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Emily Paine Carter: Advice for learning applies to all ages

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Posted: Friday, January 31, 2014 6:00 am

Awhile back we received great back-to-school advice from current and past Salemites.

Their wise counsel applies to second semester too — and to times beyond.

So, more in our series from folks who have had a few years to think about things:

* Betsy Freund has gone back to school to learn a new language. She took Spanish in high school and college, but is studying French at Roanoke College.

“I have the unique experience of being the only adult student among the college freshmen,” she emailed. She said that Prof. Patricia Han and her fellow students are “great and it is a wonderful experience to keep learning and being challenged intellectually!

“My best advice for students of any age is to keep up with assignments and to study some every day, rather than just before tests and exams. This goes in spades for me, as it is harder to memorize as one gets older. Still, I like to think that we older dogs can still learn new tricks, or at least a new language!”

* Hetty Hoyt remembered having often looked for tools to enable young learners. Via email she shared a couple of web sites, “helpful across many levels and academic abilities:

“ is one, a free educational site packed with learning materials ranging from instructional videos to interactive exercises as well as a data dashboard to track your progress. Subjects run the gamut from basic elementary school math to college-level science and economics. Very cool. Pick your pace. Repeat stuff as needed.

“Also, Vi Hart’s clever Doodling Math videos on YouTube. Hart, who also works for Kahn Academy, visually demonstrates math concepts through scribbles. As someone said in a review, ‘You could be in third grade and loving this stuff, or in college.’

“Also, never underestimate the value of chocolate. [Now we’re talking!] For your little darling, or his/ her overworked teacher. It’s the little stuff that means the most.”

* And former Salemite Beth Connelly Jiminez added four excellent points to carry us all through our education — in the broad sense:

“1. Enjoy yourself… education should be fun too.

“2. Believe some, but not all, of what you’re being taught. The facts are not always FACT. Ask questions… read what you can… watch smart TV and watch even if you don’t agree with what’s on the screen. You’ll always learn something.

“3. Don’t discount the importance of learning history… yours and other parts of the world as well. If nothing else you’ll be considered genius when watching Jeopardy with your friends.

“4. Keep in touch with your friends when you graduate…. It feels good just to spend time over a cup of coffee, catching up on years gone by.”

Thank you, advisers!

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