reading but at least that might cut some stuff out.

4. Internet radio is my friend. It is the best way to listen to any type of music you’re interested in without getting bored of the limits of your own music. Its also a great way to study without the interruption of having to change your music.

5. As a Masters student we don’t always hear about all of the activities that are going on. Its good to chat with other 1Ls and other 2s and 3s to see what kind of student events are going on before the extracurricular fair is hosted. There are pick up games for most sports during week one. So its good to ask around.

There are other things that come up that are insightful through week one but the above points were the major ones for me.

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