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by Alumni Posts on March 18, 2015

in Academics

On Monday, I had the good fortune to take my PRAXIS examination. It’s the exam all students wishing to obtain licensure to become a speech-language pathologist have to take. It’s nerve-wracking because it’s expensive, and taking it again is a depressing prospect. You can take it as many times as you have to but you can only take it so many times; once you use up those “lives”, you have to wait until the next cycle.

I have been studying speech-language pathology for many years and one thing I definitely learned is that I’m not a standardized test taker. It’s terrifying. One would think that multiple choice questions are easy… not so for me. I am generally bad at math, so no wonder probability isn’t often on my side.

But God was that day. God always is. With a mix of prayer, practice tests, support, and studying, I passed the PRAXIS. And it felt great.

Standardized tests make up a large number of application processes. To be accepted into college, you have to take the ACT or the SAT, or some equivalent. Some students have to take the TOEFL (Test of English as Foreign Language). Of course, in our classrooms, our teachers are merciless when it comes to tests. When you’re thinking about graduate school, signing up to take the GRE is a dismal sign that you’re growing up.  Then, certification requirements often include PRAXIS or other tests to make sure you’ve got the chops to be a licensed whatever-you-are-studying-ist.

Yes, those tests are necessary. I understand why they are. It just makes paperwork easier, and the process is simplified. These tests are an objective measure that can be used to determine eligibility. BUT it does not make you who you are. Never forget that. You can pass or fail a test, but it does not define you. That’s not to say, don’t try your best! I think you can trust that you know more than you know… and that you are receiving an education at an amazing institution that prepares you well for all of those tests you will need for your future.

Best wishes!


The awesome thing about college is the amount of free time you have compared to what you had in high school! However, that can be a bad thing as well. With all this new found free time, it seems harder to get assignments done and study ahead for tests. In order for me to get everything done, I have to study someplace other than my dorm room. I feel that when I’m in my room, I get distracted more easily. So throughout my year and a half here at Fontbonne, I have found some great study spots that help me focus. Maybe they can help you as well!

One of my favorite spots to study is on the 2nd floor of the library in the little study rooms. I think they are perfect to hang out in for a couple hours because you can easily get your work done there. The study rooms have big tables that I use to spread out all my books and papers on. The study rooms are probably my favorite place on campus to study!

Another study spot of mine is the first floor of Medaille in the AMC. I like studying at the tall tables between the row of computers. While it is not as secluded as the study rooms in the library, I still find myself getting a decent amount of work done there. At least a lot more work than what I would get done in my room!

I hope that you check some of these study spots out on campus because I think you’ll find yourself getting a lot of homework done like I find myself!


Well, I guess it’s no secret that I never got a science internship this summer. Okay, I applied to, what, two? But I must admit, I think deep down inside, I was hoping I wouldn’t be accepted into one all along. I didn’t want to live in St. Louis all summer. I didn’t want an apartment. I didn’t want to spend the days inside, under fluorescent lights, missing out on the rays of the sun that my skin seems to crave so much. I may have told myself at one point in the semester, when I was trying to be somebody I’m clearly not, that staying in the city would be great for me. But boy was I wrong about that. I needed to be here, at home. And I’m glad that’s how it ended up playing out. So, on that note…

…Last Monday I got recertified by the American Red Cross for lifeguarding. As in, I spent TEN HOURS IN A SWIMMING POOL. And also, I didn’t get paid for it. OOOBNOOOXIOUS! (But I’m not bitter about it at all.) Yes, I spent the day with a few of my coworkers, relearning how to approach an active or passive drowning victim, strapping each other onto the backboard (This is terrifying. I kept whimpering, “Guys, please don’t let this thing flip over while I’m strapped to it…”), and practicing CPR on really creepy fake babies with hyper-extended necks. It was actually a lot of fun, in a really, really bizarre way. This is my fourth year at the Water Park, and I’ve come to like it. Probably more than I should. And I think deep down inside, the high school kids I work with enjoy it, too, and probably more than they should as well.

I think the thing that makes sitting in the sun for hours on end so obnoxiously enjoyable is simply the fact that I work with people just a few years younger than me. Being around a bunch of goofy high school/soon-to-be college freshmen has made me slowly strip away the whole serious act and replace it with a happier, lighter version of myself, one who isn’t afraid to speak up. One who embraces the fact that she looks like she’s fifteen and not twenty-one (at a recent family event I was deemed “the youngest looking college senior…EVER”, a title I would have cringed at in the past, but now happily accept.). One who sees the importance of the F-word:


(…Wait, what’s that word mean?)

It makes me wonder: Why do I need to be so serious? Why do I lock myself for hours on end in my dorm, *alone*, studying over and over again? Why do I let myself spend time with people who stress me out? When and why did I decide to stop living?

One of my primary job responsibilities (I believe this is one of the questions on one of the two written tests we had to take that day as well….I’m cool with the fact that I had to take two tests. Really.) as a lifeguard is to enforce the rules (duh.). While it is super important for obvious reasons for me to tell kids to not run, to not dive in the shallow end because being strapped onto a backboard is scary, or to stop splashing me because I’m cold, when did it become so necessary for me to make up a bunch of rules for my own life? Rules like, I can’t eat chocolate at breakfast. I can’t have fun. I can’t go pursue this dream or that dream for this reason or that reason. I have to study for hours on end. I can’t pursue that career field. Blah, blah, blah.

…I’m thinking it’s about to time to start breaking them.


“Lose Yourself to Dance” by Daft Punk (This album…the soundtrack of my summer, for sure…)


Good day, Fontbonne!

This week I wish to discuss how I study for exams. For me, the best way to study for an exam is paying attention in class. If you are unable to understand your teacher, then I would suggest dropping the class and getting into a new one. (There are some classes taught at Fontbonne with different teachers teaching the courses. Find one that works in your schedule.) Since I fortunately am able to understand my professors, I can usually give my undivided attention. What teachers say in class is very important. You can read the book all you want, but most likely what you will be tested mostly on is the information that the teacher has presented in class. There is a chance that you will have a class that does not use the book in class. It is always good to read the book regardless if the teacher does not review from it in class. For example, in my Western Civilization Pre-Historty to 1700 CE course with Mr. McCabe, Mr. McCabe tests his students on both the material that was given in class, and what was not touched upon from the chapters in our book. He will often say in class: “Make sure you read the chapter!”.

I have to admit, I do not always read everything for my classes. It is really only when it is mentioned in class that I read outside of class and homework. What has been working for me lately is studying my notes thoroughly, then skim the book for any information that I might have missed. Once I come across something that I realize that I need to know for the test, I read the section over maybe once or twice up to an hour.I feel that paying attention in class and taking good notes are the best ways for studying for a test. Good luck to all of you, and I hope that you have found my tips useful!


School is kicking in.

by Alumni Posts September 20, 2012

Transitioning from a junior college to a university is not as overwhelming as it would seem. It is a lot more hard work than I thought it would be, but I’m up for the challenge. I’ve had two tests this week and next week I have two papers due. First time for everything, right? School […]

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Library Story

by Alumni Posts October 21, 2011

My first year at college, I attended a massive state university (I’ll bet you can guess the one). In the first semester, I had to learn a valuable lesson in focusing on studying that involves the library. Seeing as how I’m taking an online course right now about information systems at Fontbonne, I started thinking […]

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Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.