Loyola University Maryland

Office of the Dean of First-Year Students and Academic Services

Interesting Readings

image divider

The following are articles that Dean McGuiness thinks would be beneficial for freshmen and students to read and meditate upon. Hopefully they will spark discussion and offer words of wisdom and advice during an exciting but perhaps overwhelming period in a new college student's life.

Loyola Professor Dr. Thomas Ward's New Student Convocation Speech
Given on Friday, September 2, 2011
Excerpt:

"Bertrand Russell, the twentieth-century British philosopher tells us that, 'The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.'

It is ok to doubt.

It is the doubting that makes us integral people. Ascertain what we know and also what we don’t, and embark upon a mission to know what it is possible to know. Just as I have learned to be a better teacher and a better student in the process since my first year at Loyola, you too can learn to be a better student, even better than the student you were in high school. Ultimately you will be a superior citizen of our country, and the world; perhaps even talking to other people in the language you will studying this semester."

Read more.

"Put Yourself Out There and Do Something Crazy" by Rebecca Reddicliffe
Published in The New York Times' blog The Choice, 8/17/2010
Excerpt:

"Beginning your freshman year at college is daunting. At least for me it was. I had no idea what to expect, and no words of advice comforted me or clarified the situation. After completing my freshman year this past spring, I have a little advice for soon-to-be college freshmen: put yourself out there, and be sure to step out of your comfort zone."

Read more.

"Hearing the Right Notes from a Job Candidate" by Carl Diehl
Published in The New York Times' Jobs section under their Preoccupations section, 7/24/2010
Excerpt:

"Most of the [job] applicants seemed to be wonderful people with great skills and at least some experience. But could they think creatively and solve problems? Most of them said they could. But I needed some proof."

Read more.

"Goodbye, Hello" by Jacques Steinberg
Published in The New York Times' blog The Choice, under their Transitions section, 7/23/2010
Excerpt:

"Just after 7 on a Sunday night in late summer, Tim Foster will take the stage of a Civil War-era theater at Bowdoin College and instruct the 500 new freshmen arrayed before him to “reprogram yourselves.” Mr. Foster, the dean of student affairs, will acknowledge that many in his audience have been consumed for years with the anxious process of gaining admission to Bowdoin or other highly selective colleges. Now that they have arrived on Bowdoin’s verdant Maine campus, he expects to say, the time has come to “slow down and live in the moment.” “You have won the prize,” he will add. “You have the opportunity, at a key transition point, to reimagine your life.”

Read more.

"Did You Know?" Video Presentation

Fantastic video on the progression of information technology, researched by Karl Fisch, Scott McLeod, and Jeff Brenman, remixed.

Read more.

"The University's Crisis of Purpose" by Drew Gilpin Faust
Published in The New York Times Book Review Crossroads section, 9/6/2009
Excerpt:

"American universities have long struggled to meet almost irreconcilable demands: to be practical as well as transcendent; to assist immediate national needs and to pursue knowledge for its own sake; to both add value and question values. And in the past decade and a half, such conflicting and unbounded expectations have yielded a wave of criticism on issues ranging from the cost of college to universities' intellectual quality to their supposed decline into unthinking political correctness."

Read more.

"College Advice, From People Who Have Been There Awhile" by various authors
Published in The New York Times Sunday Opinion section, 9/6/2009
Excerpt:

"It’s easy to think that college classes are mainly about preparing you for a job. But remember: this may be the one time in your life when you have a chance to think about the whole of your life, not just your job. Courses in the humanities, in particular, often seem impractical, but they are vital, because they stretch your imagination and challenge your mind to become more responsive, more critical, bigger. You need resources to prevent your mind from becoming narrower and more routinized in later life. This is your chance to get them."

Read more.