meetings, sporting events, guest speakers, parties, workshops,
concerts, trips, films, plays, poetry readings: interesting things take
place almost every week at Nassau. But
given the size of this campus (we're really a little city in many
ways), how can you get a handle on all that's happening? And how can
you keep up on academic news--registration dates, scholarship deadlines,
new college policies, etc. etc.--that you absolutely need to know
about? Here are some ideas:
Read your College email.
Like pretty much the rest of the planet, Nassau does a ton of business
online these days. To stay in the loop, check your NCC email at least
every other day.
Read the NCC homepage (www.ncc.edu).
It's the place to go to learn about "here and now" events--speakers,
theatre productions, scholarships, and other happenings. Give the
homepage a weekly once over to see what's going on.
Follow NCC's First-Year Experience on Twitter (www.Twitter.com/fye_nassaucc).
Daily tweets, many with links to other NCC pages (and interesting
articles), will help you stay up on campus events and other NCC news.
Be a Twitter/FYE follower!
Read the Vignette.
NCC's student newspaper (see page 2--Happenings) is information central
for news about campus parties, concerts, club meetings, intramural
sports, off-campus trips, film fests, and other fun stuff. Look for the
Vignette in newsstands around campus.
Feeling more connected
already? Of course. But even so, don't stop reading this blog! You'll
get timely information about NCC, advice about college, and neat ideas
to kick around as you go through your semester. You can even respond to
posts and tell us what's on your mind.
Last semester, Dr. Janis Mazza gave a
presentation on campus addressing the very real problem of math anxiety.
As a math professor myself, I see this each and every day while
teaching my math courses.
What exactly is math anxiety? Dr.
Mazza describes it as an intense frustration or helplessness about one’s
ability to understand and do math. Many students who have math anxiety
feel they are incapable of doing activities that involve math.
Symptoms of math anxiety can include psychological symptoms such as
confusion, loss of memory, lack of confidence, panicking and negative
Physical symptoms may include sweating, nausea, upset
stomach, rapid heartbeat, rapid breathing and headaches. There
are various reasons that students develop math anxiety. Often times it
stems from a previous failure. Whether it was failing a math test, quiz
or even an entire math course. It could also be teacher or peer
related. Perhaps a student had a bad experience in math class and felt
that the teacher embarrassed them, or perhaps another student made a
comment to them about an incorrect solution. Things such as giving
timed tests and using certain types of teaching methods have contributed
to the math anxiety of students.
There is good news for students
who suffer with math anxiety! Students need to start with changing
their attitude (easier said than done sometimes!). Stop telling
yourself that you’re “bad” at math. Preparation is key! The best way
to learn math is through practice. If you are prepared for an exam, you
will feel much more confident. Start a study group since it helps so
much to have other students to work with. Set yourself up for success
with good study habits. Studying a little every day is better than
trying to cram. Ask for help when you need it! Eat well, practice
relaxation techniques and sleep well.
Here at NCC we do have
resources to help you with your math anxiety. Check out the Math Center
or the Math Anxiety Center. Ask your professors for help. That’s why
we are here.
As soon as you sit down to take the test, it starts. You feel the
pressure, your heart is pounding, you go blank, you start to panic and
worry and ultimately, you don’t do as well as you had hoped on the exam.
Has this ever happened to you? It’s called “Test Anxiety” and you can overcome it!
Mary Peck from the SPS department recently ran a workshop for students
where they discussed tips for overcoming this learned behavior. Yes,
you can take steps to control this problem.
What causes test
anxiety? First on the list was lack of preparation. If you haven’t
been doing the work all along and haven’t been preparing of course you
will feel anxious and nervous. Other causes on the list are poor test
history (you’ve done poorly on the first exam, so now you are worried
about the next one), worry about what “might” happen, lack of
self-confidence and stress. Students often put a lot of pressure on
themselves to be perfect.
So, if we know the causes, what can we
do about it? Both Professor Peck and the students who attended the
workshop had suggestions. First, try some meditation exercises and
trade peace for anxiety and worry. Find a quiet place, close your eyes,
and tell yourself “I’ve got this! I’ve prepared. I’m ready and I’m
excited to show what I know!” Other suggestions include studying (of
course!), getting ample rest before a big exam and build your
Finally, Professor Peck provided the students with a helpful website: www.howtostudy.org
Check it out! It might just help. Good luck with your exams!
So Barack Obama was absolutely born in Africa, which is why he's tried to ban the national anthem at sporting events . . . And Donald Trump, who was endorsed by Pope Francis, actually won the popular vote in the 2016 Presidential election. . . . And when she's not killing FBI agents, Hillary Clinton runs an international child exploitation ring headquartered in a Washington D.C. pizzeria. Believe any of this stuff? Hope not--because it's ALL NONSENSE, not even remotely close to reality. Poppycock to be polite. Horse droppings to be more graphic. Yet you can find all of this misinformation (a.k.a. LIES) online, often on bottom feeder news sites, on websites claiming to tell you the inside dope (a most appropriate word here), and--yeah--even on the pages of popular social media platforms (are you listening, Facebook?). Though more reputable news organizations are less likely to fall victim to fake news, they too stumble at times, often when trying to be first with a scoop or simply when someone decides to play loose with the facts. Fake news isn't new, of course. Journalism has always had its share of people who bent the facts to suit their own needs or--when that failed--simply made up things to sway opinion and sell newspapers. Our history has no shortage of fabricated news, from far-fetched pieces about miracle cures and colonies on the Moon to made-up stories about war atrocities. Some people, like Mark Twain, made up stories to make mischief with readers; others, like publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst, had darker ends, distorting (and sometimes inventing) facts to drum up support for a war. But motivations aside, selling swill has often been profitable for those with a printing press or (more recently) a website. The challenge, for readers, is ferreting out the truth--a difficult thing, especially in confusing times. And it's especially hard right now, when we're greeted each day with a tsunami of information from bloggers, websites, online publications, and aggregate news sites, some of whose content wouldn't meet anyone's standards for accuracy or integrity. So how should a person who's eager to stay informed about the world navigate the misinformation highway? For starters, some old-school advice: Don't believe everything you read or hear, at least at first blush. Just because somebody's saying something--in a book, in a newspaper, on a website, in a blog, on television, on a podcast or news broadcast--doesn't mean it's entirely (or even partially) accurate. People sometimes misstate things. They sometimes omit important facts. They sometimes out and out lie. Second, when you come upon news that seems kind of out there, see what's being reported elsewhere. Are other reporters and/or news outlets talking about the same thing? Are their facts consistent (at least more or less) with your source's? Be suspicious if no else appears to be reporting this red-hot news item. And if you're curious about the source of some juicy news, google a key word and see what comes up. Third, know the politics and reputation of the site/source you're reading. Almost every news site has a little bias, even those that try their best to be objective. But others are decidedly pushing an agenda, be it liberal or conservative or whatever. And be especially careful about zealots, some of whom masquerade as reasonable middle-of-the-roaders when they're anything but. If you're unsure about the politics of an individual or group or site whose news flashes make your jaw drop, poke around the net and see what you can learn about your source's reputation. Others' impressions may put what you're reading in perspective. This is a challenging time for those of us trying to make sense out of what we're reading and hearing. But no matter what your politics, you need to think carefully and critically about what you're encountering online, in print, or on the tube. Don't dismiss bold claims out of hand, but don't accept them as absolute truth either. For when you're trying to sort out fact from fantasy, you can't afford to put your brain on hold.