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Finishing Strong

Welcome back! One semester remains in the school year, so make it a good one. Here are some reminders to help you succeed:

Come to class. I shouldn’t even have to say this, but apparently some of you have missed the memo after nearly thirteen years of formal schooling. School starts at 7:20 am. You know how long it takes to get to DP. You know the traffic on Turkey Lake is stupid. You have phones with alarms. Get your butt out of bed and get to school on time. Once you’re here, be HERE. Don’t be thinking about the homework you skipped for another class or your latest game craze or your phone. It does you no good to be here physically but absent mentally.

Do the reading. Seriously, gang. This is a literature class. You can’t do well unless you actually read the works. No, SparkNotes do not count. Check the calendar for deadlines and plan your reading schedule so you’re ready for seminars and discussions.

Pay attention to details. I shouldn’t have to tell college-bound seniors to read directions carefully, but apparently I do. READ DIRECTIONS CAREFULLY. Make sure you complete all parts of an assignment in a timely fashion. Seminar grades always contain your contributions to the class discussion, the notes you take during the seminar itself, and the Verso responses afterward. Don’t suddenly remember one of them after I’ve completed the grades.

Label everything. Your files should have unique names, and your name should always be on the file itself. Submit files to the correct assignment in Google Classroom. Don’t pile up a bunch of files in one place where they don’t belong.

Use the +one rule. Many of your essays are good in terms of thinking, but the support is weak. When you think you’ve finished a paragraph, add one more specific example before moving on to the next paragraph.

Speak up! Self-advocacy is a vital skill for success in college. If you are having difficulty, say something. Ask questions. You should know by now that I don’t bite. Confused about a poem’s meaning? Ask. Want some help with an essay? Ask! I’ve never claimed mind-reading as a skill. Don’t expect me to use it.

And the most important thing to save yourself (and me) unneeded stress:

Pay attention to deadlines! College students tell me the biggest adjustment they have to make is obeying hard deadlines. Most schools do not accept late work of any kind without prior arrangement with the professor. “I forgot” doesn’t count. Neither does “I was busy” or “I had a test in X class” or fabulous vacation plans. Once I’ve graded an assignment, I’m pretty much this person:


Late work will only be reviewed once you submit a Digital Late Work Submission form. Otherwise, I assume it doesn’t exist and will happily give you the F you have requested.

Stay focused. May and the exam will arrive quicker than you expect. Be ready. Let me know how I can help.


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