March 2012

This is my only second semester at Queens College as I am a transfer student from abroad.  I don’t have any relevant experience to compare QC to, other then my University in Poland which was run on fundamentally different mentality, although the declaring  values might be similar. 

There are two major deficiencies that I have noticed so far and that is what I would focus on.  First, I am currently taking a class in Cognitive Neuroscience.  Considering that I have no educational background in biology beyond my high school, I find this class somewhat challenging.  As far as I know,  the Queens College has a Neuroscience department that is quite proud of. On the website we learn that the alumni of this program are doing exceptionally well in pursuing further education.  Do you know, that this department doesn’t have any kind- I repeat: any kind– of brain model to learn from?!  To my question, if such a model is available to the students, I have been advised “to Google it”.  Does it even require any comment?  I don’t know how well are other departments equipped, but if similarly to the neuroscience department, then it is below ultimate embarrassment line.  A decent brain model’s cost can be as low as few hundred dollars.  Is Queens College really that poor? If so, why are several graduation awards offered in the  amount of $500? This amount will serve as nothing but ego booster for the recipient but could have been used instead for the little piece of equipment that can serve many students in years to come.

Second issue I am having with our CunyFirst system.  It serves as a communicator between the college and the student.  I had two time sensitive issues in my time as student, and in both times this communicator has failed.  First, I had to register for the English 110 class and I had to make sure I will get the spot in the class of my choice. Having the upper Junior standing, I had some priority but that will fade fast if I don’t take advantage of early registration.  I rushed to the office to register only to be denied this privilege.  I had a administrative hold on my account because having so many credits I have not officially declared the major, but the system did not inform me of it! Luckily, I was able to take care of this hold within 2 days and still register in the preregistration time.  The system, however, supposed to be there to protect me from this kind of stress by keeping my records up to date.  The second situation happen only few days ago.  I was in need of generating my unofficial transcript in a matter of hours.  I was not able to because I had a hold on my account that has not been cleared.  At the beginning of the semester I had some payment issue that was clarified.  Someone, however, failed to clear my account and now I could not perform a task that was of great importance to me and the time was of essence.  I had to make a trip to Bursar’s office, so the clerk would say: oh, no, you don’t owe any money, I will clear that hold for you in a minute.  I did care to ask who failed do the job but received a brusque response: “I don’t have the answer for all questions.”  I am still considering to investigate whose responsibility that was, and how can I file an official complaint in hope to contribute to a change.

I understand that both issues are closely related to finances and here it is where I would focus my attention.  How is the budget run, what expenses are avoidable or a pure waste and how can they be more efficiently spent.

There is a good news and a bed news for you, dude.  Good news: no, you don’t have to graduate. Bad one: no, you can’t stay in college for the rest of your life.  This video portrays dreams of kids who especially in first years of college enjoy the perfect situation: the privileges of adult life (freedom from parental supervision) without its biggest burden (bills).  Soon, the reality however will reveal its gray colors.  Your bank will remind you, you owe them, or your parents remind you they expect results.  It does take some work to get passing grades, and here is another reality check: as less your college expects from you, as poorer your  chances at job market will be.  But let’s consider the scientific fact that at the age of 18, the prefrontal cortex responsible for reasoning and morality is not fully developed yet.

Ever since I came across the binaural beats, I am fascinated by the brain possibilities yet to be discovered… My dream is to work on projects like the one presented in this video, and my next step is graduate school.

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