Saturday, December 6, 2008

Black Professor Shares Tips for Academic Excellence

Dr. Boyce Watkins
Brought to you by - The top African American Speakers Bureau in the world.

Hey peeps!

Since we received so many follow up questions about how to excel in college (there are a lot of college students and parents on this list who understand the value of strong education), I thought I would follow-up and give some professor tips on how to excel in college. This information is relevant to anyone with children of any age, or those considering obtaining more education (which should be all of us, since education is the key to our strength in this world). More of this is outlined in detail in my book "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about College". To see me speaking on this issue, please click here. I hope you share this information with anyone you know.

1) Nearly every child in America can go to college - if George Bush can go to Harvard, then any Black kid in America can go to college somewhere. We do a disservice to kids by putting lifetime limits on them at the age of 18. I say this as a kid who was told not to go to college himself.

2) It makes no sense to go to college to be mediocre. It is stupid that many of our kids will put in 8 hours a day for minimum wage at McDonalds, but won't study for 4 hours a day. This makes no sense, since the benefits of education last a lifetime, both financially and otherwise.

3) I love sports, but it can be a waste of time. Black men are great at sports (I was pretty good fact, that was all I thought about during high school - other than making money and finding a way to lose my virginity). The problem is that even if you are good enough to go to the NFL, your career is short and you won't make much money. It would take less effort to become a neurosurgeon and make big money for life. The NFL/NBA/Rap Star dream is played out and overrated....take it from someone who knows a lot of "successful" artists and athletes. When I began to put the same effort into studying that I put into working on my jump shot, I found it was much easier to become rich, famous and successful. That's the honest to God truth.

Please click here if you'd like to join our Black Money Advice list. Also, please check out our sponsors,, who have the top Black Speakers in the world (Donna Brazile, Spike Lee, Roland Martin, etc.).

Below, I've written a poem called "Rules of the Game" that explains (in my own silly and arguably creative way) how to kick butt in school.

Take care peeps!
The Rules of The Game
by Dr. Boyce Watkins
Education is your vehicle, it’s kinda like your first car
Here are tips from the top on how to live like a star
You think school’s not important and you let your grades slide?
Well, buckle up my negro, cuz I’m pimpin yo ride

Some think school is important, some think that it’s not
But it’s Ludicrous to think you’ll get that number one spot
Without that paper in your pocket, you’re getting no love
That top position that you’re fishin….it ain’t hiring scrubs

Do you want to fly like an eagle or live your life with a limp?
Pimpin ain’t too easy, but it sucks getting pimped
Some people think good grades come to those who are smart
But you can’t be a great heart surgeon if you don't have any heart

If you have good grades already, then the burden’s no lighter
Your GPA is slammin, but it can always be tighter
And when you hit that first obstacle and you’ve just been beat down
Are you gonna get up like a fighter or lie down like a clown?

College is the place to make your dreams come true
But making silly choices can create nightmares for you
So, let me pimp your ride and I’mma start with the rims
24 inch spinners, the paint job matching your Tims

Number 1: Study for 6 hours a day
If you are consistent and persistent then your hard work will pay
Pulling all-nighters might make sense when your doing it see
But that F on every test is what you’re getting from me

Number 2: Don’t allow yourself to skip any class
Days off never pay off when you’re trying to pass
But passing all your classes is not your first role
Be a baller and a scholar, straight As are your goal

Number 3: Don’t feel you have to drink till you’re drunk
Cause cupid makes you stupid when the party’s too crunk
We have rapists and drunk drivers when the liquor gets full
And lifetime alcoholics when they get out of school

Number 4: Don’t forget this part of the rhyme
NEVER drop out of college for any reason, any time!
People leave school for a second, to get out of that cage
Then they’re 35 with 3 kids making minimum wage

Number 5: Make sure you learn to manage your time
Your time is like your money, you should count every dime
Procrastination is a gamble, don’t rely on your luck
Or you’ll crap out and be busted, with a report card that sucks

Number 6: Getting a college degree is real cool
But to make the monster money, go to graduate school
I promise that if you’re willing to go that last mile
The bling on your check will match the bling in your smile

Number 7: Make sure you know your major by heart
Know every class you’re taking from the end to the start
Memorize the classes needed to get the degree in your hand
Don’t find yourself later saying “I didn’t know man!”

Number 8: Baby mamas are created by sex
And child support’s like Pacman when its eating your check
If you call yourself a player and eager to please
The campus is a GREAT place to catch a nasty disease!

Life is kinda serious, and it ain’t playin no games
You have to come out dunkin like Lebron James
If you don’t put hustle in the muscle to get that last inch
You’ll find yourself defeated at the end of the bench

Yes this ride is costly, cause pimpin ain’t free
But your whip will be the tightest if you listen to me
Whether you want a life of freedom or just want some cash
Or if you want a chromed-out Bentley with DVDs in the dash

Education lets you travel down the highway of life
It creates freedom for your kids or your husband or wife
You’ll drive this ride forever, until you are dead
So get on it if you want it, cause its built in your head

Written by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Finance Professor at Syracuse University. He does regular commentary in national media, including CNN, ESPN, CBS and BET. For more information, please visit

No comments: