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Current Announcements (2)

Grades are posted

27 December 2023

Course grades have been posted to CUNYfirst. Have a great break and a happy new year!

Link to My Grades page

Grading page updated

26 December 2023

The grading page has been updated with all papers I have received and a provisional grade for the course. If there is an assignment or revision you’re sure you submitted but that isn’t reflected on the grading page, please contact me immediately.

Official grades will be posted to CUNYfirst on Wednesday.

I was very impressed by a lot of the work for this semester—there were some seriously thoughtful essays and presentations, and for many of you the effort really came through. Thanks for your hard work in your assignments as well as in our class discussions. I hope you have a safe and happy winter break, and that you are successful in your college goals!

Link to My Grades page


Grading update

17 December 2023

I’ve caught up on grading and have updated the My Grades page with everything I believe I have received so far. Please review your current standing and email me immediately if there’s something you’ve submitted that’s showing up as ungraded.

Missing assignments, including the Weekly Responses, the Critical Thinking Write-ups, and the in-class worksheets can be submitted to me up through Monday, December 25. After that I will accept no further assignments.

If you missed one of the in-class worksheets, you can take them online. These are “Veni Vidi Vici,” “Umberto Eco,” “The Grudge,” and “Alexander and Bucephalas.” The link for the online worksheets is:

Link to My Grades page

Some notes about the Analysis Write-up (due Dec. 11)

11 December 2023

I just wanted to pass along some notes about the Analysis Write-up due today, Dec. 11.

One thing that’s important to remember is to try to be specific. This isn’t about trying to figure out the author’s general philosophy or advice about life so much as you stating what you believe the author was trying to say about the specific topics related to this document (remember your topics: the key individuals, the contexts, the event, the text).

Start with an introduction where you say what you think the overall intent of the author was, then answer the five analysis questions.

(1) Why was it written? Be specific here especially, because the temptation is to be vague. There’s also not necessarily just one answer. For “Alexander and Bucephalas,” a lot of you correctly pointed out the author was praising young Alexander’s courage and his remarkable ability to elicit the admiration of others; but the author’s message was also that Alexander saw what others did not and plan in response. In this case, it was that the horse was unruly because he was afraid of his shadow, something Alexander could do something about.

(2) What does it reveal about the time and place? This relates to your contexts. For “Alexander and Bucephalas,” the context is Macedonia (geographically), and also Alexander’s career (chronologically). The story reflects on both. As most of you said, it tells us horses were of significance and taming a horse was an admired skill; it also hints at Alexander’s relationship with his father, and the fact that Alexander would one day be famous enough that stories about his prodigious youth would be told.

(3) What’s missing? Look for what’s relevant to the story that the author is not mentioning. For “Alexander and Bucephalas,” one thing that might be relevant was how experienced Alexander was with horses already, for example. Try to stick to the part of the story you are in. You might be curious about what happens next, but for this part I want you to focus on what isn’t stated in this part of the story, and why.

(4) What passage stands out? This is subjective, but it’s often something that the author meant to stand out. For “Alexander and Bucephalas,” many of you pointed to the last line, where Philip told his son he was greater than mere Macedonia. This was part of what the author was trying to emphasize: that Alexander’s exceptional perceptiveness and courage took him to the next level as a king and general, beyond his capable but barbarian father.

(5) What would you ask? This might be about the author’s intent or what was missing, or you could look for the characters’ point of view on these events. As with question 3, try to stick to this part of the story and what it meant to the characters and the author.

Good luck! Email me with any questions or issues.

Link to Critical Thinking Project page

Making up missing assignments

8 December 2023

Here’s a note about how to resolve missing assignments to improve your overall course grade.

For the weekly responses, you can post retroactively on the responses page and I’ll give you credit for the post, marked down for being late. A check instead of an ex can boost your grades significantly, so go ahead and take care of any that you’ve missed.

The weekly response for Week 2 was the DAACs summary report. If you are missing that, you just need to log into DAACS, complete the SRL and Writing modules if you have not done so, and download and email me the PDF summary report.

For the in-class worksheets (“Veni Vidi Vici,” “Umberto Eco,” “The Grudge,” and “Alexander and Bucephalas”), I’ve set up a web page so you can complete those online. The link is here.

