TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Author: Alicia Blaisdell-Bannon

Alicia Blaisdell-Bannon-profile-picture

Alicia Blaisdell-Bannon teaches communication, writing and public relations at Suffolk University in Boston. She is the former managing editor of the Cape Cod Times in Hyannis, Mass., where she wrote a weekly humor column for 25 years and for whom she continues to review Boston theater. She has a B.A. from Syracuse University and an M.A. from Suffolk University.

Posted Jan. 4, 2018, 4 p.m. by Alicia Blaisdell-Bannon | View Comments
The 5 Writing Skills Every STEM Student Should Know

The good news: You are passionate about studying in a STEM program. You can imagine college courses focused on science, technology, engineering and math. The not-so-good news: You still have to know how to write. That’s because STEM subjects, like every other field of study, are about communicating ideas. Think of communication as a bridge. You’re at one end, trying to make someone at the other end understand a message. Obviously, the shorter the bridge, the easier it will be for your message to be heard. Good communicators – good writers – use effective language to shorten that bridge. Your ...

Posted July 28, 2017, 8 a.m. by Alicia Blaisdell-Bannon | View Comments
Student leaving home for college.

Remember when you had your first child and, walking out of the hospital, you wondered how anyone could actually be entrusting you with this fragile bundle that did not even fit into that ridiculous car seat? Yes, you read the books, assembled the crib, bought the onesies. But, really, why did everyone think you knew what you were doing? For many students, that is how they feel when the last suitcase has been loaded into the SUV and Mom and Dad are driving them to the first days of college. Yes, they have filled in the college orientation forms, bought ...

Posted March 1, 2016, 9 a.m. by Alicia Blaisdell-Bannon | View Comments
Here’s the Skill You’ll Need in Almost Every College Classc

Spoiler alert about college: Not every class you take will require a knowledge of math, or science, or history — but almost all of them will require a basic understanding of the writing rules of the road. That’s fine if you have been a talented writer all your life, starting with that adorable poem about wanting to be a hedgehog that you wrote for Mrs. Anderson in the second grade. But for those of you for whom writing is a difficult task, the never-ending stream of written assignments might seem downright daunting. But it doesn’t have to be, if you ...

Posted Jan. 25, 2016, 9:36 a.m. by Alicia Blaisdell-Bannon | View Comments
Why College is Not Going to Be Like High School

I once heard a student say that college was just like high school except the food was worse. Really? Maybe my memory about high school has lost its sharp edges over the years, but, as I recall, it would be impossible for the food to be worse. College is like high school in some ways, of course. There’s a social aspect and an academic one. There’s homework. And the quarterback is still a big deal. Sorry. But mainly, college is pretty different, so it’s best to start shedding some of those high school expectations now. In the classroom, the differences ...

Posted Oct. 1, 2015, 8 a.m. by Alicia Blaisdell-Bannon | View Comments
how to avoid cheating

When I was in seventh grade (bear with me -- a point is coming), I wrote the formula for photosynthesis on my palm prior to taking an earth science test. So did half a dozen other kids, which meant the jig was up about five minutes into the test because, well, we needed to use our hands to write. The incensed teacher had each student walk up to her desk and hold out his or her palms. The humiliating moment my turn came is etched into my brain so deeply, I can recall what I was wearing (pink skirt, maroon ...

Posted Aug. 27, 2015, 8 a.m. by Alicia Blaisdell-Bannon | View Comments
tips from a college professor

When I was a college freshman at Syracuse University, I got two good tips from my favorite professor: First, bring a pen to class. Second, make sure your parents take you to Danziger’s Restaurant for roast beef sandwiches when they visit. Good advice, of course, but, as an adjunct professor for several colleges in and around Boston, I believe I can do better. Here are seven things students should know as they begin their college careers. And for those of you not quite there yet, these tips, according to my daughter, a high school teacher, are applicable for you, too. ...