Monday, July 26, 2010

Scholarship in Action – Dr. Boyce Watkins Keeps it Moving – 7/26/10

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Hey peeps,

if you'd like to contribute to the cost of sending Asha Castleberry, one of our representatives, on a humanitarian mission to Haiti, please click here.  Any support would be greatly appreciated, and I really want to see Asha make this trip.  The world has forgotten about the suffering of Haiti since they are no longer in the media, but be clear - the suffering continues.

Beyond that, I just went to get a passport and driver's permit for my daughter the other day.  I believe that all of our children need passports so they can see the world and broaden their horizons.  One of my kids just got back from France, and I can see how her perspective has changed already.  My little girl is starting college this fall, so we are both excited.  The primary lessons I gave to her are the following: 

1) Avoid the culture of rampant alcoholism and irresponsible sexual choices that exist on many campuses. Everything must be done in moderation (although I make it clear that she has a right to make her own decisions - I am not a helicopter parent).

2) Study 4 - 6 hours per day, just like a part-time job. I am not sending my child to college to be average, and neither should any of us.  If kids can work 8 hours a day at McDonald's, they can study four hours a day.

3) Visit your professors at least once a week.  They need to know your face, since this influences your grades and also makes a difference in the quality of letters they write for you later on.

4) Study in a quiet place with no distractions so you can get your work done.  Studying in a dorm room with the TV on means that you'll waste time and not be able to have any fun because you'll need twice as much work to get half as much done.

5) Have a blast - college is the most fun you'll have in your life.  College is about much more than just studying. But by having a proper balance, the fun can really begin once your educated and doing well financially.  I didn't really start having fun until I had a little money in my pocket and saw the benefits of a good educational foundation.

I explained to her that most college professors automatically give you a "B" for simply doing what you are told.  To get an "A," you just have to do a little bit more.  The key word that she and I remember is "consistency."  Students who cram and wait to the last minute always end up stressed out with a poor performance.  Those who study consistently typically dominate the rest of the class.  That was the only reason I was able to do so well in college, since I was nobody's Rhodes Scholar in high school!
I thought I would share some of the info I give to my daughter so you can share it with your kids.  After teaching at the college level for the past 17 years, I've concluded that it's just a hustle with a simple formula.  If George Bush can graduate from Harvard, then all of our kids can be outstanding scholars.  Push your kids to be the best, and to take the word "me" out of "mediocrity." If you want to read more, please feel free to get the discounted version of my book, "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about College."


Dr. Boyce

Click here to listen

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Dr. Boyce on

"Boyce Watkins"

What Does It Mean to be a "Sellout"?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins

What does it mean to be a sellout?  Most of us grew up on this term, but I would be willing to bet that most of us don’t know what the word actually means.   Back in the 1980s, the term “sellout” applied to someone who was all too quick to give up his blackness in exchange for a seat at the white man’s table.  It could also relate to someone willing to do nearly anything to earn a buck.

Obviously, being a sellout means that you’ve sold something.  But that’s not an entirely accurate definition, since we all sell something at some point.  Most of us have been in situations where we wanted to take a stand on an issue, but simply decided to choose our battles in order to protect our opportunities.  That doesn’t necessarily make you weak, but there is a thin line between selling something and selling out completely.

So, perhaps the term “sellout” means selling something of tremendous value in exchange for greater opportunity or financial prosperity.  Can we agree on this definition?  Good, now lets’ get to the nitty-gritty.

Click to read.

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