Nsc8211: Developmental Neurobiology
Past Students' Advice to Future Students
· Pay attention in lectures.
· Lots of molecules and acronyms are covered – make a dictionary as you go.
· Stay on top of studying. There is too much to digest if you save it for the end.
· Study as you go.
· Study the lectures.
· Spend time on class work everyday. There is too much for a couple of evenings a week.
· Prepare well for discussions.
· Do not hesitate to express what you like and dislike about discussion papers.
· Speak openly in the discussion. If you have any questions regarding the paper, ask them.
· During paper discussion, do not talk just to hear your own voice. It is obvious to everyone when you do not really have anything meaningful to say.
· Make the paper discussion a discussion, not a presentation!
· Do not overlook methodology and experimental design used in the discussion papers. These will be handy for the midterm, term paper and prelim exam.
· Do not get bogged down with little details – look for the big picture.
· Make short reviews of all lectures to use to study for the class and prelim exams.
· For the paper discussions, make detailed notes. I found that marking up the figures on my copy of the paper worked best, while other students liked having separate notes for each figure.
· Ask for an update on your class participation grade part way through the semester because you are not given in formal feedback on how you are doing in class (and it counts for a third of your grade).
· All of the instructors were very willing to help students – so take advantage of this if you are having problems.
· The paper discussions can feel quite competitive – ask Steve and Paul to allow the class to work with partners (much less anxiety provoking).
· Keep a notebook of notes on each discussion article with detailed figure notes (why, how, what, implying).
· For discussion articles, look up anything with which you are unfamiliar. I recommend Google.
· Write more on the midterm and be specific.
· Go to class!
· When reading a paper for discussion, label all the panels on each figure.
· When reading the papers for discussion, write the following info for each figure:
- question addressed by the figure
- method used
- specific results
- conclusion or interpretation of result
[We are not sure what to make of these next two, but here they are:]
· Steve & Paul are not as scary as they seem at first.
· Steve & Paul are intimidating, but they are great resources. Talk to them about anything on your mind – class stuff and otherwise.