For the Write-Ups (Summary Write-Up, Annotated Bibliography, and the Analysis Write-Up due Dec. 11), just complete the assignment according to the requirements on the Critical Thinking Project page and email them to me as soon as you can.

The Ultimate Deadline is Dec. 25. I will accept no assignment after that date. Email me with any questions!

Link to Worksheet Online Makeup page

Analysis Write-up prompts

6 December 2023

As discussed in class, here's a reminder of the questions you need to explore in the Analysis Write-up due Monday, Dec. 11.

First write a brief introduction that states what you think the most important meaning or intent of your document is. Then discuss your answers to the following questions:

  1. In your opinion, why was this document written?
    • What do we know about the impetus for this document?
    • What prompted the author to write it? What can we infer about the author’s intent?
    • Often there is a mundane reason and an intent. A speech might be composed because there was an event that required one; a story might be written because there was rent to pay. But these particular words were written because the author had something to say. What was it?
  2. What does it reveal about the society and time period in which it was created?
    • Bring together what you know from your work so far in this document and try to get at the real meat of what this document tells us—not just about the author, but also about the author’s society and his or her relationship to it (was she a part of the mainstream, or a rebel?).
    • One way of looking at this would be to ask yourself whether the same document could have been written 10 years before, or 10 years after. Why not—what changed?
    • Relate your interpretation of the document to the contexts you found when you were looking for topics for your bibliography. What does it hint about the larger situation the story takes place in?
  3. What’s missing?
    • What point of view is left out? Was it intentional? How would that change the picture presented by the author?
    • One way of looking at this would be: How would this storu be different if it were told by someone else?
  4. What passage stands out the most?
    • Which sentence or passage did you react most strongly to—out of admiration, revulsion, or strong agreement or disagreement?
    • Think about what caused that reaction: Was is the content alone, or where you affected by the differences between the author’s cultural values or experiences and your own?
  5. What would you ask?
    • If you had a chance to interview the author or the key individuals in the story, what would you want to know?

Link to Essays page

Welcome to Week 15!

3 December 2023

A modern statue honoring Herodotus.

This week we’re talking about the very last assignment—the Analysis Write-up. What is the author of your document trying to say? What would help us get a better handle on how to understand the author’s intent?

Remember that the Annotated Bibliography is due today (Monday). Look carefully through the assignment, notes, and suggestions I’ve posted on the Critical Thinking Project page on the course website. It’s all on the Bibliography tab, and I also emailed about it last week. Please send me an email if you get stuck or if you have any questions!

Once it’s done, email your document as an attachment or shared link to

Link to Schedule page

Bibliography assignment

1 December 2023

I’ve updated the Annotated Bibliography tab on the Critical Thinking project page to make it clearer what’s needed for the assignment. That page also has the relevant slides from what we discussed this week. Any questions or problems, please let me know.

Process for doing the Annotated Bibliography:

  1. Choose topics that relate to your document that relate to your document. As discussed in class, these tend to involve:
    • The individuals
    • The context(s)
    • The event
    • The text
  2. Search on these topics on the Lehman Library website using OneSearch and find three digital resources that would help you research your document.
    • These can be books, book chapters, and peer-reviewed journal articles. You can filter for these in OneSearch.
    • Include only secondary sources (scholars writing about primary sources). No tertiary sources are allowed (textbooks, encyclopedia entries, etc.)
    • To check for the relevance of a resource to your document, look through the summary, table of context, chapter titles, and subject heads. You can also check the index to see if your topics are covered.
  3. Copy the citation for this book, book chapter, or article from OneSearch to your document.
  4. Write an annotation paragraph under your citation. Your annotations should:
    • Start with which of the topics you chose for your document this work relates to
    • Include specific subjects covered in the book/article that bear on the research subject
    • A brief statement of your opinion of the work’s potential value
      • What part of the research subject this book/article helps explain or shed light on
      • Potential limitations or problems
  5. Email your Word, PDF, or shared Docs file to me at

Link to Critical Thinking Project page

My Grades page updated; late and missing posts/assignments

28 November 2023

I’ve updated the grades to show the Summary Write-Ups I've received and a few late posts and submissions. I’ve also started updating the Participation grade based on a count of assignments completed, involvement in class, and other factors; this will be updated weekly to as the last assignments are turned in.

