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Newsletters for Students

Little-Known, Sometimes Quirky, Ever-Amusing Reflections about Students and Universities.

Photo of a sunset.

Choosing your career in mass media.
Are you confused about the many career choices available in the mass media? Of course you are! Well, why not find some answers? Consult Ross's handy poster or interactive node map.

Should you work for the student newspaper?
Benefits and drawbacks. Eighteen former student newspaper editors and other professionals talk about the value--and the frustrations--of working for the campus newspaper. Find out if campus journalism is for you! (And I think it is.)

How to fail as an aerobics instructor: A guy's perspective
I always wondered why it seemed to be nearly exclusively a women's fitness routine. Would taking an aerobics training course myself might help to answer this question? Absolutely, but I might be happier not knowing.

North Dakota State: a year we'd like to see
As the year comes to a close, it's worth taking a moment to reflect on the many changes of the past year. What an amazing year it was for North Dakota universities!

What is this "plagiarism" stuff anyway?
A fancy-schmancy way of saying you copied someone else's written work as your own. But it's not quite that easy. What does "copying" mean? Is it okay if you give the author credit? What about copying ideas? Here's a short guide I wrote for my media history students who do a lot of writing.

Burn that freshman fifteen.
Little things add up. One reason why our parents and grandparents were thinner than we are is that they didn’t have the little conveniences we have. Think all this means nothing? Below is a way that you can lose more than four pounds a year at NDSU by just varying your routine slightly.

The nine big ones.
Okay, we know it's all a crap shoot, good health. Or so we keep telling ourselves. But avoid these risky behaviors and you become at least a lot smaller target in that grim reaper's shooting gallery.

How any NDSU student can make a million.
Do you want to be a millionaire? Seriously. You don't need to win the lottery. You don't need a big salary. You don't need an inheritance. You don't need an employer contribution to a 401K plan. You can do it all by yourself. Here's how.

Self-Defense: Tips from the Streets of Marseilles.
What can we do to protect ourselves on the street? Maybe this is a question more and more of us have been asking lately, given the surprising news of rapes, abductions or near-abductions in our remote north country. While it’s true that North Dakota has the lowest violent crime rate in the country, low is not no.

How to be a loser.
Because so many of you will soon be graduating, you'll want to do your best to prepare for success in the world "out there." Here's how not to do it, based on a couple decades or so of experience with students and the world of commercial media.

Grouping for excellence.
Students who prefer to learn alone squirreled into the garrets of grungy apartments south of campus won't like NDSU as much this year. We're starting to squirrel-proof the classrooms….

Damning the cramming.
Okay, so I'll admit an ulterior motive behind those weekly quizzes in some of my classes. The ulterior motive is that I'm naturally perverse. Just kidding. The ulterior motive is that it's a reasonable way to encourage you to pick up information from the text in small bites rather than big gulps.

About those dumb American students....
and the people who teach them.

Would you rather...
( ) read this article?
(X) take a nap?
Then read this article!

Searching for wisdom.
America's bicentennial summer was a watershed to my understanding of wisdom. Not because I learned where it was, but because I learned where it wasn't.

What makes a class bad?
Everyone has sat through a few clunkers between first grade and college degree. And everyone has a personal pet peeve, the one thing that really annoys them in class.

10 stupid things I've done with a computer.

What's your RQ?
The new buzz in business is all about reputations. Not your reputation, not my reputation, but business's reputation.

The stress of our addictions.
Smokers often say they smoke because they need to relax. Then they say they smoke because they need to stay awake. How can you have it both ways, one drug as a stimulant and as a depressant?

The university regrets the error....
Publications in a hurry sometimes get things wrong. They account for these occasional failings in a little box, usually somewhere inconspicuous, labeled "corrections….” Possible content of a university correction box might include these examples.

Why you're history.
Q: Why are the Space Shuttle's solid fuel boosters built to a size somewhat thinner than the manufacturer preferred?
A: The rear ends of two war horses.

If NDSU (at 10,000 students)
were the whole world....

Why you got that A (or not).
Most instructors hate the grading as much as students hate the getting, and grading methods are hardly a standardized set of rules.

Listen, children, to a story.
Good listeners are rare. Especially when what other people say about themselves is usually boring, unless it concerns your income or your love life.

The RTP and me.
Students usually don't give much thought to the hoops instructors jump through to reach their mighty positions in the college classroom.

Yeh, Well, same t' you, fella!
Student evaluations sometimes cut deep.

Food and Flexibility I.
I once had a sign attached to my office wall:
"Why Should I Make an Effort to Try Something New When I Already Like the Food I Eat?

Meeting in private.
Historically North Dakota has lagged the rest of the country in its funding for higher education, with only a few years of exception. What's more, the trend toward reducing funding for higher education extends across the country.

Is it all worth it?
It's what we all worry about, the possibility of graduating from NDSU to a job driving cab or toasting bagels. Is it really worth it, the college degree nowadays?

A test-ament to a good education?
So you bombed the exam last week. Does that mean you’re a dumbo, likely to fail in life? No? So you think pencil-and-paper tests aren’t real life?

Your numbers in the news.

What do you do all day?
I was finishing a gym workout the other day when a fellow exerciser popped the question: “What the heck do you professors do all day when you’re not teaching?”

Multiple choice exams
A chart to guide you through that peculiar terminology and those weird questions (PDF format).

Photo: Sunset over Birch Bay, Washington State.