While you are here, which will sometimes feel like forever and sometimes a blink, take a moment to realize that you are building a better you. You are gaining knowledge, acquiring life-skills, and creating patterns that will serve you from here forward. That said, it should behoove you to take some care with it all. This is important business.

Make sure you know your stuff. Ask questions when you don't understand. You're here to gain that understanding. It is your right to know. Demand help (in the nicest way possible of course - alienating people does more harm than good.) Professors should be able to help you understand the concepts, and if it takes more than one kind of approach to learn the material, they should be prepared to offer that. Remember, too, that the Raider Center for Academic Success is also in place to help you achieve your goals. Use it.

In additional to all the technical expertise you're getting, don't forget the "soft" skills that make every relationship and interaction more fulfilling and successful. This is an excellent opportunity to improve/hone your communication and interpersonal talents. Practice civility, patience, and compromise. Endeavor to listen to others as much as you want be heard. If you leave this place and never practice in your major, you will still be able to employ these life lessons.

Lastly, remember that habits formed here and now will be hard to break later on. Poor diet, inactivity, lack of sleep, and indulging excessively in anything will take its toll over time. You're young and it can be comforting to think that they'll be plenty of time to tackle those issues later, but time only makes these ruts deeper and harder to get out of. Think of the most precious person to you. How would you want them treated? You'd want them to have every opportunity to be happy and healthy, right? Extend that same courtesy to yourself because you are someone else's precious person, too.

Take care.

So you're probably already a regular user of one or more of these smooth operators when you do a search, but are you using "and," "or," or "not" wisely?


It sounds odd, but "and" which we think of as an inclusive term is actually used to achieve fewer results that are more applicable to your topic. For example: I can ask for the term "cars" and the term "four door" and the results will then be narrowed to four door cars. You're asking that both terms be present before the resource is shown in the results.


When you use the "or" operator, you are telling the computer that you aren't hung up on that first term. For example, you might decide to search "cars" or "automobiles". Now your results will include at least one of the terms you inputted and bring back a wider range of results. All "cars" results + all "automobiles" results = many more resources.


The "not" Boolean operator is handy when you're getting results for things that may be related to what you're looking for, but are not what you're really after. For instance, you might be looking for a "picture", but you're not interested in an actual "photograph". By using "not" between those terms, the intrusive "photograph" results will be ruled out and you can focus better on the direction you want the search to go.


Use your Boolean operators skillfully, and you may find what you're looking for a lot faster.

Here is something everyone should know about a library:


It is up to you (the borrower) to return your borrowed library items on time.


When you borrow something from any library, you enter into an agreement that says you get to use items freely as long as you bring them back in good shape and on time. It is your responsibility  to mark your calendar, leave yourself a note, or pick another way to remember when they must be returned.


Actions you can take if you want to know when your item is due:

1) Check the Date Due slip on the borrowed material.

2) Go online to the library catalog and in the My Account tab, enter in the long 292... number that shows up under the bar code on your MSOE ID. There you can view all the items you have checked out and when they're due back.

3) Call us at 414-277-7180.

4) Stop by and ask at the main desk.


For books we allow up to two renewals if you'd like to extend your time with the resource. However, you may not renew if another person has placed a hold on the item in question. Renewals must take place on or before the due date.


For your convenience, we have a drop box available 24/7 that is located at the front of the Library building so our items can be returned at any time - even if the library is closed and the building is all locked up.


As motivation to play by the rules and keep resource access fair, the Walter Schroeder Library, like most other libraries, does charge late fees. Late fines are $0.25/book and $1.00/AV, DVD, Reserve items, and any 4-hour checkouts (calculators, power cords, etc). Please note that whether or not you feel the item would be used/desired by others does not enter into the equation.


Basically, all we ask is that you honor the agreement - return our items on time and in the same condition as borrowed.

I recently read Motivating Students with Teaching Techniques that Establish Relevance, Promote Autonomy by Katherine Robertson, PhD and I agree that students are more motivated when they can see how completing a class assignment will serve them well in their future jobs. I was in graduate school until fairly recently and the projects I was most excited about and enthusiastic to do well in were those that I could meld with an actual need at work. It is kind of like when students ask if they will be tested on a topic - if they don't see a future application, they won't feel like they need to attend to that information.

What this may mean? Well, like in the article, some course requirements may only need to be renamed to reflect the real world relevance. This should be a fairly simple fix - especially if great pains were taken to have meaningful homework in the first place. If you cannot explain why the homework is important to their future work, then maybe it is time to re-examine the purpose of the assignment.

So you're starting another year of school - you've got new notebooks and pencils, maybe a few new outfits, but did you tuck a new study strategy into your backpack, too?

Now's the time.

The beginning of a new school year is an excellent time to start good habits. Get a calendar and fill it with all the important dates. Break projects down into smaller goals that you can cross off in the weeks and days before they're due. Review notes in the few minutes before class begins to get your head into the right place to continue on. Have a game plan and do your best to stick to it.

Know thyself.

Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses as a student and adjust. Are you going to get distracted if you stay in your room/apt. to study? Then find somewhere you can focus and go there. Do you do better in a group setting? Find other students in your class who want to gather for a study group and book a regular meeting. Is your memory sketchy? Take notes or make outlines to help recall what the readings are about.

Don't be afraid to ask.

Need help? Own it and talk to your professor/get a tutor. Everyone in your field has been right where you are so don't be embarrassed about not knowing something. You're here to learn. What would be embarrassing is if you fail to make the effort. If you don't care enough to do that, then you need to dig deep and ask yourself why you're here.


This call to action is not easy. It is not meant to be. It is meant as a wake-up call. Your future starts now. You are building your career's foundation. We'll give you the resources, but how strong it will be is up to you.


Make good choices.

-Your friend with 20/20 hindsight