Please log into the My Grades page on the course website to see where you are at as we approach the completion of the course. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to seek me out by email or in office hours.

Missing assignments and posts. If you have not submitted your Summary Write-Up, please do so as soon as you can. In terms of your course grade you’re better off with any grade, even with a lateness penalty, than a zero for the assignment.

Likewise, you can make up any Weekly Response posts you did not complete for partial credit, which, again, is a lot better than a zero for your overall course grade. See me or email me if you have any questions.

Link to My Grades page

Welcome to Week 14!

23 November 2023

This week we’re talking about three critical aspects of researching a subject you’re interested in: what directions to search in; deciding what’s both relevant and reliable as support for your position; and citing those sources in your final papers. These are the things you’ll need to be thinking about in order to complete the next assignment, due Dec. 4, so make sure you attend the meetings.

If you haven’t submitted your Summary Write-Up yet, please make sure to do so. If you’re not sure what you need to be doing or when things are due, come to me and talk to me now, not after everything is due and the semester is over. If there’s anything from your reading or research that’s sparked your curiosity and you want to know more, I’ll be very happy to discuss.

See you Tuesday!

Link to Schedule page

Emailing submissions

20 November 2023

One additional reminder to everyone about emailing assignments: I will always reply that the email was received when I get it. If you have not gotten an email back by the next day, that very likely means I did not receive the email.

If you sent me your assignment and did not get an email back by the next day, first check your junk folder, then email me and check to see whether I received the assignment from you.

Reminders about the Summary Write-Up

19 November 2023

Just a reminder that the Summary Write-Up is to be emailed to me by Monday, November 20. Please create your write-up in Word, Google Docs, or the like and email me an attachment (DOCX/PDF) or a share a link to your file. If you have any questions or you want to run something past me, just drop me an email!

For the content, length, and formatting requirements, please see the Summary tab of the Critical Thinking Project page on the course website. Please try to follow the requirements to ensure you get credit for this assignment.

Plagiarism reminder: For your written assignments, you must use your own words and your own thinking. Do not copy or retype anything from web pages about your document, or from anywhere else. Using the words of others without citations as your own is plagiarism, and it’s not tolerated at Lehman College.

For these assignments, quoting from your document is fine—as long as it’s in quotation marks and it’s clear it’s coming from your document. Otherwise, the content of your write-ups must be your words and your thinking.

As stated in this course’s syllabus, any write-ups containing plagiarism—pasting in or rearranging the words of others without citations indicating its source—will result in an automatic zero for the assignment. Multiple instances of plagiarism will result in failing the course.

Late assignments: As stated in the syllabus, late assignments will be accepted, but will be marked down for being late.

Link to CT Project page

Welcome to Week 13!

19 November 2023

This week we’re talking about researching topics and preparing for the annotated bibliography. If you need to know more about a story you’re researching, what do you need to know to do that effectively? What topics and keywords to you look into, and how do you figure out if the resources you find are reliable and relevant?

Don’t forget your Summary Write-up, which is due today (Monday). I sent a separate email about that on Sunday. Email me if you have questions, concerns, or anything you’re curious about. See you Tuesday!

Link to Schedule page

Update to My Grades page

15 November 2023

I’ve updated the My Grades page to reflect the four stages of the Critical Thinking project. Each stage of the project will be listed under the project, just like with the Weekly Responses.

Once three of the stages are showing, it will show a grade so far for the project, and that grade so far for the project will be included in the course grade so far calculation below.

Most of you have chosen your documents, and I’ve seen a lot of interesting reactions already in the Week 11 response posts. If you haven’t chosen your document, please do so and post about it so you can get credit for the first stage of the CT project and be ready for the next stage, which is due next Monday.

Any questions? Let me know!

Link to My Grades page

Welcome to Week 12!

12 November 2023

This week we’re talking about ways to approach primary sources. What’s the best way to glean information from a text, while gaining insight into the author’s intent?

We’ll also be talking about the importance of structure when it comes to making an argument in an essay. What’s going to help you make your case most when you’re trying to convince your reader?

The final project is going to move quickly, so it’s important you keep up with the succession of small steps and the deadlines associated with them.

* For today (Monday), you need to have chosen your document and posted about it.

