Saturday June 15, 2013
I sometimes wonder how many scientific discoveries have been squelched or dismissed because the discoverers were afraid of making their findings public. Isn't that a disturbing thought? But ridicule is painful for anybody, and sometimes it can be intellectually and artistically paralyzing.
Students should know that inventors, artists, and scientists have always been ridiculed for their ideas, and even the most groundbreaking discoveries were initially scoffed at and ridiculed. I was glad to see the subject of Ridiculed Science in COSMOS magazine, but it only pointed out a few of the great thinkers who suffered ridicule for their ideas - Einstein, for one. Do a quick search for "scientists who were ridiculed" and you will be amazed.
I know it is hard to put your ideas and creations out into the world sometimes, because the risk of being wrong or being ridiculed is just too frightening. The fact is, in addition to being creative or inventive, you have to be a bit brave - brave enough to risk some negative comments.
But I can tell you that it is only painful at first. Once you get used to accepting criticism and sorting the constructive comments from the mean ones, you see that criticism is a part of discovery and creativity. And now you know that you will be in very good company if you put your ideas out there and take a few punches!
Thursday June 13, 2013
Many students are home for summer break now, and believe it or not, some of them are missing school already! Especially since the last few weeks of school are so much fun. There are usually exciting things going on as the school year winds down, like field days and field trips.
Did you go on an interesting trip with your class? Was it a local place of interest? There are so many fascinating but little-known places that students can see on these visits, and your local museum is fascinating to someone who lives far away. It is fun to hear about student trips in faraway places.
If you had an interesting experience, please share your story! People around the world would love to read about it!
Monday June 10, 2013
Is your head spinning as you try to organize your thoughts around a big research paper? Lost in the library? Or perhaps you're you staring at a big pile of paper and wondering what to do next?
Whether it's your first or your fortieth big writing assignment, a term paper can be a little overwhelming at first. These 10 term paper tips can help you plan for smooth progress. If you plan well, you can avoid common pitfalls that get students into trouble.
Wednesday June 5, 2013
We all know that some of the best teachers behave like kids sometimes, and that can be fun in a classroom. Some of the most popular teachers have the ability to communicate with students by "speaking their language" and behaving in a very informal manner around them. But no matter how fun your teacher is in the classroom, it would be a big a mistake to assume that you can address any teacher in a less-than-professional manner in an email.
For the most part, teachers take writing seriously - more seriously than conversation. Grammar and format are important, so it is a real shock to the system for many teachers to open an email and discover a complete disregard for writing rules, like punctuation and capitalization. Any time you write to a teacher, you must show proper respect for his or her authority. Even those instructors who are very approachable face to face will be put off by a message that starts with "hey."
Whenever you write to a teacher, you should follow certain rules of email etiquette.
- Use a proper greeting
- Use the proper title for your instructor
- Follow rules for capitalization
- Write in complete sentences, not in fragments
- Follow the basic rules of punctuation
Do not ever feel awkward about being formal when writing a message - especially if you're writing a teacher. Your disregard for punctuation in an email will just come across as rude and disrespectful to the reader.