How to Prosper in Core: advice from alumni to the 1st-years

This week, the Core asked Core alumni on Facebook whether they had advice for incoming students about how to succeed in the Core. Their advice — by turns sagacious, solemn, and uplifting — came in a veritable torrent of goodwill. Here is the first batch of responses, from the Core Facebook profile and the Wall of EnCore, the Core alumni association.

  • Amiel Bowers, Core ’08, CAS ’10: Sit in the Core Office and bother the professors. Get to know them. They’ll become your friends. And, go stargazing with DGreen.
  • Andy Kwong, Core ’95, CAS ’97: Never stop self-examining and asking questions whether they be about school, life, where you are at this point in your life, and where you’re headed.
  • Angela Brink, Core ’03, CAS ’05: Do not miss Samons‘s trireme lecture or any of Prof. Marscher’s musical performances.
  • Ashley Johnson, Core ’01, CAS ’03: Take a speed-reading class. [Fellow Core alumnus] Abe Friedman taught me, and I owe him for surviving both Core and grad school!
  • Ben Grinberg, Core ’03, CAS ’05: Be loving to others. You do make a difference, and it all adds up, so take every step diligently.
  • Carla Sosenko, Core ’96, CAS ’98: Read the books, come to class : )
  • Danie Isaacs, Core ’07, CAS ’09: Always go to office hours, to just talk with your professors. They are the most interesting people you will ever meet! If one invites you to coffee, jump at the opportunity! Also, I agree with Amiel Bowers [see above]; the Core office is the best place to spend breaks between classes or grab a piece of chocolate!
  • Elizabeth Roberts, Core ’02, CAS ’04: Read the books. Go to class. Easy!
  • Erica Brandt, Core ’07, Harvard ’11: Don’t just read the books — read with a pencil in your hand. Make notes, underline, be able to bring ideas to class. Also, hang out in the core office from time to time. There’s always an intellectual debate going on, and the staff is made up of wicked cool people.
  • Erin McDonagh, Core ’08, CAS ’10: Do not miss that trireme lecture. It will be with you always. Go to office hours, even if you don’t have a particular question. (You’ll learn a lot.) Think about Core in all your classes. Use your Core notes to write your English, History, or Religion papers. Bring up discussion topics from other classes in Core; since time spent on each text is limited by the sheer number of texts covered. You will cover different things in the same texts, or genres/periods, in other classes; go cross-disciplinary!
  • George Lien, Core ’96, CAS ’98: Do all the readings, so you can be prepared for the lectures and the classes…
  • George Charles Allen, Core ’03, CAS ’05: … and for Life. Let’s not forget about that.
  • James Wood, former Core lecturer: Get ready for a whirlwind tour of wonder. For those who have ears to hear, or eyes to see, or a mind to think, Core is an inexhaustible well of wealth for the soul.

The second batch of advice will be published on the blog next week.

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