* Over the course of this week, you should work on summarizing your document. You’ll be sending that to me by next Monday (Nov. 20).

Because we’re in the last phase of the course and there will be something due almost every week, it’s important that you let me know if there’s anything you’re not sure about so we can figure it out. Remember, if you’re having problems, confusion, or conflicts, you need to go to your instructors first, not afterwards!

Email me or see me in person in my office hours, which are Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5 p.m. in CA-292.

Link to Schedule page

Welcome to Week 11!

6 November 2023

This week we’re talking about the first steps you take when approaching a writing assignment: determining the problem or question you’re going to be answering, and formulating the argument you’re going to make about it.

I want to thank everyone again for the work and energy you put into the presentations—a lot of you found great ways to make them interesting and relatable. Nicely done!

Link to Schedule page

NO MEETING on Tuesday October 31

30 October 2023

Due to illness there will be no class meeting on Tuesday, October 31.

We will meet as usual on Thursday, November 2. The schedule of readings and assignments on the Schedule page has already been adjusted to reflect the missing meeting.

Presentations scheduled for Tuesday, October 31 will be held on Thursday instead. Please have any materials to me by Wednesday night.

Link to Schedule page

Welcome to Week 10!

29 October 2023

This week we’re talking about the critical thinking project and how you go about researching something you need to know more about. It starts with determining exactly what you want to know, so we’ll be talking about squaring away what you want to find out and, crucially, what questions you’re looking to answer. We’ll do some in-class work, and I’ll talk about the topic options for the second project.

Tuesday is also the last presentation day, so if you’re scheduled for that day or you weren’t able to present previously please make sure you’re ready. Make sure to send me any files by Monday night, and email me with any questions or issues.

There’s been a lot of fun and interesting presentations already, and I’m definitely looking forward to the rest of the talks. Thanks, everyone, for the hard work on what you’ve shared with all of us. See you Tuesday!

Link to My Grades page

Welcome to Week 9!

22 October 2023

This week we’re exploring two critical and inescapable aspects of college life: finding the information you need, and writing about it.

We’re also continuing with presentations after a great if slightly glitchy start on Thursday (which is all on me!). Make sure you’re ready for your assigned presentation day and that you email me with any files, questions, or issues no later than the day before.

Good luck! I’m really looking forward to seeing you dig into your chosen topics. See you Tuesday!

Link to Schedule page

Welcome to Week 8!

15 October 2023

This week we’re digging deeper into two extremely important aspects of college life: academic integrity and college reading.

The shift from high school to college involves a lot of changes, including increased responsibility for your own work. This can have some subtle and even unexpected impacts on you as a student, and it’s easy not to think much about integrity until you’ve crossed a line without realizing it. As you read through the module on integrity, what stands out to you as being something you didn’t expect? Why do you think colleges and universities place such an emphasis on enforcing academic integrity?

College reading has come up a few times in this course already. In a very real way it’s not just “reading”—college reading is a whole new skill you have to develop, involving gleaning critical ideas and important information from the large amounts of text that comes your way in a lot of different kinds of classes. What do you think is the key to getting the most from your college reading?

Also this week we’re starting the presentations. Everyone has been given a presentation day—they're listed on the Presentation page. I’m really looking forward to everyone talking about their chosen topic and having some fun with it. Remember, if you have slides or video, you have to send it to me no later than the day before class.

Link to Schedule page

Presentation Dates

14 October 2023

The dates for the presentations are posted on the Presentation page. I’ve randomly assigned everyone to one of four presentation days. On those days we’ll be doing presentations as well as discussing the assigned readings.

If your presentation involves slides or videos, the file needs to be emailed to me by the day before the presentation.

Work on what you want to say now, so you’ll be ready. And have some fun with it! Email me with any questions at all. Here are the dates:

Presentation Day 1 (Thursday, October 19): Jaydalisse Alcantara, Imani Brown, Erika Cabreja, Jonathan Guerrero, Charliz Martinez, Djonaya Matador, Ysamar Rojas

Presentation Day 2 (Tuesday, October 24): Tania Ali, Selena Cruz-Segundo, Korotoumou Gueye, Marlene Mata, Rienne Rivera, Keyline Tejada, Kevin Dankwah

Presentation Day 3 (Thursday, October 26): Brandon Dennis, Arianna Felix, Sashay Graham, Maria Grullon Marte, Valerie Macias, Leah Ojeda, Heavynly Pierce, Toussida Zongo

Presentation Day 4 (Tuesday, October 31): Sharmin Alejo, Yadiel Avila, Angel Bautista, Guadalupe Caporal, Indiana Garcia, Ana Reyes Sanchez, Muhammed Zab

Link to Presentation page

Scholarship and award links and information

11 October 2023

Following up on last Thursday’s meeting, the OPA has passed along some links for more info and for scheduling meetings to discuss your opportunities.

