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THE Gateway ♦ volume C number I 


FEATURE 


LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, WE NOW DIRECT YOUR ATTENTION HIGH ABOVE 
THE RING AS OUR TEAM OF DEATH DEFYING ACROBATS CHEAT MORTALITY 
BY WALKING A WIRE NO WIDER THAN YOUR THUMB. THIS IS THE MAIN 
ATTRACTION-THE REASON YOU PAID THOSE HEFTY ADMISSION PRICES. THE 
REASON YOU'RE HERE- ACADEMICS! 

START PREPARING YOURSELVES FOR THE PRECARIOUS BALANCING ACT 
THAT IS A UNIVERSITY CAREER- THIS IS TIGHTROPE WALKING m, HELPING 
YOU CONFIDENTLY STRIDE THE FINE LINE BETWEEN MIDTERM STUDYING AND 
THE NEXT PUB CRAWL, THE RESEARCH PAPER DUE IN TWO DAYS. AND YOUR 
BLOSSOMING LIBIDO. HEED ADVICE FOR YOUR ACADEMIC FUN AMBULISM. AND 
YOU JUST MIGHT BECOME THE NEXT PHILIPPE PETIT. 


P LANNING FOOTSTEPS 

The besr things tor an acrobat to know 
well are theirpwn strengths and weak¬ 
nesses. T1 u se who go to bed early eager for the 
stan of Hie next day should Ixtiki a timetable 
consolidating classes in the morning. 

If instead you’re one to stay out to last call 
before finally getting to that lab report, con¬ 
sider the comfort of afternoon or evening 
time slots. Remember dial you're paying to 
go to school now. and no one cares whether 
you go to class. If you know that on many 
mornings the temptation of sleep will win 
out Over your 8am STAT 141 lecture, it may 
lie wise to and register in the 2ptn class next 
semester. 

Unavoidably, some classes will have to be 
missed. To prepare for litis stumbling block, 
try to have or make at least one trustworthy, 
note-taking tag-team partner in each of your 
classes. That way, when you opt in to that 
noon-o'clock pitcher (or eight) with your 
pals In RATT, you have someone to fill you 
in on what you missed. Just make sure that 
friend isn't the one you invite to go drinking 
with you; someone has to stay 3round to lie 
the daring young man (or woman) on the 
flying trapeze. 

Taking the right amount of water breaks 
can also help you make the most of your 
academic pursuits. One or two hours in 
between class acts can be great for catching 
up on readings, meeting friends for coffee, 
working on assignments, or thumbing 
through the latest issue of the Gateway. But 
lie careful not to leave the crowd waiting for 


too long, or you’ll find yourself trying to kill 
the five-hour window before the monoto¬ 
nous drone of your ENGL 121 professor, and 
you’ll soon find yourself further and further 
from caxnpiB losing the willpower or desire 
to return to the spotlight. 

Time management is just as important 
from month-to-month as it is day-to-day. 
Once all your class choices have been final¬ 
ized and your trick list is confirmed, take a 
few minutes and go through the important 
dates of each one. Make yourself a list of the 
due-dates of every assignment, paper and 
exam so you know what trouble areas are 
ahead as you get immersed in academia. 
Soon you’ll be riding that high-strung uni- 
cycle to fame and fortune 


could swap. If the class is full, at the very 
least you'll know what to look for when reg¬ 
istering for the next semester. 


A N ARTISTS' TOOLS 

It’s imperative that you learn to 
effectively use the tilings meant to 
help your balancing act: books, computers, 
spaces and people. 

Your list of required textlxxrks can 
be found under your class schedule in 
Beartracks. But wait, eager spectator! Don't 
rush out and spend your hard-earned money 
so brashly. The early weeks can also allow 
you to save some coin which could instead 
be spent on a midway game or another deli¬ 
cious caramel apple. 

In addition to scouting out professors and 
course content, the add/drop deadline can 
also help you investigate textbook costs. 
Delay snagging your textbooks for a few 
days, and you can decide whether your pas¬ 
sion for art history actually measures up to 
the S200 required investment. Look over the 
syllabi for the courses you've stayed in and 
see how "required" the newest edition really 
is, and know tliat you base options. You’ll 
sometimes find by reading the syllabus that a 
book will go severely under-utilized during 
the semester. The well-stocked U of A librar¬ 
ies will often have anything you’re look¬ 
ing for. And ten minutes and 55 spent at a 
photocopier could be all you need to get the 
twenty pages that are actually needed. 

Regardless, take time to learn how to 
use the libraries well, as they’ll be excel¬ 
lent training rings. Tire Internet liasn't made 


T HE SAFETY NET 

Try to look ahead and create a class 
schedule that you look forward to. 
There's a very important tool available to 
help you do this. As we all know, if a tight¬ 
rope walker wants 10 succeed in his trade, 
he has to stan low to build technique and 
confidence. Consider the add/drop deadline 
(September 16) your training for the first 
couple weeks, as it allows for a few stumbles 
while you stan to gain your footing. 

Gravity creeps up pretty quick, so you 
may find it worth while in the first week to 
delay your entrance into the beer gardens for 
tire sake of test-dr hi rig classes that interest 
you. Though you're not registered in them, 
you can sneak a peek at syllabi and see how 
professors are. You may find something you 
like more than what you're in already, anti 


quiet work-spaces and comprehensive books 
obsolete just yet. No maiter which way you 
look, computers are readily available as well, 
and they're useful for everythingTram work¬ 
ing on assignments between classes or print¬ 
ing off an essay minutes before it's due. It's 
a good idea to always keep a few dollars on 
yourONEcard just in case the latter scenario 
does play out. Keep your assignments saved 
on a tricky little USB key so you can correct 
any glaring typos you might notice during 
your bus-ride to school. 

Another element paramount to your suc¬ 
cess or failure is your professor. And though 
you may appear to be a kiss-ass to some of 
your fellow acrobats, cozying up to the ring¬ 
master can almost always be beneficial in 
getting tile top billing. 

Taking pan in class discussions helps 
your instructor learn your name — a rare 
accomplishment especially among the 
populous hordes that fill first-year lecture 
halls. Name recognition can make a posi¬ 
tive difference when the spotlight dims and 
term papers are funded in. Visiting profes¬ 
sors during office hours helps for face time, 
as well as gives direction for where 10 go 
with your writing, or what might appear on 
the next exam, letting you plan yciur act 
accordingly. 

Above all. make sure to enjoy (lie walk 
across the rope, as it's often more thrilling 
than tlte arrival on the other side Sprinting 
through too quickly jus! increases your risk 
for a falL We hope this guide will help you 
tiuring those cautious first steps onto the 
wire. Just don't look down!