by Bama Porter
Now that the professors have had time to get to know the new freshmen, I thought it would be a good time to get their impressions of them to see how they compare to other classes. Upon asking for their overall opinions of the freshmen, the professors agreed that the freshmen are doing well in their classes. Ray Price, Ph.D, states that the freshmen are “very diverse with a variety of interests and talents with aspirations for the future.” Laura Crawford, Ph.D, comments that “several of the freshmen are very interactive in a good way.” She told me about an instance in her class where a student asked a question about the lesson that she had not thought about herself. She also notes that students had “good attendance” and that “all of the absences that the students have had were excused.” So far, the freshmen have proved that they will be a great addition to the Judson family in the coming years because they have the drive and the passion for learning that has been a characteristic of Judson women for generations.
Professors were reluctant about comparing classes; however, some commented on how the students were doing in their classes. Jeremy Olson, Ph.D, revealed that it is hard to compare classes but all of the freshmen in his class seem to be interested in chemistry and do well. Joe Frazer, Ph.D, states that “a large group of freshmen are making the transition from high school to college, and is a part of the maturing process.” Frazer later on mentions that “it is difficult to tell who will still be here in the spring. If a student makes it to the end of their sophomore year, they will likely stay here. If we lose students, it is usually from their first or second semester here.” Price commented that “professors don’t try to stifle interests and they all frequently work with the students;” however he cannot compare classes because “too much is missing to talk.” He did state; however, that the freshmen had “integrity (which includes doing their job and being on time for class) and empathy for others (which is promoted at Judson).” Price did reveal that the students “are not taking advantage of the help that is offered at Judson,” which can help the grades that students are less than proud of. Frazer stated that “I believe that students can get help from any professor.”
As a freshman, I can agree that sometimes more is needed than the repetition of the material and that students can and should seek out help whenever they need it. This is especially true around midterms and finals, when classes have back-to-back tests that count for a good percentage of your grade. Sometimes all it takes is for the professor to go back over the material in a one-on-one study session. Other times, students need to learn from another student who has previously taken that class. Then there are the times when you could turn to other students who are in the same class to explain it in such a way that you can do it yourself. No matter how you learn, there are ways that your needs can be met here at Judson, if you are willing to find them.
To wrap up the interviews with the professors, I asked them if there was anything in particular that stood out about the freshmen class. Each of the professors I interviewed had different opinions, and all of them were good. Crawford states that the students “invest time in things that are not their major.” This is a key part of being a good student in any school. Just because you do not like the subject or the subject is not a part of your major does not mean that you should not try your best in that class. Olson observes that “the students [in his chemistry class] are talkative.” This can be either a good or a bad thing, according to how much talking is done and what they are talking about. If the students are being engaging and asking questions or discussing the material, then this is a good thing; however if students are just talking about the latest gossip, then this is a distraction. Frazer noticed that freshmen had “a good Marion Matters, and participation in activities outside of the classroom.” This is a core element of what being a Judson girl means because we care about the community we live in. Multiple activities occur throughout the year where students can get involved with their community. Price said that freshmen were “individually outstanding students in general. While some students are outstanding in academics, some are outstanding in athletics, and others stand out in other areas.” This goes back to the diversity amongst the freshmen.
Each student has her own uniqueness that sets her apart from the rest of the students. Just because a student is not the best at academics does not mean that the student cannot be excellent at something else. Albert Einstein once said that “Everyone is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.” These are words that I believe people should try to live by. If people compare themselves to what others say is the “ideal” person, then they will never be happy with themselves. They will spend their whole lives believing that they are not good enough, but somewhere inside every person is the ability to be a genius in their own way. A genius does not necessarily have to be good at statistics or string theory, a genius can be good at art or music, or in anything that a person excels at. The whole point of living is to find what you are a genius at and show the world what makes you unique, and Judson is the perfect place to do that.