The Office of Prestigious Awards prepares and advises students competing for nationally competitive awards. The office supports and guides Lehman College students and alumni through all stages of the awards’ application and selection processes.

Here are some examples of awards we help you apply for.

  • Gilman Scholarship: The U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program enables students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad, providing them with skills critical to our national security and economic prosperity.
  • Fulbright US Program and Fulbright UK Commission: Supports education exchange between talented people of all backgrounds between the UK and the USA, enabling study, teaching and research at some of the world’s most exciting universities through scholarships, advice, coaching and experiential learning.
  • Boren Scholarship: Funds study abroad by U.S. undergraduate students in world regions critical to U.S. interests.
  • Jeannette K Watson: The Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship is a three year, cohort-based program that provides funded summer internships and unprecedented opportunities to promising undergraduate students from 12 New York City partner institutions.
  • Harry S Truman Scholarship: The Harry S. Truman Scholarship is a federally funded scholarship granted to U.S. undergraduate students for demonstrated leadership potential, academic excellence, and a commitment to public service.
  • Flex Med: The Donald and Vera Blinken FlexMed Program allows college sophomores in any major to apply for early assurance of acceptance to The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
  • The Marshall Scholarship: Marshall Scholarships finance young Americans of high ability to study for a degree in the United Kingdom.
  • Critical Language Scholarship: The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is an immersive summer opportunity for American college and university students to learn languages essential to America’s engagement with the world.
  • The Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship: The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans program honors the contributions of immigrants and children of immigrants to the United States.
  • Barry Goldwater Foundation: provides scholarships to college sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue research careers in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering.
  • SHPEP (Summer Health Professions Education Program): The Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) is a free summer program for students to explore their interests in medicine, dentistry, nursing, optometry, pharmacy, physical therapy, public health, and more.
  • PPIA: The PPIA Junior Summer Institute (JSI) Fellowship Program is a rigorous academic graduate-level preparation program for undergraduate juniors committed to public service careers.
  • And much more
To schedule an appointment with our office please click the link here. You can visit us at the student lounge in MU 107 or you can reach us at

Welcome to Week 7!

8 October 2023

Just a reminder that there are no meetings this week. On Tuesday Monday classes are meeting, and Thursday is the Internship Fair.

Use this time to take the next steps for the presentations.

  1. Make a list of five specific questions you want to answer. What questions might the students in your audience have? What might your audience be struggling with, concerned about, or curious about? Talk to friends—what might they want to know? What kinds of questions might people not be asking?
  2. Investigate your topic. Explore the course readings that relate to your topic. Talk to people who have knowledge or experience. Read up on this subject using digital resources.
  3. Decide how you want to do your talk. Format: Three pillars? Five things to know? Tell a story? Venue: In person? Slides? Video?
  4. Start writing your outline.

The presentation is just a couple of minutes, and I want you to have fun with it! But it needs preparation, so don’t put this part off. The presentations start next week, on Thursday the 19th.

Link to Presentation page

Student Success Meeting: Oct. 5 at 3 p.m.

4 October 2023

The second of the three first-year student success meetings with Avena for our FYI block this semester is confirmed for tomorrow, Thursday, October 5, at 3 p.m.

Everyone should attend this meeting, which is being held in CA-231.

Link to Schedule page

Welcome to Week 6!

1 October 2023

This week we’re talking about setting goals and how to do that in an informed and productive way. To go with the readings there will be some worksheet handouts you’ll get in class, so please make sure to do the assigned readings as background.

Many of you have posted topics for the presentations. I’m commenting on them as we go, so take a moment this week to go back and look at the responses and what other folks are doing. If you haven’t posted yours yet, make sure to do that as the first step in the process. Consider exploring different possibilities no one has picked already. What would be a fun and maybe unusual or unexpected topic? Think outside the box!

