Required reading: A quick education on getting an education
Published: August 29, 2012
How to be a Person: The Stranger's Guide to College, Sex, Intoxicants, Tacos and Life Itself
by Lindy West, Dan Savage, Christopher Frizzelle, Bethany Jean Clement and the Staff of The Stranger
Sasquatch, $16.95, 250 pp.
The all-purpose guide to your formative years, or, should you come to this later, reformative years. With Dan "Savage" Love and his colleagues from Seattle's The Stranger explaining this, you might guess that sex looms large among the other topics — and you'd be right. The guide to regions of the United States gets six pages. Sex and dating in general get 15, being gay gets nine, sleeping with your professor gets six, and a grab-bag of Savage Love-style questions gets 50, etc. But if you take to Savage Love's sass-with-a-conscience, you'll find no better one-stop guide to … well, life itself.
A lot of heterosexual men get very angry when women don't look the way they think women "should" look. But guess what? "Should" is not a thing. Women's bodies are none of your business. What women weigh is none of your business. Women's body hair is none of your business. What women wear is none of your business. Whether or not women want to fuck you is none of your business, unless they do want to fuck you, in which case you should go for it (high-five!).
10 Things Employers Want You to Learn in College: The Skills You Need to Succeed
by Bill Coplin
Ten Speed Press, $14.99, 304 pp.
There may be only 10, but they're whoppers, big character items that you won't get in any one class: taking responsibility, developing physical skills (even, yes, legible handwriting), learning to communicate verbally and in writing, working well with people. After you get those big 10, you'll come to advice on 38 narrower skills such as learning software programs beyond Word and Excel, developing in-depth knowledge about something, capitalizing on sports skills, etc. The author is a faculty member and administrator at Syracuse University and cites extensive interviews with employers, recruiters and the like in developing this newly revised edition.
Talking to groups means presenting and listening to any number of people, ranging from a few to thousands! The technique that you use will vary depending on the size and the group setting, but they are essentially different from one-on-one conversations. You will not be able to maintain eye contact with everyone in the group or ask questions about mutual understanding when speaking to a group. Successful group presentations require careful organization and specific ways to find out whether you are getting your message across. …
Forget About Today: Bob Dylan's Genius for (Re)Invention, Shunning the Naysayers, and Creating a Personal Revolution
by Jon Friedman
Berkley Publishing Group, $15, 232 pp.