Posts Tagged ‘professor’

Harmony: Gigs, Glory, and Growth

Monday, August 1st, 2022

Walking home on the last day of junior year classes, a chilly late-May day, I received an email notification with the subject line “oh and another thing:” from my creative writing professor. I stopped in my tracks to open the message, which read, “surround yourself with friends who will never let you forget that you are an artist.” 

I smiled, remembering the conversation that we had just wrapped up in our last class, which she had reserved as an “Ask Me Anything” session. Her email was an addendum to the response she had given for my question about how to manage burnout in a creative career. She shared advice about maintaining artistic momentum, and even told us that her students actually inspire her. 

As I continued my walk home, I reflected on the class, which had ended up being one of my favorites during my time at Northwestern. Beyond my talented classmates, the interesting topics, and hard work I put into the assignments, it was really the professor that made the class stand out. I had never met a professor so invested in her students and openly emotional with her words of support. Through office hour meetings where we discussed a lengthy short story piece I was working on, I became inspired by her creatively-driven career path as a novelist and creative writing professor. She encouraged us to take risks and dive deep into our writing, and as a result it was in this class that I discovered my voice as a writer and an artist. I dove into my writing, embracing the work that I really loved to do, and the effect rippled out into my other passion as I began to pursue DJing more seriously.

The summer after my sophomore year, I DJed every week during my late-night radio shows. Once I overcame the initial technical difficulties and got the hang of the equipment, my time at the radio station became sacred to me. I loved being able to practice alone while also knowing that there was a small audience of listeners somewhere out there. All by myself in the studio, it was easy to forget about the people tuning in to my show, but one night, to my delight, I received a call on the radio phone line in the middle of my set. A listener let me know how much they enjoyed my set, and asked about the names of the last couple of songs I had played. 

As I gained confidence behind the DJ booth at the station, I began to invite a couple of friends to come hang out at the station during my set. Some would talk and browse the station as I played, while others would peer over my shoulder and dance. When the fall semester of junior year started up, I received an email one day announcing a party hosted by the radio station and asking if anyone was interested in DJing. I responded to the email, and by the end of the day I had a forty-five minute time slot lined up for that coming weekend. 

A picture from my first time DJing at a party

In the days leading up to the party, nerves were running high and I wasn’t quite sure how to prepare. At the radio station, I would just show up and try things out for an hour, but for a roomful of people I wanted to be more prepared. I listened to a bunch of music and meticulously picked out songs for my set, then I went over to my friend’s house to practice mixing with his DJ board. On the day of, just an hour before the party started, I decided that I hated my whole set and redid all of my song selections. I felt underprepared and had no idea what was going to happen, but there was nothing left to do except go and try my best. So, I put on my favorite outfit and headed over to the party. I was the first person slated to perform, so as people started to trickle in, I put on the first song and began to adjust the settings to my liking. As I made my first song transition, muscle memory kicked in, and I realized that all those hours at the radio station paid off, and I knew exactly what to do – in fact, I could do it almost without thinking! 

All of a sudden, the dance floor was full. I could see how the crowd responded to the music and tried to play off of their energy, layering upbeat songs to get the crowd moving with slower songs to give people a breather. I was nervous that my disco house tracks wouldn’t land because they’re not the typical Top 40 hits you hear at a college party, but I was delighted to see that people were really dancing and enjoying themselves. I left the DJ booth feeling a huge sense of success, and received lots of compliments, thumbs up, and smiles from friends and strangers alike. As the next DJ took over, I slipped into the crowd with a smile that would linger for days to come, and danced the rest of the night away.


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By Lu Poteshman

Lu is a rising senior at Northwestern University, where she studies English Literature with a minor in Art, Theory and Practice. She is passionate about all things music and art, and loves to paint, draw, design things, write creatively, cook and explore in her free time. She is currently working towards her dreams of being a book editor by day and DJ by night.


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Winning Over Your Professors

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

In college, we all realize that there is no one way to eat, work, learn, or live. This principle extends beyond just student life: there is also no one way to teach. Just like everyone else, professors come in all different shapes and sizes–and for this reason, so do college courses. If you want to find good personal study habits, you have to first understand as much as you can about the person who decides what you have to study. Here are some tips to help you choose the right professors, and, when the time comes, impress them!

