Why Are Participation Points Still A Thing?

Why Are Participation Points Still A Thing?

People learn lots of other ways too.

After the first week of classes, I would say I am pretty happy with my schedule and my courses. Each professor went over the syllabus and then there it was, the dreaded participation grade. For many students, participation is easy peasy, but for many more, it can be quite intimidating. With learners of all kinds, why do we use participation as an indicator to learning?

As a visual-audio learner, I best absorb the lesson when I spend time listening to others and watching them put the lesson into practice. With participation grades, I feel forced to say something or ask a question I could answer myself so I can establish with the professor that I am learning. And I get it: once I go into the real world, I am going to have to voice my opinion or ask questions and be a real adult. But I just do not see the point of having our grades rely so heavily on participation.

Let me make things a little clearer: I am talking about the participation that requires you as a student to ask questions and add to discussion. I know many teachers categorize participation as attending class, being on time, turning in homework, creating group projects and working well with others. All of those criteria are totally OK with me for a "participation grade." What I do not want to do is show up to class knowing I have to say something just to keep up my grade.

And I understand why professors want students to participate: so that they know we are learning. But if my grade hovers between and an A and a B because I did not talk more than three times each period, then I'm sorry, that is ridiculous.

For more than two years at Rollins, I have struggled with this whole idea of "participation points" because I am quieter and more reserved in class. I am all for a great class discussion, but sometimes I just feel I do not have anything valuable to contribute.

I do think that Rollins professors make an effort to get to know you and learn how you learn. So, they will ask you a question or frame a discussion topic in a way that suits your learning type as well as your comfortability with participating. For example, one of my education professors knows I learn primarily through audio and visual aids rather than asking questions or making discussion, so she pays attention to the way I observe and take notes rather than me actually saying anything.

I am not sure what an alternative would be to participation grades because professors do need to know whether we are learning or not, but I also do not know why it is such a big factor of our overall grade.

Cover Image Credit: http://bit.ly/2bKybX6

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An Open Letter To Every Girl With A Big Heart, Except When It Comes To Herself

Because it's so much easier to love everyone around you before yourself.

They say the key is that you have to "love yourself before you can love anyone else," or before "anyone can love you."

For those who deal with mass amounts of anxiety, or have many insecurities, that can be an extremely hard task. It seems much easier to tell your friend who is doubting herself that she looks great in that top than to look in the mirror and feel the same about yourself. It is much easier to tell your significant other that everything is going to be OK than to believe it will be when something goes wrong in your life. It becomes easier to create excuses for the ones around you than for yourself, and this is because you have such a big heart. You want those that you love to be happy and worry-free, yet you spend nights thinking about everything you have on your plate, about what you did wrong that day, fearing if someone in your life is mad at you, believing that you will never be good enough yet convincing everyone else that they are.

You are the girl with the biggest heart, yet you can't love yourself the way you care for everyone else in your life. There are many reasons that you should love yourself, though, and that's something that everyone around you is willing to tell you.

You're thoughtful.

Before doing anything, you always consider how it is going to affect those around you. You don't want to do anything that could hurt someone, or something that could make someone mad at you. It does not take much to make you happy, just seeing others happy does the job, and it is that simple. Because of this, you remember the little things. Meaningful dates, small details, and asking someone how their day was is important to you, and it makes those around you feel important too. You simply just want the people that you care about to be happy, and that is an amazing trait.

You're appreciative.

You don't need a big, fancy, and expensive date night to make you happy. Whether it's a picnic on the beach or a night in watching a movie, you're happy to just be with the person that you love. You appreciate every "good morning" text, and it truly does mean something when someone asks how you are. You tend to appreciate the person that you're with more than the things that they provide and for that, your sincerity will never go unnoticed.

You have a lot of love in your heart.

Every "I love you" has meant something, just as you remember the smallest moments that have meant the most to you. You remember the look in your significant other's eyes when they told you that for the first time. You remember the smile on your best friend's face when you told them that everything was going to be OK and that you would always be there. You remember the swell of happiness your parents felt when you decided to surprise them with a trip home one day, and you thrive off of all of that love.

You don't give up on the people you love, even if they have given you a reason to.

It is a foreign idea to just drop someone from your life, even if they betrayed you. You try to look at their mistake from every stance, not wanting to provide an excuse for them, but to give them another chance. Not everyone deserves it, and that is something that you learn along the way, but you feel good in the sense that you gave them a chance even if no one else would.

