Personal Student Letter Regarding Academic Performance

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This fall semester I was taking Genetics, Thermodynamics, Moral Ethics, Introduction to Public Health, and Psychology of Race, Class, and Gender. Due to illness, my second semester put me in academic probation and after talking to Dean Rome I was recommended to drop Genetics and concentrate on my other four classes. I performed very well in all my classes but Thermodynamics, which I had trouble with. I believed I would receive at least a C but unfortunately received an NC. I took CHEM 330 with Professor Stratt, which I later discovered has very difficult exams, and to make matters more difficult, my class, was majorly freshmen that had taken AP Chemistry and scored the highest scores on exams than any other class. I did problems every night, studied with a study group and believed I was prepared for the class but the type of problems he would put in the exams and worksheets where not like the ones in the textbook. I would take the exams from spring semester CHEM 330 to prepare for the exams and though I scored very well on them, on the exams for Prof. Stratt, I would not perform as well as the other students. While I had a very strong background in biology in high school and understand the organic aspect of chemistry, I find thermodynamics to be challenging.

However, what has affected my academic standing was my performance second semester. Spring semester was a complete disaster, from the classes I was taking to my health. Starting with my classes, I was taking Physiology, Thermodynamics, Calculus, Fetal Medicine, and Mande Contemporary Dance. I was also working at BUDS seven hours on Saturdays and four hours on Sundays. At first everything was going very well, I was going to class, studying/doing problems everyday, and working;...

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... so poor my second semester and I was not able to perform. This fall semester I did, though I had difficulties with CHEM 330. During the spring semester, the reason why I did not contact any school officials was because I honestly did not know that they offered help with health issues. Instead I sought help from Health Services, though I did not receive much help, because I believed that once the health issues were improved, I would be able to improve my academics. This fall semester, I kept in touch with my advisors about my academics, but did not receive counsel on who to contact about the impact my health had on my studies, which I now know was the Office of Student Life. I feel prepared to perform and really do not want to be penalized over something I did not have control over. I do not see myself doing anything other than studying. I believe I belong at Brown.
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