Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Friday, December 30, 2020

Freshman seminars, where first-year students get an intimate introduction to college instruction, are suddenly en vogue and almost a necessity for schools luring students.

It’s a way to stimulate the fresh fish early, fortifying them for the next four years:

John Gardner, founder of South Carolina’s National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, says he can think of just one downside.

“It is possible you get a student motivated and stimulated with an almost graduate-like experience,” said Gardner, who advises colleges on such programs. “And then — bang! — you turn them loose on the real first year, which isn’t anything like that.”

This all sounds very familiar to me. Maybe it should: My alma mater has been doing it for decades. Eckerd College’s freshman-only Autumn Term was designed to break in first-year students gently, focusing on interactive learning. It’s also meant to start a student off on a mentoring relationship, since the Autumn Term instructor often winds up being the academic advisor for at least the first year.

So, it looks like my little college has been ahead of the curve for a long while now. It’s a shame to see EC lose what had been a unique selling point; maybe it should really start emphasizing how long it’s been in the freshman seminar business.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 12/30/2005 08:28:53 PM
Category: College Years, Florida Livin'
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Who can tell what will tickle online news junkies’ fancy? The Top Ten list of 2005 stories on the St. Petersburg Times online edition hints that it’s not the likeliest suspects.

Anyone who’s read this blog for a fair amount of time knows that I dip into the Times for quite a bit of posting material. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that I tagged a couple of the items on this list:

  • No. 6, regarding the arrest of a St. Pete man for leeching off an open household wif-fi access point (which somehow, according to this Technorati glance, elicited geeky empathy for that schmuck)
  • No. 9, about a cute Eckerd co-ed’s encounter with a spasmically-dying shark, with photographic evidence

Only two out of 10. I guess I’m not acutely attuned to the local news scene. Since I’m not going to be living here much longer, I guess that’s appropos.

It also begs the question: Once I’m in New York, will I feel a need to link to the St. Pete Times’ online edition? Truthfully, it’s the print edition of the newspaper that leads me to the website — I’ll tend to read it on pulp, and if I like it enough, I’ll find the Web version and blog about it. It’s all about presentation and packaging; it’s the same news, but for me, layout and medium count loads. So, logically, when I stop getting the print edition, I’d guess I wouldn’t be as compelled to seek it out online. Plus, I’ll no longer be local, so obviously, there will be less incentive to regulardly check in on St. Pete’s finest.

Then again, I’ve heard from many who rate the Times as producing a news product that’s head and shoulders above what you’ll find in other cities. Maybe I’ll be compelled to get my St. Pete fix.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 12/30/2005 08:00:39 PM
Category: Florida Livin', Internet, Publishing
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If you don’t want the bedbugs to bite, be a slob and keep your bedsheets untidy:

Researcher Dr Stephen Pretlove said: “We know that mites can only survive by taking in water from the atmosphere using small glands on the outside of their body.

“Something as simple as leaving a bed unmade during the day can remove moisture from the sheets and mattress so the mites will dehydrate and eventually die.”

No wonder I’m so healthy; I can’t remember the last time I made my beddings.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 12/30/2005 07:28:26 PM
Category: Science
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looks like a job forWell, it’s done. The freelance webmastering I agreed to do for Florida Trend is done. I’ve got some minor mop-up to do tomorrow, but basically all that’s left is to turn in my invoice and get paid.

It took quite a bit longer than I thought it would. The magazine’s redesign (hinted at by the new logo on the cover image, left) means a marked increase in the number of images than an average issue would have. Plus, January is the traditional Industry Outlook issue, which means a ton of tables, which typically take a ton of time. Upshot: I put in a ton of hours, including office time from Monday until today. (At least I got it done before the year was out.)

But I am getting paid, even though it cut into my sloth time. I guess I need some pointers on how to actually be unemployed.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 12/30/2005 07:10:47 PM
Category: Florida Livin', Publishing
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