Friday, February 11, 2011

Professor Advice

Teacher Sez

The New York Times asked prominent professors for their advice to students:

• “I have taught many students whose SAT scores exempted them from the writing requirement, but a disheartening number of them couldn’t write and an equal number of them had never been asked to. They managed to get through high school without learning how to write a clean English sentence, and if you can’t do that, you can’t do anything.”
—Stanley Fish, New York Times columnist and professor,
Florida International University, 2009

• “Recognize that knowing a lot of stuff won’t do you much good unless you can do something with what you know by turning it into an argument.”
—Gerald Graff,
University of Illinois, Chicago, 2009

• “Do ask questions if you don’t understand the professor’s point.”
—Carol Berkin, Baruch College, NYC

• “Read, read, read. Students ask me how to become a writer, and I ask them who is their favorite author. If they have none, they have no love of words. . . . Learn to write well. Most incoming college students, even the bright ones, do not do it and it hampers them in courses and in later life.”
—Gary Wills, author,
Northwestern University,

• Yale Professor Harold Bloom advised students to take “a voyage away from visual overstimulation into deep, sustained reading of what is most worth absorbing and understanding, the books that survive all ideological fashions.”

• “Try to read a newspaper every day—at bedtime or at breakfast or when you take a break in the afternoon. … The newspaper will be your path to the world at large. … In addition, a great newspaper will teach you how to write; most articles are models of clarity and substance—with no academic jargon!”
—James MacGregor Burns, government professor emeritus, Williams College, 2009.

• Editorial Comment: Yo, Prof. Will this be on the exam?

• News Note: Radio executive and USU alumnus John Dimick returns to campus today to talk about life lessons and the future of radio. Haight Alumni Center, USU campus, 12:30-1:30 Free and open to the public (food, too!) Sponsored by the College of Humanities & Social Sciences, and the JCOM Department’s Morris Media & Society Lecture Series. Story.

Join Today’s WORD on FaceBook and Twitter! And (be)Friend USU JCOM Alumni & Friends on FB.

• PeezPix prints and notecards for sale.

• Agricultural Communication/Journalism Faculty Wanted! The joint program in Agricultural Communication & Journalism at Utah State University seeks candidates for a full-time, tenure-track assistant professor. See the posting at USU’s HR site here or email for details. Review begins in March. Start date: August 2011.

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