LEC Student Profile: Krystal Melendez

by on June 23, 2014 in Paths To MCNY with No Comments »


Krystal MelendezI was raised in Coney Island, Brooklyn, along with my three sisters and brother. I witnessed issues such as addiction, domestic violence, and gun violence damage many of the families around me. During those years, I was also lumped into stereotypical assumptions of character based on my ethnicity and what neighborhood I called home. The discrimination that I experienced and my environment are reasons I am enrolled in MCNY’s Human Services degree program today. My first attempt at college was in 2004. The transition from Leon M. Goldstein high school to John Jay College was not easy. I was 17 years old, fresh out of high-school, and full of anxiety. Reasons for dropping out of John Jay were: 1. Confusion, 2. Enrollment in courses I was not interested in and 3. The inability to juggle the demands of work, school, family and my social life. Subsequently, I spent my time quitting every job that hired me because there were no opportunities for growth. I also completed training programs along the way, which I felt would broaden my horizons. Although I did well, I exited each program with an overall sense of unpreparedness and lack of sufficient work experience. I decided to return to college because a degree is necessary for me to achieve the level of success I desire. My first college experience was a culture shock. I felt like I was doggy paddling my way through my classes, barely able to keep my head above the water. The second time around, factors that have contributed to my success at MCNY are: accepting feedback, having clear goals, utilizing available resources, and learning how to manage my time. In addition, the faculty continuously challenges me to raise the bar of my own expectations. I have learned not to be ashamed to ask for help, to take charge of my learning; revisiting the basics often is necessary, and achieving a balance is difficult but possible.

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Be Your Own Superhero: Grade-Saving Strategies

by on July 12, 2012 in Reflections with No Comments »


Students often find themselves on the verge of flunking a class, and having already lost the option to withdraw, the realization of the situation  produces a panic that becomes debilitating.  As a result, some students succumb to the frenzy and allow the rest of their semester to crash and burn.

Instead, “Keep calm and carry on”, as states the recently commercialized British government slogan.  Don’t wave the white flag and don’t call off the troops. There’s still time to save your grade!

The following grade-saving strategies will help you make the most of the remaining semester:

1. Reach out to professors

Communicating with professors is an excellent grade-saving strategy. It’s never too late to speak to the instructor. Express your desire to improve your current standing and find out exactly what is expected of you.   Professors are usually willing to work something out if you show that you’re serious and motivated.  You can haggle for some extra credit, extensions on deadlines, and resubmissions for higher marks.

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To Go or Not To Go (to college)?
That is the question

by on April 3, 2012 in Reflections with No Comments »


A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education about two sisters with divergent academic paths has made me think about the question “What is the point of attending college?” Is the answer: to acquire a wealth of knowledge about a variety of topics that scholars and administrators have determined are worth exploring? To meet eager and like-minded learners with whom you will mesh on a personal and intellectual level and start the Next Great Company? Or is it to obtain a certificate that by its sheer existence proves you are qualified for a higher position—and thus a higher paycheck—at your current job?

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