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Of syllabus and teachers

Posted by Xiong, Song - September 6, 2011 - Song X., Students

It’s that time of year again: the start of the semester. On the first day of classes, I always feel like a freshman again, and believe me, I’m far from it. Sure, I know where the classrooms are, but I have to check and double check my class schedules to make sure I go to the right room on the right day. As attendance is being called out, I wait nervously hoping I didn’t go to the wrong class. This wait always seems forever too since I’m so lucky to have a last name that starts with “X.”

I’ve heard of students skipping out on the first day of classes because “all the instructor talks about is the syllabus and himself/herself.” To me, the first day is the most important because of this very reason.

If you must know anything for the class at all, it’s the syllabus. The syllabus is the bible for the class. It will give you an idea of the work required for the class. Let’s face it, most of us are full-time students who hold jobs and/or are involved in extracurricular activities. Knowing how much work is required for a class will greatly help prioritize and organize the time we do have. And then there’s that point in the semester when your assignment is late or incorrectly done and the only thing the professor says is, “Sorry but it was in the syllabus.”

It’s also good to know a little about the professor. Besides, most of them have accomplished a master’s or doctorate degree so have earned the right for a little bragging. Knowing about the professor is a great icebreaker for conversations outside the classroom. Please don’t stalk them though. From my experience at UWSP, professors like when students take the time to talk to them whether to seek help or for a friendly conversation, something not all universities encourage. It also shows your effort and allows professors to get to know you, an excellent way to get those recommendation letters! This is NOT referring to kissing up to them.

And students, when in class, remember:

Teachers know when students are texting. No one looks at his or her lap and smiles. =)


Song Xiong is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point majoring in dietetics and communication.

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