I am a third year university student without the faintest clue how to enrol successfully in Blackboard. Whilst you may believe that simple sentence immediately discounts any possible validity this blog (or future posts) may contain, I maintain that honesty really is the best policy, and I promise there is something you can learn from this!
I can’t sit still long enough to figure out what classes are on which days and which courses I am required to enrol in and which ones have the easiest assessment, or go for the shortest amount of time. I don’t even know where my classes are when I am enrolled. One time, I got lost inside E block for a solid 20 minutes and another time I tried to catch the bus to uni and ended up at the wrong campus. Six hours early for class. With a grazed knee.
I don’t even buy books every semester. Semester 2 last year involved me quite literally borrowing a pen and writing in an old notebook from my first year at uni, on whichever page I happened to open up. I had notes in 2 or 3 old notebooks on random pages with all my subjects mixed up. End of semester results? 7, 7, 7 and 6. Current GPA? 6.46. I am not bragging here, I am simply letting you know that even if Blackboard manifests itself as a labyrinth in your brain, even if you sometimes write lecture notes on your thigh with a borrowed pen, there is a way to solve this problem.
Want to know my secret? I have a Mark. (I won’t even suggest a blog alias or he’d want me to change it to something stupid like Ronaldo Von Julio. Apologies if that is your real name.) I bet you have a Mark too. You’ve just got to find him – he’s the guy with the slides printed off before the lecture. He’s the one that has finished his assignment 3 days before it’s due and still manages to pull a solid 6 (even though he hasn’t referenced enough and will stubbornly spend an hour rewriting the sentence instead of looking up another article, much to your frustration). He’s the one who shows up to every class on time and can remember if you’re in Week 9 or Week 11. He knows which day of the week it is, and precisely how to locate the lift when you have a class on the 4th floor of B Block. (Does anyone else struggle with that one? If you haven’t been to level 4 of B Block, KG campus I issue you a personal challenge to get there without ending up teetering on one of those little balcony things, looking like a tourist.)
Last semester, my Mark organised my timetable to directly align with his, hand wrote on an A3 piece of paper every piece of assessment I had due (in order) and forced me to study for exams by preparing questions cunningly designed to highlight my non-attendance of history lectures. Despite my predisposition to evade any semblance of order, Mark’s organisational tactics seem to have filtered through my stone wall. I bought a 4 subject notebook before this semester began and although I did not actually started reading, I bought most of my text books.
When finding your Mark, it’s best you keep an eye out for the signals of organisation. If he is at the same stage of your degree with the same majors, this is especially helpful. If he happens to be a really cool guy (like mine is), go to his house parties and tell him you love him as a friend.
So for 2011, my best advice is to take your Mark, get set and go!