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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Learning to Fail

by on May 18, 2012 in Must Reads with No Comments »


Many parents love to tell stories of the formidable hurdles they faced growing up, like the classic “I had a to walk uphill both ways in the snow to get to school” tale. My mother’s version of this story harkens back to her time in graduate school. There, on numerous occasions, her art school profs would make an interesting comment about one of her works in progress . . . and then tell her to destroy it. Or they would destroy it for her. Entire clay torsos were lobbed off in anatomy sculpture class and canvases were whitewashed in color theory. She speaks of the shock this always produced, but then notes the invaluable lesson learned: her development depended largely on learning how to fail better and better.

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