Monday, August 15, 2011

What Freshmen Worry About

So we have all survived Freshman Book Club. Willfully ignoring the advice of the Teaching Well Engagement Enterprise, I did not jump directly in to big issues of race, class, gender, money, and ethics. Instead, the first question for our discussion was, "What is a question that you have about academics here?"

Every single student wanted to know whether the work is harder in college than it was in high school.

I explained that (at least at the freshman level) that it's not so much harder but that the courses go faster and you are responsible for figuring out what you need to do in order to learn things.

Of course, this was a biased sample, as about a third of the group decided not to show up for Freshman Book Club. Unclear how savvy of a move that is: even though Freshman Book Club does not count in your GPA, it does show up on your transcript. The semester hasn't even officially started, and they have already failed a (fake) course!