Development classes motivated me to survive, succeed

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Jahna Lacey

Jahna Lacey

Viewpoint by Jahna Lacey

When I began my pursuit in spring 2011 to earn an associate degree in journalism, I was enthusiastic about the challenges and learning the basics of journalism, different writing styles and improving my grammar.

I knew I had the talent, so I was devastated when my class schedule included READ 0303, College Reading and Critical Thinking, and MATH 0300, Basic Mathematics.

As an avid reader, I pondered what my problem was; it turned out that I just needed to slow down and read in small chunks. As for math, I barely knew fractions, graphing solutions, evaluating, simplifying, and negating statements.

During my high school years, I only had hours to read the course content so instructors rushed me on assignment deadlines, and no one taught me math higher than freshman level.

I escaped a special education label in my junior year, but even after changing schools, I still was not taught math higher than freshman level. When I finally reached college, I knew I had to devote my time to learning the basics.

I studied the materials for two hours per day and worked on the homework. I thought these prerequisites would be discouraging, and instead they had helped me develop my studying and visual learning method. The prerequisites did not discourage me because the courses gave me a simplistic comprehension of the subjects and taught me to write and study better.

All I had to do was examine the notes as the instructors wrote on the board or lectured, and it motivated me to study more often and devote myself to the content.

As I persevered with my first semester, Professor Michael Stasko used class time to slowly demonstrate step-by-step instructions for solving fractions, rate, and graphing equations.

In Professor Helen Carr’s class, I learned about various reading methods, styles of note-taking and even deciphering propaganda styles of advertising. As a result of using those methods, writing down basic steps, studying with groups, and attending tutoring, I made a C in MATH 0300 and an A in READ 0303. I was able to complete my required courses and finish the developmental requirements. Last fall, I earned a B in Professor Paula McKenna’s MATH 1332, Contemporary Math 1.

I am on the verge of graduation with 93 percent of my journalism degree plan complete and I expect to earn an associate degree in fall 2013. This semester, I am making a plan to study harder and take more notes more often in my hardest subject — science.

Though struggling, I am taking the initiative to get tutoring at the Biospot in Room 350 of Chance Academic Center and geology museum in Room 003 of chemistry and geology during breaks between classes.

The solution I used for passing my classes was simple.

My advice for current and future students is make an initial plan to study at home or during class breaks, always take notes on lectures, attend tutoring when possible, and finish off all homework before deadlines.

My first semester has given me a sense of initiative and motivation to do necessary work immediately and make realistic goals.

Even today, I find that I must make priorities for a better life.


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