Who wants her for a teacher ?  

CuteAZguy27 39M
2154 posts
9/9/2005 1:26 pm

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

Who wants her for a teacher ?

(PHOENIX) - As a professor at Northern Arizona University, Cathy Small was baffled by undergraduates. They seemed less engaged, less likely to do assigned reading and more likely to ask questions like "Do you want it double-spaced?" So she decided to study them as anthropologists research any foreign culture she lived among them.

After moving into a dorm, eating cafeteria food and struggling with a five-course schedule, Small said she empathized with students who struggle to balance chaotic class and work schedules.

"I'm trying to get really to what student culture is doing and tailor my teaching," said Small, who wrote a book on her research under the pseudonym Rebekah Nathan called "My Freshman Year: What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student."

Small took a sabbatical and spent the 2002-2003 school year conducting her research. With approval from the university's research board, she used her high school transcript to get admitted and moved into a dorm though she did forgo the roommate experience by getting a single room.

Small spent the first semester taking classes outside her field of expertise, trying to immerse herself in student life. She didn't go to her Flagstaff home and didn't contact regular friends, trying to experience the loneliness and other travails of freshman life.

During her second semester, she did more formal interviews and focused on the research, which she published without identifying students or the university, although it eventually was outed by the media.

Small said she found that students downplayed publicly the effort they put into assigned reading or papers, but when interviewed, many said they were interested in their course work.

Her surveys also found that only about a third of what students were talking and thinking about outside of class was based on their course work.

That finding has led Small to change her coursework to better connect to the real world and to skip reading assignments that don't have a direct purpose.

Part of the trick to college life, she learned from good students, was being able to quickly decipher what work needed to be done and what could be skipped. Those management skills helped students balance classes, part-time work and involvement in volunteer or professional groups, Small said.

She found some of the coursework tough and had to seek tutoring for a class far outside her field of study. "It was a hectic life," she said.

Small also said she found current undergraduates faced more pressure to pick a major that readily translated into a job that could pay off student loans.

Travis Shumake, student body president and a senior at NAU's School of Hotel and Restaurant Management, said he sees that all the time students choosing his program because it provides the "fastest results at the highest income."

Small said her generation wasn't as career-oriented in college.

"It was an era of anti-materialism. It was kind of nerdy then to talk about careers," she said. "Now, different things are nerdy."

....even though this was done recently we all seen movies from the early 80's to the late 90's where older people hide in the school and bt the end of the movie they all come out diffrently.

I thought this lady rocked for doing what she did, would i do this ? No, next time around im sure i would have flunked everything. lol

What was your toughest class in Highschool/college era ? Did you pass the class with flying colors or pass barely ?


SweetDarlinAngel 39F
2996 posts
9/9/2005 2:05 pm

Though this will probably color me as a "geek" I was pretty focused through school. I was able to complete all of my high school courses by the time I was a sophmore in high school so by the time I was a senior in high school I was taking my 2 year of college courses. At graduation from high school I was graduating with honors and enrolled for college with full ride scholorships to begin my "3rd" year of college just after graduation. So I'd have to say that my classes weren't my problem. My biggest challenge was when I ended up pregnant on prom night, lost my scholorships and found myself working 2 jobs, married to my the first guy that asked (who also refused to work) and carrying a full load of college classes. Add to that extra curricular activites so that I could maintain the scholorships that I did have (cheer, swim team, choir and dance) plus a new baby toted around on my back and I would have to say that I had my work cut out for me. While I still made it to every practice, kept my apartment clean, paid my bills, and managed to keep my baby quiet in class, never missed a game, concert, or meet, kept my GPA above 3.6 and graduated in 4 (though it should have only taken 2) I'd have to say that was where my challenge or difficulty with school came in. Classes or coursework itself was a breeze compared to that!


rm_Network_Minx 47F
542 posts
9/9/2005 5:55 pm

College Algebra and Calc were my hardest subjects. I had to have tutors for both subjects. Thank God I only had to have a year of algebra and a semester of Calc.

My story kind of similar to SweetDarlin's. I went back to school full-time as a single parent and worked as a waitress at Pizza Hut.

CuteAZguy27 39M
1545 posts
9/10/2005 9:29 am

First of all i'm going to give you both a standing ovation, what the 2 of you did is not easy at all, and i applaud both of you for going the extra mile and struggling more than others just to succeed, very well done you 2.


CuteAZguy27 39M
1545 posts
9/10/2005 9:33 am

I went to a private school where if you got less than a B, you were considered failing, truly struggled and got my diploma of highschool barely before the school year ending with a B- I did go to college for 2 years in computers, yet i was also doing a full time job as well. I barely had time to do anything,(sleep,study,play,family....life) yet i needed bills to be paid and i needed a roof over my head, so i actually quit school and continued to go into the workfield.


_CoffeeNoCream_ 52F

9/13/2005 4:39 am

didnt have much troubles....although german was never a favourite, guess I am a geeky girl

demonicsexkitten 41F
10671 posts
9/14/2005 9:31 am

My trouble has always been finding time for homework and study, because i work full time (have ever since graduating HS), and full time study... and i have to sleep on occassion and keep up with family occassionally. Though reading SweetDarlinAngel's post, i'm ashamed to feel i have such little time i just have to worry about myself and 2 cats.

CuteAZguy27 39M
1545 posts
9/14/2005 10:56 am


German ! Oh my goodness, that was one of the only classes i remembered i enjoyed, does it help me today ? Nope, but what i do remember is how to count from 1-10 in German, does that help me ? Nope ! but i have it...just in case.


CuteAZguy27 39M
1545 posts
9/14/2005 11:01 am


You know what girl, I hear you 100%

SweetAngel and Network are both troopers, let me share that Ashamed cape with you, all i have is one recent cat to take care of, who in itself bounces off the wall and bites my toes...goodness i will hate it when it gets fat and lazy lol, alright-im just blabbering.


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