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Kopp's Weekly - New Year's Resolutions

Kopp's Weekly - New Year's Resolutions

It's a New Year, and like many of us my thoughts turn to New Year's resolutions.

Dear Students,


I hope you are enjoying a restful holiday with family, friends, or travel.

It's a New Year, and like many of us my thoughts turn to New Year's resolutions. A recent article from CNN reminded me of a good one: "if we want to know which choices and decisions we make as young people will benefit us later on...we can ask our 'future selves,' our elders." I remember really squeaking by in fall of freshman year. I even had to drop my first physics class and enroll mid-semester in an easier one (and that was my major!). One disappointed professor expressed a wish that I had come to him sooner for help and advice. If I wanted to be successful, why not ask for help from faculty like him who themselves had to figure out how to be successful? Next semester I made my new year's resolution to get to know my professors: I read chapters in advance of going to class, asked questions in class, and frequently went to discuss homework with the instructors and TAs and see if I was approaching things the right way. Big improvement.

What will your New Year's resolution be? to be a more effective student? to start research? find an internship or summer co-op? As you gear yourself up for your goal, remember to keep it realistic, cut yourself some slack because it will take multiple trials and errors to bring it to pass, and allow yourself to ask for lots of help along the way. We faculty and staff here in the College will be here to help.

This week we have an orientation session for new students in the College of Natural Sciences. Some are simply starting their college careers in January after a semester break, but many are transferring here from other colleges and universities. All of us have experience with starting at a new school. For students transferring here, there are the additional challenges of a (likely) bigger campus and the challenge of rigorous classes as one moves from entry-level to upper-division classes. Let's each of us here in the College of Natural Sciences do our part in welcoming and assisting all new students. This semester resolve for yourself to meet and network with the students in your classes. Introduce yourself to random people in your classes, some of whom will turn out to be newcomers. After all, your classmates are the people with whom you will someday want to study, network, or ask for career advice. Not to mention, these are people who might benefit from a friendly inquiry. While I must confess I never much liked watching Mr. Rogers TV show when I was growing up, now as I watch it with my kids, I value his vision of respect, connectedness, individuality, and imagination that mirrors the kind of academic community we value here and the kind of experience I hope you will have. Welcome to the College's neighborhood. Let's get to work.

Best of luck for 2012,

-- Dr. Kopp

PS: Dates to be aware of in the near future:

    • January 12 and 13 Add/drop for spring semester

 

    • January 16 Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

 

    • January 17 Spring classes begin

 

    • January 20 Last day of official add/drop period

 

  • February 1 12th class day, last day to delete drop and/or departmental add
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Comments 1

 
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