March Madness: Full-court press
By Dr. George Acquaah
Dean of the College of Arts and Science
Welcome back from Spring Break! However you spent the time, I hope it was a rewarding period for you. More importantly, I hope you had some time to reflect over your academic performance during the first part of the semester. Your academic pursuit is most important because that it is the reason why you enrolled at Bowie State! The month of March has its distractions, not the least of which is ‘March Madness,' the annual college basketball ritual that can keep you glued to the TV, if you are a sports fan. If you spend precious time to religiously ‘keep your brackets' and follow the games, instead of ‘hitting the books hard,' this for you, my friend, will be truly madness!
There are only about six (6) weeks left in this semester. Examine your mid-semester performance and take immediate action. Seek help in areas where your performance was unsatisfactory. Make use of the offices hours available for each course for assistance. Some of you may need to use the tutorial sessions available as well. Make the best of every opportunity to finish the semester on a high note. Do not wait to earn a failing grade, and then march to the Dean's Office, with your parents in tow, to protest your grade! Some teachers may accommodate you, as much as it is reasonable and fair, and provide additional opportunities for you to make up for previous poor performances. Explore and exploit all avenues before it is too late. Part of the excitement of basketball tournaments is the upsets and buzzer-beaters. Don't count on beating the buzzer; pile up the points so you can win with a comfortable margin.
To those who are looking forward to graduating, I know there is excitement in the air and great anticipation for the day to come when you'll be referred to as ‘graduate.' You may already have a job offer. If so, accept my congratulations! However, be careful not to fumble the ball on the one-yard line, or miss the critical winning free-throw! We want you to graduate, but also fulfill all the requirements for graduation. If you flunk your course(s) and fall short of the requirements, you will not graduate. Remember, Kansas was the overall number one-ranked team in the ongoing March basketball tournament, even picked by President Obama to win it all. Well, they fell short by only two (2) points! It can happen to even the best of us. It is not easy to dig yourself out of a hole. Don't let down until the buzzer sounds to signal the end of the game.
If you have not clenched a spot in the Final Four of the jobs tournament, continue your job search process. If you have, note that it is not over until the Fat Lady sings. Prepare for job interviews! Seek help from the counselors and teachers as you prepare. Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Consider applying to graduate school, just in case you do not find a job right away.
Well, the time out has expired. I am taking my seat on the sideline. The whistle has blown. Until next time, this is Dr. G, or this time Coach G, saying, full court press, but don't foul out!