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Book Review – Say This, NOT That to Your Professor

Book Review – Say This, NOT That to Your Professor

Book review for Say This, NOT That to Your Professor by Ellen Bremen

Welcome to my first video book review. I am happy to choose Say This, NOT That to Your Professor for my first review because it was truly a pleasure to read. As a student who excelled in high school, and then struggled with the freedom and autonomy of college, I wish this book would have existed over 25 years ago!!

I will let you watch the video to get my full impression, but here are the highlights:

  • Common lesson in the book is Communicate: Communicate Early, Communicate Often, when you get confused or have extenuating circumstances…Communicate!
  • Ellen introduces a specific format/structure to teach the reader – and then she adheres to that consistent format throughout the book. She provides real-life scenarios, and then she teaches using a “Say This, NOT That”, and “Do This, NOT That” structure. She looks at each scenario from both the student’s and the professor’s perspective.
  • Ellen’s communication style is very conversational and informal, so the book is easy to read and understand. The suggestions in this book should be easy to adapt for most students’ common issues in college.
  • I highly recommend this book for both the first year college student and students taking AP courses in high school that can place a higher demand on accountability.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post, and I know you will enjoy the book!

Ellen Bremen’s Information:
Blog: The Chatty Professor Blog 
Twitter ID: @ChattyProf

I received Say This, NOT That to Your Professor as a review copy from the publisher. I received no other compensation. The links above are not affiliate links. I sincerely recommend it as a gift to first year college students.

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Brian Vickery

I love my Vickery Girls - and grandsons! My career has blessed me to the point I was able to start a new consultancy in 2018: Analytic Integrity. I look to provide analytic experience, and business integrity, to an Analytics world while helping data-driven organizations mature. I enjoy teaching and coaching, watching football and basketball, and playing tennis. I graduated UT-Austin.

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  1. Hey, that was great! It sounds like a really valuable and easy to read book! Too bad I’m in my last year of college and my closest young relatives aren’t even in high school yet.
    You’re good in front of the camera too… the sound was a little quiet though.

    • Thanks, Emilie. Sorry the sound was quiet – guess I should have amplified a bit (sometimes I do, but must have had my speakers cranked more than normal). Glad you liked the video portion, and I appreciate the compliment.

      The book is very easy to read, and each chapter is a practical recipe to resolve common issues students face all the time in college. Ellen brings a wonderful empathy, and she injects humor along with the case-studies. You could almost imagine her telling you the story over a cup of coffee ;)

      Thanks for stopping by, Emilie.

  2. Great review Brian! I was like you in the fact that I excelled in high school and then the autonomy of college made me loose focus. I actually did not graduate from college until later. I dropped out the first time and it wasn’t until I was older with more maturity that I was able to complete a degree.

    I wish they had something like this for me the first time I went to college. I think about all the time I wasted. I try to stay positive though and realize that it is a combination of all my life experiences that made me who I am today.


    • We are definitely a product of our experiences, Aaron. I do wish I would have had this book…because approaching professors, who had a stronger focus on research than teaching students, was intimidating. However, this book really provided guidelines on how to approach the instructors and “captivate their interest” with sincerity and genuine concern for classroom performance vs just making a grade.

      At the end of the day, I still think college is more about survival and getting that piece of paper to get your first professional job. After that, it gets back to being a product of our experiences, and School of Hard Knocks and Missteps is a better school than any formal classroom.


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