Relatedly, I’ve updated the Presentations page on the course website with the slides we’ve had so far related to topics and structures.

We’ll talk about the presentations more in class this week. Remember, we won’t be meeting the 10th or the 12th, and the actual presentations will be happening after that, so make sure to come to class this week with questions!

Link to Schedule page

Welcome to Week 5!

24 September 2023

This week we’re talking about the skills you need to be more effective in an academic and professional environment. Professionalism is shapes how you communicate, the way you work with others, how you approach and solve complex problems, the ethical framework you use to make decisions, and how you treat and value people; so developing these skills has a significant impact on integrating yourself into your chosen field.

We’ll also talk more about the presentation. You are going to need to propose your topic for next Monday’s response post (that’s Monday, Oct. 2), so everyone should be thinking about what you could talk about to your fellow students for a few minutes, either in-person in class or on video. Something specific—hazards students deal with, skills students need in college, the kinds of goals that drive you—as long as it relates to being a college student.

One approach would be to do it as a “Top Five” list: “Top five things that are different in college,” “Top five things I didn’t know about my major until I got to Lehman,” that kind of thing. Come to class Tuesday with ideas we can discuss, and maybe you’ll inspire some of your classmates.

Reminder: If you haven’t made your posts for the Week 4 response, please do so. Remember you need to make TWO posts: one responding to the prompt, and one responding to the discussion and amplifying what’s come up in your classmates’ posts.

That’s it for now. See you on Tuesday!

Link to Schedule page

Week 3 Responses

20 September 2023

If you haven’t posted your Week 3 Response, please do so on the Responses page on the course website! Posting late means you won’t get full points, but that’s still much, much better for your grade than a zero.

Also, as I was looking through the Week 3 Responses that have been posted so far, I noticed a couple of folks who talked about their DAACS results but never sent me the summary report PDF from their DAACS assessment. If you took the DAACS but never sent me the PDF, please do so so you can get credit for Week 2. Thanks.

Remember, you can track where you are at with assignments so far on the My Grades page on the course website. Let me know if you have any questions.

Link to Responses page

Week 4 Responses

20 September 2023

For this week’s response, I’m asking you to do two things. First, make an initial post this week (say, by Saturday) about what you reacted to or connected to in the readings for this week on wellness, good or bad. Try to discuss it in a way that’s relatable and forward-looking.

Second, I want you to come back and make a second post by Monday responding to what’s come up in the discussion. You can reply to a particular post that has some meaning for you, or you can make another regular post where you talk about some of the things that have come up in discussion and how they connect with your own experience.

Either way, for this assignment, you need to make two posts, not just one. Email me if you have any questions!

Link to Responses page

Welcome to Week 4!

17 September 2023

This week’s readings are about “wellness.” What does that mean exactly? To me, this is really about how to make sure you can maintain a healthy relationship between your life and your coursework, and it’s not as easy as it sounds. It’s a true dilemma that everyone struggles with—more and more, as college and life get progressively more complicated.

How do you commit yourself to your academic goals with passion and drive, while still staying physically and mentally strong and autonomous? Looking at it the other way: how do you take time for yourself and still commit to school, friends, family, and your other identities—all of which are important parts of who you are? Think about this as you do the readings and come to class ready to discuss.

We’re also talking about careers. You might already be planning on working in a particular field, but how do you chart your way to a stable, financially secure career in your area of interest? What different kinds of paths should you consider within the kinds of work you’re looking at—and what happens if you change your mind?

Remember to post your Week 3 response (your reactions to the DAACS resources or similar). Also think about what your presentation topic might be. It can be anything relating to what you think it means to be a student, and the goal will be to say three things about it in a brief in-class or video talk. More on this to come, but start thinking now about what you might have to say.

That’s all for now. See you Tuesday!

Link to Schedule page

Welcome to Week 3!

10 September 2023

This week we’re working on a few more angles related to college success. One is communication. It sounds banal to say it, but connecting with your fellow students and your instructors and mentors is critical, and for some it takes a while to realize that it’s one of those things we’ve been talking about where active engagement makes all the difference in achieving your goals. What kinds of issues are you likely to encounter connecting and communicating with others? What gets in the way, and what strategies can help put you on a firmer footing with others?

