A REBEL and SUCCESS in COLLEGE copyright D'Lynn Waldron, PhD
FOR D'LYNN WALDRON'S ADVICE ON HOW TO SUCCEED IN COLLEGE, CLICK HERE TO GO DOWN THIS PAGE
As a 17-year-old freshman at TCU, D'Lynn Waldron was a rebel leader and hero to the student body. As shown in the double page photo below which introduces the student section of the 1955 University yearbook, the front row seats, with benches to put their feet up, were prepared Lynn, at the weekly movie show. The title on a similar photo, put elsewhere in the yearbook, is appropriately 'Rogue Gallery', with Lynn, of course the 'Rogue' to which it refers.
D'Lynn's leadership role came into conflict with the new socially ambitious administrator D. Ray Lindley when D'Lynn organized protests against his plans to bring in fraternities and sororities and to unnecessarily raise the tuition to make it too expensive for the poor ranching families of West Texas and the Mexican-American students who had just begun to enroll (one of whom was voted that year the handsomest boy in the university.)
In spite of D'Lynn's very high grade point average which included a 100% instead of a letter grade from the legendary Dr. W.J. Hammond, who had her put on full academic scholarship mid-term, the Administration invited D'Lynn 'not to return'. It was to express student and faculty support for D'Lynn that the picture below was run as a double page spread introducing the student body section of the yearbook.
Along with other activities, while at TCU, D'Lynn was a member of the TCU flying group when they won the National Intercollegiate Flying Championship. It should be explained that just as the wind in Fort Worth had made Ben Hogan a great golfer, so it made the Flying Frogs good pilots, and that year the National Championship was held in Fort Worth, giving the TCU team a big advantage. AIRMAN PAGE
After studying in Europe in 1956 with a group principally from Smith College, D'Lynn went to Boston University..
In 1956-57 at Boston University, D'Lynn was President of Marlborough House self-governing Honor Dorm and a member of the University Student Council. Even though Marlborough House was a dorm for fine arts students, it got the University's highest grade point average in academic subjects due to the daily group study sessions and schedule for writing term papers early in the semester which D'Lynn set up.
It must be explained that although Marlborough House later earned its right to be called an Honor Dorm, it was originally made self-governing because a housemothers found it ungovernable. The first house mother, Mrs. Foote, was much loved but had to leave due to illness and the subsequent housemothers suffered (literally) from the comparison. Housemother number two lasted a less than a month and fled bag and baggage in the night, never to be heard from again. House mother number three called a dorm meeting with the Dean of Women and then screamed at the assembled girls, "They're monsters! Monsters!!" At that point Marlborough house was made the University's first self-governing Honor Dorm.
D'Lynn had absolutely refused to run for president, but she went away for the weekend and returned to find herself elected. D'Lynn enforced only the rules related to safety, and she never even bothered to find out where the University Student Council met. (And it must be said, the Dean never asked why she wasn't there!)
After a year at Boston University, D'Lynn traveled alone in remote parts of the world for several years.
After many adventures, D'Lynn returned to academic life at Washington University where she went from Junior to PhD in three and a half years, taking her BA along the way Summa Cum Laude,
first in her class. She was able to complete her degrees in such a short time because she was given a Ford Foundation Fellowship as part of an experiment in accelerated study , in accord with which the Universities waived all course load limitations and length of residency requirements.
She completed her multi-disciplinary doctorate at Claremont University in Los Angeles with doctoral qualifying written and oral exams in four majors and a minor. (The majors kept building up as various professors asked her to add their department to her majors so they would have the requisite number of graduates to continue getting some grant or other.)
But there was one big hurdle for D'Lynn on that fast track; a language requirement for the PhD. D'Lynn habitually misspelled words in which the left and right orientation of the letters such as 'g' and 'q', and 'd' and 'b' make a difference. (Driving is as easy for her in Britain as America because she doesn't know the left side of the road from the right in either country.)
Because of her problem with spelling in written English,
D'Lynn dreaded her doctoral foreign language qualification for which she had do a translation into English. Translating itself was no problem because she had already done that at 18, from the Italian, for the libretto for Bruno Frank's production of the opera Prescription for Love. (Being a Viennese, he probably had no idea how bad her spelling in English was.)
D'Lynn was asked to bring the foreign language book she would study for the professor's approval.
She brought a copy of childhood favorite, the poems of the 15th Century rebel/reprobate student poet Francoise Villon. The professor opened the book at random and told her to read and then verbally translate the page. D'Lynn read the poem in appropriately pronounced Middle French, followed by her own rhymed English version of the poem. The professor approved her choice of material and handed her a piece of paper. Instead of a date to take the exam, it was a certificate for having passed it! D'Lynn felt as if she had reprieved from death row, and all thanks to her childhood infatuation with a 15th Century French poet.
D'Lynn's doctoral dissertation was on the problems of traditional societies in economic transition. After completing her degree, she was hired for a Federally funded position attached to the Board of Supervisors of Los Angeles County,
to design HEW's Model Cities community improvement program and HUD's Operation Breakthrough low income housing program. Her system design for the Operation Breakthrough low income housing program was adopted for use nationally by HUD. Unfortunately, she soon discovered she could not prevent the funds being misappropriated by corrupt politicians.
After that experience, when the UN's development agency ECAFE offered her the position of being in charge of the social aspects of their economic programs for all of Asia she turned it down and instead devoted herself to making an ethnographic record of traditional ways of life in unspoiled settings before they disappeared.
D'Lynn Waldron's advice on how to succeed in college:
1) Select your teachers and classes carefully- teachers who really know their subject teach well and grade fairly, teachers who do not know their subject often grade unjustly hard to make up for what they lack as teachers. In teachers, always go for the best- and as a bonus you will learn more.
2) Sign up for one more class than you plan to carry and drop the one that suits you least.
3) Start your term by finding out what term papers will required and what subjects the teacher likes them to be written on. Begin doing your research and as the term progresses, take consideration of your teacher's opinions-when you are a professor you will be entitled to have opinions of your own- unless of course you have a truly great teacher who will value and nurture analytical and independent thinking in his students. Treasure such a teacher and take all the classes from him you can, for from him you will truly learn,
3) Take good notes in class and mark up your text book with notes and underlining as just doing this helps to impress the material on your mind.
4) Prepare for tests with group study sessions where ideas are bounced around and questions snapped back and forth.
5) When taking a test read the questions at least twice and consider what they are actually asking not what you want to answer. Organize your time. A perfect grade on the only essay you do in a three essay test is a total grade of 33%- which is failing. When writing, remember that legibility puts the teacher in a better mood and he will be more receptive to what you have to say. (I got notes on tests in which teachers thanked me for clear handwriting which they did not have to struggle to read.)
6) When writing term papers, good grammar and proper spelling are essential- thank god for computer spell checkers (we didn't even have computers in my day), and while the grammar checkers are not very good, use them for what value they might be. It is a good subconscious ploy to use paper that has a substantial, silky smooth feel in the hand.
7) As in all things in life, play to your strengths. If you enjoy and are good in a subject, that is a subject you should consider majoring in. Everyone has areas in which they have a natural aptitude and areas in which they simply cannot do well, no matter how hard they try. That is hardwired into our brains. The so called IQ tests measure only the ability of people to do that particular test. IQ tests make no measure of most of the valuable talents and skills, and even intellectual abilities, that people have. Least of all does any test measure wisdom, good heartedness, social skills, nor so many of the other things that can matter far more in life than reciting facts for a test that you never heard of before and will never use again. .....Good luck in your studies, Lynn