Choosing a Professor
Have high expectations for what you can accomplish in a class. If you can handle being challenged (and I’ll bet you can), choose professors with a reputation for expecting a lot of their students. It isn’t hard to figure out which professors these will be–lots of us already know about sites like ratemyprofessors.com that give us students the opportunity to anonymously praise our professors or similarly take our anger out on our keyboards in a show of a semester’s worth of pent up frustration. When you read these reviews or even when you hear about a professor from a friend, take everything with a grain of salt. You are different from everyone else: don’t lose sight of the kind of student you are or the kind of student you aspire to be when you consider others’ opinions. If you want better study habits, a great way to get them is to choose a professor who has a reputation for encouraging learning in a way that works for you–and that means not taking the easy way out.

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Making the Impression
If you’ve already chosen the best professors for yourself, or at least tried to, then winning them over shouldn’t be hard! It will, however, take some planning and thoughtfulness. Like I said, all professors are different, but it generally takes a just little more than turning on the charm to show them you’re serious about their classes. I like to set small rules (small enough that I know I can keep them up all semester) that will help me show my professor my best self. For starters, if technology is allowed in class but not encouraged, I recommend you stay away from it. It will set you apart from everybody else in the class and, even if you don’t believe it, actually help you pay attention. And regardless when you actually start assignments (though you can read last week’s post for some tips on planning ahead), always read the handout explaining the assignment on the first day you get it. It only takes a few minutes and it spares you the dreaded possible fate of starting an assignment at the last minute and realizing you’re doomed by unclear instructions.

If you read all instructions as soon as possible, go out of your way to ask early questions! Nothing too obvious, but if you email your professor early on to ask advice about an idea for an assignment, they will notice your dedication and respect for their opinion. This also goes a long way to help you get your name recognized and get face time with your professor–don’t underestimate how important this can be. It’s the only way to avoid being just another face in a large class.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be ready to impress and finally kick the stress. Whether you’re enrolling in next semester’s classes soon or you’re drowning in midterms for classes you wish you’d never chosen, keep this advice in mind to boost your grade and your morale.


By Madeleine Fleming

Madeleine Fleming is a Campus Clipper publishing intern and a rising sophomore at NYU.  A lover of reading, writing, and learning in every way possible, Madeleine is excited to be writing about college study habits for the Campus Clipper. For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services. 

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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Professors 2.0

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

It’s about that time: school is right around the corner and so are professors! Not only do you have to worry about making sure your bank account is on point and getting your student savings, but you have to make sure you make a good first impression with your professors.

 

Meeting a professor for the first time  

Particularly if you’re a first year student en route to your first real college class, you might be a little nervous when classes start. Depending on how big your College or University is, a typical 100-level class can range from 60 to 200 students! The professor can try his or her best to get to know everyone, but seeing as professors’ schedules are so busy, it’s up to you to make them notice you. You also have to keep in mind that in the future you may need a recommendation from a professor for a job. With that being said, not only do you want to do well in the class and build an academic relationship, but you also want to build a personal one. One tip is to simply go up to the professor after class and introduce yourself. You can choose to introduce yourself with your name and year in school or perhaps just your name—it’s up to you. Then, simply tell him or her that you are excited to be in the class this semester. These simple lines are going to introduce you to the professor but will also tell them that you are serious about the class and care about forming a relationship.

 

Taking a class with a professor you had before

If you have had the same professor for a new class, you are already at an advantage in terms of building a quality professor-student relationship. However, whether a great deal of time has passed or not, you still want to be able to maintain that relationship. After the first class with a well-acquainted professor, go and say hello. Tell him or her that you are excited to be taking the class and look forward to having a great experience like that of the last class you had with him or her.  This move and can make your relationship stronger and will let the professor know that you are a serious student.

 

Note: the above advice is intended if you did well in the previous class with that same professor.  If you failed or didn’t do as well in the class as you hoped, and you end up taking the class over, I would advise something different.  Instead of going up to the professor after class, you should visit the professor during his or her office hours. Meeting a professor during office hours can set a more intimate and professional meeting atmosphere and gives you more time to communicate. Tell your professor that you are thankful to be allowed to take the class over and that you look forward to doing better this time around. Your professor will know that you mean business, and he or she will have a clean impression of you instead of the one you last made.

 

I have only touched upon a few of many ways to make good first impressions on professors. If you would like more tips or advice, leave a comment and I will get back to you!

 

Joanne, Simmons College ’15. Read my personal blog!

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