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Fanning the flames of a Christmas fireplace

How college assignments can help students step into the professional world.
Jeaneth Amores

Have you ever imagined that all teachers would say, “No homework for today” every day? Of course, we have all imagined that scenario as the dream we never want to wake up from. But all assignments are necessary in this life. If you do not believe me, keep reading.

As we know, Christmas is approaching, the most anticipated time of the year because, besides filling us with hope and Christmas lights, we have vacations!

This time makes us want to finish all our assignments and exams as soon as possible to finally be free and enjoy our holidays. Disclaimer: We are sorry, this part only applies to those who do not take winter classes.

Work-life is not for learning the basics; it is for putting into practice what has been learned and learning more specific things in the process. That is why students need this Christmas to reflect on the past, present, and future of their lives, decisions, and assignments. So that they start the new year with a different perspective and stop thinking that assignments only serve to fuel the fire of a Christmas fireplace.

Many students prefer teachers who do not assign homework, but Tamaki Hori, a student at Dallas College North Lake Campus, said her favorite teacher was the one who gave assignments. He made students question their way of thinking, and whose class assignments were based on situations applicable to students in their daily lives. This encouraged her to do better work and always give her 100%.

Hori also said the worst class she had was one where the teacher relied on books and did not use real-life examples. This shows the enthusiasm we students have stems from what teachers provide to the students.

Hillary B. Gallego, NLC English professor, said, “I always try to encourage students to take their work further.” Gallego said she would like her students to publish their work when possible. Teachers, like Gallego, who take the time to encourage students often bring out the best in them.

Hori takes great pride and confidence in giving her absolute best in her assignments. As an international student from Japan, and English not being her native language, she puts in extra effort compared to other students.

No student is a perfect machine, and there are several students who also work, or whose home situation does not allow making getting an excellent grade their priority. 

Gallego understands that and tells her students, “Do what you can, and leave the rest.” So that students do not pressure themselves too much to seek perfection, just finish it, and then stop thinking about it.

I am sure that an assignment can help us earn points in our GPA, but it also has to help us improve our lives and our future. Hori said, “[I] put so much effort into my essays because, even though I was not a fan of the topics, I knew I needed to learn the vocabulary and grammar.” So, she spent a lot of time getting tutored.

Many students think that teachers do not care, but Gallego said, “When a student earns a 100, it takes everything in me not to email them and tell them how proud I am.” Teachers notice the progress of their students. Delivering and receiving an excellent assignment makes both parties proud.

We all study to apply for a good job, but that is achieved by putting into practice everything learned in classes. 

A former student had been influenced by Gallego to attend SMU and become a manager at a Fortune 500 company.   

Students should not think classes and assignments are a hindrance and that only the title matters because, thanks to the efforts and hard work of students, the goal of getting the dream job can be achieved in the end.

Many employers hire people not for their grades but for their knowledge. 

“What’s important is the process, not the product,” Gallego said. “The learning and growth that happens during the process is more important than the final product produced.”

It does not matter if students’ grades are A’s if, when they are working, they do not know how to send an email correctly.

When students hand in their completed assignment, the assignment does not disappear, it transforms into knowledge that they will use in their future job. Our assignments may die in college, but from those ashes, the phoenix is reborn to conquer the professional world.

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