Columns

Porkpie Hat—Basic Rules for Post-Midwinter Survival

As we all know, January has been scientifically proven to be approximately twice as long as all the other months of the year put together. This is indisputable. This, by itself, is a problem, and contributes to psychological balance and physiological homeostasis becoming approximately as stable as an existential tilt-a-whirl. This, of course, follows hard… Read more »

The Fit Student—Meditate for Better Grades

Do you want to boost your grades simply by unwinding? Not just boost your grades, but make yourself a kinder, more forgiving—and smarter—person? If so, meditate during study breaks.  Reporting on research done at MIT, author Donovan Alexander states that “there was an obvious correlation between mindfulness in schools and better overall academic performance, better… Read more »

The Study Dude—Be Cool; Stay in School

“I quit high school,” a woman said to me, someone I barely knew. “I don’t have the willpower.” Who’s she kidding, I thought.  She was well-spoken, mature, and talented.  I saw her potential more clearly than she did. “If I can get a degree, you certainly can,” I told her. I was partway through an… Read more »

Course Exam—CHEM 217

CHEM 217 (Chemical Principles I) is a three-credit introductory chemistry course that provides an introduction to chemistry from both a theoretical and practical point of view.  The combination of CHEM 217 and CHEM 218 (Chemical Principles II) is the equivalent to first-year university chemistry.  CHEM 217 has no prerequisites, however, chemistry 30 of an equivalent… Read more »

Dear Barb—Anger Management

Dear Barb: Hi, I have been reading your column almost weekly and I finally decided to write in. For most of my life I have been an angry, some say vindictive person. I don’t feel I have been treated well by my family and because of my anger I rarely see them. None of them… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Don’t Be An Ignoramus! Is that Even Possible?

The ignoramus may be the only dinosaur that never went extinct.  Its DNA is in us all whenever we feel superior and better-informed than others.  Ironically, education itself can exacerbate this chronic condition where we become dinosaurs by resting on our intellectual laurels.  Many classes teach their disciplinary bias as though it were universally applicable… Read more »

Course Exam—POLI 307 (Political Ideologies)

POLI 307 (Political Ideologies) is a three-credit, upper-level political science course that surveys the origins and development of modern political ideologies in their historical, cultural, and socio-economic contexts, beginning with the origins of liberalism, followed by responses to it which include capitalism, conservatism, socialism, Marxism, and nationalism.  This course has no prerequisites and offers a… Read more »

Dear Barb—Faced with the Unthinkable

Dear Barb: I hate to bring up such a sombre subject, but, in December, my husband was diagnosed with stage four cancer of unknown origin.  We were both devastated, but with the Christmas celebrations we managed to put the cancer out of our minds.  Now that the holidays are over, we are faced with the… Read more »