If you get stuck

If you get stuck or are simply scared by the project, please see your professor immediately. DON'T WAIT, because you'll fall behind--and excuses after the fact are much less credible than timely and sincere efforts to get the work done.

And remember that it's a rare faculty member who will "bite" a student who sincerely wants to learn.

When dealing with faculty it's also wise to remember the warning that "Grizz," a gifted restorer of old homes here in the Hudson Valley, would give to potential clients: "I only work with people who listen to me." If you request and receive advice from your professor, make a sincere effort to follow through on their suggestions before returning to say that you're still having trouble. This is both good manners and good strategy: if you show that you're serious then your professor almost certainly will redouble his or her efforts on your behalf. And almost certainly you will learn something.

If you DON'T follow through, it's only human nature for your professor to devote most his or her limited time and energy on students who are really making an effort. Don't put yourself in a position of being written off as a poor investment!


© Jan Mainzer