Working with Professors

By Ashley, age 24, Massachusetts
Sweet Designs Staff Intern

Throughout my university days and even before then I was intimidated - no, make that terrified - of any person who was deemed more powerful than me. It was my own bizarre and personal rule to not bother teachers and administrators with questions or concerns, and I remember scurrying away from the classroom and not so surreptitiously squirming out the door as soon as the bell would ring class to a close. In an ironic twist of fate, I now receive my graduate school funding by working as a Teaching Assistant, a position that pushes me to the front of a classroom on a weekly basis. I have been disillusioned to the fact that engaging your superiors by speaking openly and honestly with them about your academic concerns not only makes your presence memorable, but also allows your instructor to sympathize with any classroom issues you may be having. To steal a catchphrase from late celebrity chef Julia Child and use it perversely, don't be afraid!

During the last semester, the students whom I admittedly preferred were those who were the most attentive during, before, and after our discussions, namely those I did not have to provoke conversation from and those who readily addressed me regarding issues they were having with assignments. Students who possessed more positive attitudes impressed me with their maturity, seriousness, and interest in the subject matter. Increased participation does lead to more lenient grading, as it reveals that the student is concerned about his or her work. Simply speaking can make the difference between a B+ and A- average.

This is not to say that I issued lower grades if students did not participate. As someone who suffers from social anxiety disorder, I understand and empathize with shyness. However, I was less inclined to notice their presence or view them as particularly passionate unless they completed superior written work. Professors want you to interact with them. Who would want to get up in the morning if they thought they would be addressing a cement wall all day? When students send text messages from underneath their desks, whisper or snicker to one another, or avoid eye contact, this behavior is inconsiderate, whether or not you intended for your actions to have negative implications. Imagine yourself in the teacher's position before you take your seat in class again. How would you want to be treated?

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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