It's OK to not love yourself all the time. It's normal, and natural to stand in the mirror and think about everything wrong. And it's OK to love other people, even when you can't feel the same about yourself. But your big heart is why you should love yourself. There are so many reasons that you are a beautiful person, and the people that you spend all your time caring about feel that you have so much more to offer the world, and yourself.

So, next time you think about what you don't like about yourself, remember what makes you special –– the size of your heart and all of the love in it, and then share that love with yourself.

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12 Reasons Why Summer Is The Best Season

Every summer has it's own story.


Summer is a time of no stress, long beach days, and endless memories. We all have those "summers to remember," and that's why I believe summer is the best of the four seasons. Here's a list to prove it.

1. Sunglasses

Gabrielle Ciancio

Sunglasses are always a must in the summer. Having a rough face day? Throw on some sunglasses. Need some cute accessories for an outfit? Throw on some sunglasses. Sunglasses outside and inside are always acceptable, and as an added bonus, you can take a nap, roll your eyes, or even stare at people without anyone having a clue.

2. Sunrises

Gabrielle Ciancio

The vibrant pinks, fierce reds, bright oranges, soothing yellows, and beautiful blues are a sight you will never forget. Nothing is more breathtaking than a summer sunrise. The whole world seems to stop and you can't help but think how good life is.

3. Beach days

Gabrielle Ciancio

The title of this one speaks for itself. Personally, the beach is my favorite place to be, especially on a hot day. Naps on the beach are amazing, and what's even better is a fat nap after the beach. The sea-salt and beaming sun give you that perfect skin and glowing feel. I live for sandy toes, salty hair, and the refreshing ocean water...plus you can get that perfect, golden tan.

4. Outdoor concerts

Gabrielle Ciancio

Sure you can go to concerts during the winter, but what's the fun in jamming out to your favorite artist inside? Sure you can go to a music festival, but who wants to rave in the freezing cold? Summertime is the perfect time to listen to some quality music from sunrise to sunset, while also having the freedom to roam around and have room to dance like a mad-man.

5. "Golden hour"

Gabrielle Ciancio

For all my Instagram junkies, summer is the best season for pictures. You can get that "picture-perfect" natural sunlight at any time of the day; and let me tell you, nothing is better than that golden-hour sun at the end of the day.

6. Friends

Gabrielle Ciancio

Being able to spend endless nights with your friends any day of the week is genuinely the best thing ever. Whether it's a late night food run, a fun adventure, or a casual hangouts, you are guaranteed to make the best memories with the people you love.

7. Minimal clothing.

Who wants to bundle up with layers on top of layers? It's awful when you wear a cute outfit in the winter and have to cover it up with a bulky coat. Bathing suits, crop tops, t-shirts, shorts, some flip-flops; it's so much simpler in the summer. No shoes, no shirt, and you still get service.

8. Fruit

Gabrielle Ciancio

It's a known fact..fruit is always more satisfying in the summer. There's nothing better than some juicy berries, a fresh fruit bowl, or a refreshing slice of watermelon on a hot summer day.

9. Aesthetic wrists

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Nothing is cuter than an artsy set of bracelets. "Summer wrists" are all the rave right now, and summertime is the only acceptable time to bust out your best wrist accessories without it being covered by some long sleeves.

10. Ice cream

Gabrielle Ciancio

It seems like ice cream is never unhealthy in the summer. There's no better taste than a hearty scoop (or three) of some smooth, cold ice cream. Summer is the best time for endless frozen treats and some sweet toppings to go along with it. Cone or cup, it doesn't matter, as long as you get to enjoy that creamy goodness.

11. Tan

Gabrielle Ciancio

Let's be honest, we all love being tan. Being able to rock black or white and neon colors is the best thing ever. A tan looks good with literally everything and there's nothing more satisfying then those crisp tan lines from a long day at the beach.

12. Messy buns

Gabrielle Ciancio

Messy buns are acceptable in the summer, I repeat, messy buns are acceptable in the summer. Being able to throw your hair up on a hot day and not worry about how it looks is what's so amazing about summer. "Messy hair don't care" is a whole mood and I live for it. I swear buns always look better in the summer, don't fight me on it.

I hope that after reading this, I've convinced you why summer is literally the best season of them all. If you're still not convinced, try some of these things for yourself and you'll understood very quickly.

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