The Core Blog invited John McCargar (CAS ’11, Sociology) – who’s been tutoring for CC105-6 for the past three years – to discuss the resources available to students who are looking for additional help in their Natural Sciences coursework. John writes:
One of the most common things I hear while tutoring Core science students is that they feel a little overwhelmed by the course. ‘Why are there so many lectures, and so few discussions?’ ‘Why are the labs so long?’ And, more often than all the other concerns: ‘How do I make sense of the homework?’
I want to encourage you as much as I can. Many students struggle with the courses (and particularly with CC105), for all kinds of reasons, and you need to know there is nothing deficient in you or your capability just because you are finding it hard to wrap your head around Schrödinger or navigate the history of the universe, from its earliest moments to the present. Scores of students have struggled through the same topics, and in the end they passed the course with flying colors.
Here’s my advice to help you survive this challenging part of the Core journey. In typical tutor fashion, I am not going to give you the secret answer! Instead, I’d like to direct you to the resources available to you that should, in their own way, help you find answers yourself.
- I hold walk-in peer tutoring every Monday in the Core office, CAS 119, from 3-5 PM
- The ERC (Educational Resource Center) will schedule weekly sessions with “collegiate certified” tutors
- The CC105 faculty hold Friday homework help in the General Classroom Building, 750 Commonwealth Avenue, 10 – 12 in room 208, and 12 – 3 in room 201
- Don’t forget your classmates! More often than not, the best help you can get is from the people in the course with you.
Your greatest resource, however, is your professors. The following office hour schedule is taken directly from your syllabus, so you have no excuse: visit them! As a tutor, I have no say over what questions are asked in your homework or on your exams, but they do, and they have the benefit of their scientific expertise, to boot. They want you to succeed, and will do everything they can to help you.
- James Jackson (Astronomy), CAS 514, 3-7412, email; office hours: Tuesday 12-2, or by appointment
- Robert Carey (Physics), PRB 375, 3-6031, email; office hours: W 10-11, Th 11-12
- Uli Faul (Earth Sciences), STO 140B, 8-4341, email, office hours: TW 11-12
- Alan Marscher (Astronomy), CAS 418, 3-5029, email; office hours: M 10:30-11:30, Th 11:00 – 12:00.
- Scott Whitaker (Physics), CAS 115, 3-2690, email; office hours: W 2:30-3:30, Th 9:30-11, or by appointment.
- Alexander Coverdill, (Core), CAS 119, 8-2890, email; office hours: M 10-12
- Daniel Hudon, (Core), CAS 119, 8-2890, email; office hours: F 10-12
Any student is capable of succeeding in CC105 and CC106. One of the best ways that the resources I’ve listed above can help you, is by helping to show you how capable you are.