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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind Editorial Sessions
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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Learning to be yourself

First things first: if you are reading your student newspaper on the first week of the semester, and most especially if you are a freshman, you have already won my heart and my respect (actually, it is almost impossible to earn one without the other). There are two reasons to feel proud of your self.

Naturally, the first is how monumentally important reading is when you set out to be a learner (or even a student). And secondly, it is also important to be aware of and better yet involved in your campus life. The evidence proving this is actually overwhelming. So, here is a congratulatory “bravo” and a wish that you continue this wonderful habit.

Of course, I cannot write a column just to congratulate you on a brilliant move. I would like to share with you some well known secrets about how to not only succeed in your college journey, but also develop good nurturing and lasting friendships, enjoy a part of the U.S. that is as close to paradise as any earthly location can be, and most important of all, establish meaningful and mentoring connections with your teachers (or instructors if you insist on viewing them this way).

Personally, I am a teacher who needs learners and even more so needs their permission for me to be their teacher. The glaring and unambiguous truth is this: college is never about reading book chapters only to parrot them back on the day of a test.

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College is meant to assist you in becoming who you really are, a sacred endeavor as far as I am concerned. It is also to forge your mind into a fiercely independent one with a handsome capacity to think analytically and critically and never tire of seeking credible evidence before leaping into erroneous conclusions based on the work of parts of the brain more responsible for emotions than  for thinking clearly and deciding relatively wisely.

Our country is going through very demanding times these days, and it is no exaggeration to say that our collective future depends heavily on our action and inaction now, and on a day-to-day basis. I do not mean to paralyze you with anxiety or saddle you with unduly unburnable weight, but if you carve a portion of your time (which is nothing but life units) to be aware and a keen observer of global events and politics, you will be far more equipped to tease empty (and often misleading) rhetoric from hard, cold, truthful facts. You will participate in the glorious process of becoming who you authentically are and you will be an informed intellectual. Believe me; this is closer to the ultimately genuine triumph than any other accomplishment.

An easy way to do that is to seriously and diligently organize your time. Calendars and reminders on cell phones are the best for this, at least in my experience.

An integral type of your scholarly work is carving time to rejuvenate and nurture your overall sense of self. In my case, because I am much older than you, I need solo walks and hikes, and I need to spend time just chatting with my learners over coffee/tea or having them join me on some of those walks/hikes. So, consider yourself invited, whoever you are.

I do wish you the best of that which you wish for yourself and welcome you to NMU, your home away from home, albeit for a relatively brief sojourn.

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