My Freshman Year: What A Professor Learned By Becoming A Student

Paperback | July 25, 2006

byRebekah Nathan

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After fifteen years of teaching anthropology at a large university, Rebekah Nathan had become baffled by her own students. Their strange behavior—eating meals at their desks, not completing reading assignments, remaining silent through class discussions—made her feel as if she were dealing with a completely foreign culture. So Nathan decided to do what anthropologists do when confused by a different culture: Go live with them. She enrolled as a freshman, moved into the dorm, ate in the dining hall, and took a full load of courses. And she came to understand that being a student is a pretty difficult job, too. Her discoveries about contemporary undergraduate culture are surprising and her observations are invaluable, making My Freshman Year essential reading for students, parents, faculty, and anyone interested in educational policy.

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After fifteen years of teaching anthropology at a large university, Rebekah Nathan had become baffled by her own students. Their strange behavior—eating meals at their desks, not completing reading assignments, remaining silent through class discussions—made her feel as if she were dealing with a completely foreign culture. So Nathan d...

Rebekah Nathan is a pseudonym for Cathy Small. She has been a professor of anthropology at Northern Arizona University for fifteen years.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 8.22 × 5.05 × 0.53 inPublished:July 25, 2006Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143037471

ISBN - 13:9780143037477

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Customer Reviews of My Freshman Year: What A Professor Learned By Becoming A Student

Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting 3.5 stars Rebekah Nathan (a pseudonym) was a 50-something year old anthropology professor who decided to do a one-academic-year (2002-2003) study of student life, as a student. She applied to the university she teaches at (what she calls AnyU, for anonymity), and even lived in the dorm, anonymously as a student, to study the student culture. She also did some additional research, as well as interviews to add to her observational info. I thought this was interesting. I do work at a very small university college (not as a professor, but in the library), so there was some interest there. I also have an undergraduate degree in anthropology. I also kept thinking back to my own experiences as an undergrad (though that was about 10 years earlier). There were some ethical issues with her being a prof and doing a study anonymously that she does discuss in the afterward. She did find some things about student life that wasn't so surprising and some things that were to me (the stats on the number of students who cheat! Whoa!). I found particularly interesting the interviews she did with international students and how they saw American student culture. For anyone interested in learning about student life, this is quite interesting (I think I need a new word...).
Date published: 2012-03-04

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Editorial Reviews

"It's anthropology at its best: accessible, illuminating, contextual." —The Christian Science Monitor

"My Freshman Year... is an insightful, riveting look at college life and American values." —The Boston Globe