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Editorial: Here’s the syllabus, now read chapter one

Story by Baker Orange Editorial Board

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Syllabus week: the first few days of school filled with no homework, cheesy ice breakers and the, “What have you done this summer?” question. Students across America cherish this week, appreciating the days absent of the onslaught of reading and writing.

Baker students can only imagine having a week to acclimate to the stresses and lack of free time that studying at a private university can create. At Baker, there is no syllabus week. We buy our books before class starts knowing we will be assigned reading the first day.

There is no need to introduce thousands of students to class expectations, coursework and grading scales; Baker students are not lost in the swarm of lecture halls. They do not need an hour in front of a professor to understand the objectives of a course.

In fact, it is rare to walk into any classroom Monday through Friday and find more than thirty students at one time.

By attending such a small university, we do not reap the benefits of slowly easing into the workload of the semester. Instead, we charge full-speed into the first three-day week, leaving hours of homework to be done before we can even buy a planner and some notecards.

For those involved in Sorority and Fraternity Life, recruitment ends and then school begins the very next day. There is little-to-no transition time as the focus changes from bringing home new members, to preparing for speeches, reading vocabulary terms and writing papers.

For those involved in sports, the number of practices decreases from three- or four-a-day, to one or two. This extra time is then dedicated to completing assignments.

Baker students are not given the opportunity to settle in the first few days. We develop strict schedules and anticipate the commencement of the school year before classes even begin.

However stressful the first week of the semester may be, we are not a state school. We are a private university in which we are fortunate to have small class sizes, individualized education and faculty who genuinely want their students to succeed.

Therefore, we must understand that although it may seem our workload is heavier and we jump right in, we are also a top-rated private university in the state of Kansas for a reason.

So, next time you’re thinking about how much you wish there was a “settle-in week” or just some time to adjust, remember that the education offered at Baker University is pretty outstanding and is ultimately helping prepare us for the world beyond college.

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