We’ll also be talking about change—and I don’t just mean the changes you’re going through transitioning to college, because college is constant change. What it means to be in college, what your expectations are of yourself and what others expect of you, and the goals you are prioritizing tend to change year by year in college, and even semester by semester. Not keeping up with that can cause you to end up sidetracked and not where you need to be. What approaches work in managing the way your life and perspective stay in flux during your time here?

A quick word about attendance: Please make sure you drop me a note by email if something prevents you from attending class meetings. Being in class is important, and we instructors also have to know who’s participating. Just let me know.

Don’t forget to complete your Week 2 Response assignment (the first two DAACS modules). Don’t leave it until the last minute—give yourself the time to think about it as you go through.

Questions about the assignments or anything else? Bring them to class. See you on Tuesday!

Link to Schedule page

General Reminder - Week 2 Response

9 September 2023

This is a general reminder to all students about the Week 2 Response, which is completing this first two DAACS assessments and reviewing the results.

If you’ve already done that, great! If not, remember that the instructions for completing the Week 2 Response—and the CUNY-facing link to the DAACS site—are all there on the course website. Go to Responses in the side menu and click on the Week 2 response.

Also, thanks to everyone for sharing your thoughts on the Week 1 Response page! Almost everyone has posted. If you haven’t yet, please go back and add your own post to the page. I’ve updated the code so that the posts are visible without having to log in, so I encourage everyone to go back and look through the Week 1 posts and get to know your classmates and the kinds of things you have in common.

See you Tuesday!

Link to Weekly responses page

Welcome to Week 2!

4 September 2023

An Athenian stoa, or colonnade, used for gatherings (including students engaged with teachers and philosophers).

This week we’re going to be talking about Lehman, some college tricks, and a few upcoming assignments you’ll need to start preparing for. Please take some time to explore the readings assigned for this week, as we’ll be talking about and responding to them. The readings for each class are posted on the Schedule page on the course website.

Make sure to email me if you have any questions or something comes up in relation to attendance, posting, or accessing course readings. I very much prefer to know about concerns and issues in advance whenever possible. If you haven’t posted your Week 1 response yet, please to so today. Lots of great responses so far!

If you want to reach out to me, just send me an email or stop by in person. My office hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 5:45 p.m. in Carman 292.

That’s all for now. See you Tuesday!

Link to Schedule page

Welcome to the First-Year Seminar!

27 August 2023

This is a quick note to welcome you all to the beginning of LEH 250, the First-Year Seminar! I’m looking forward to joining you all as you begin your college journey, starting with our first meeting on Tuesday. The meeting is in-person, 1:30 – 2:45 p.m., in Carman Hall room 212.

(Carman Hall is located at the far southwest end of campus. Note that Carman Hall has two different sections that are separated off from each other. To get to the Liberal Arts part of the building where our class meetings are, you’ll need to go down the stairs to the basement entrance, then go up the internal stairs to the second floor. If you use the outside stairs that go up, you’ll be in the first-floor Information Technology area, which is cut off from the rest of the building.)

Right now, I need you to do two things:

(1) Take a look at the course website. We won’t be using BlackBoard for most things in this course. Instead, all of the resources and requirements are on the course website, which is also your syllabus for the course. The course website is located on my website, markbwilson dot com. To access the course website, go to markbwilson dot com and click on Courses, then First-Year Seminar.

Page through the course website, getting a feel for the pages and resources provided there. When you get to the Schedule page, you’ll see each class meeting has links to a short list of online readings that you’ll need to review before each class. There’s a short introductory reading for Tuesday’s class, so go ahead and take a look at that before our first meeting.

We’ll be talking about the syllabus and how the class works when we meet on Tuesday, so don’t worry about everything involved in the course right now. Just come to class on Tuesday prepared, and bring your own questions and ideas about how this course can help prepare you for the years ahead.

(2) Reply back to my email. I send a emails out regularly, including weekly previews and information about readings and assignments, so it's important I be able to reach you. Please reply back to this email and let me know either that this is a good email for me to use, or that a different email would be a better way to reach you.

That’s it for now. Let me know if you have any questions. I’ll see you all on Tuesday!

Link to Schedule page