Advice from Professor Sergei Plekhanov

How to do well in my first Political Science course?

Sergei PlekhanovProfessor SergeiSergei Plekhanov joined York in 1993. If the Cold War had not ended, he could have still been working at his previous job, Deputy Director of one of Moscow’s most influential think tanks, the Institute for the Study of USA and Canada at the Russian Academy of Sciences. Back in Moscow, he was explaining USA and Canada to the Russians. Here in Canada, he is explaining Russia to the Canadians and Americans. Back in Russia, he was playing mostly jazz. Having moved to Toronto, he switched to classical music. When he is distracted from Scarlatti, Bach and Chopin, he teaches and writes on Russia, America, Afghanistan, and other interesting places. A lifelong foe of nuclear weapons, he is serving as Secretary of the Canadian Pugwash Group, the national branch of the global movement of scientists for nuclear disarmament.

Advice from Professor Sergei Plekhanov, Course Director, AP/POLS1000C, AP/PPAS1000C:

  1. Use your freedom: You have much more freedom now than in high school, but that also means more responsibility. This is not freedom from study, but freedom to study - to explore the burning issues of today’s world and to build solid foundations of knowledge which will boost your chances of success in life.
  2. Get empowered: Study of politics is exciting, sobering, and empowering. Yes, knowledge is power.
  3. Work to shape your own future, don’t leave it to others: The world is in crisis, and it is up to the new generation of citizens to find new paths to the future, your future. To help you become part of this effort, we will provide you with crucial knowledge, the knowledge of politics.
  4. Attend classes: If you want to succeed, make sure to attend every class and do your readings diligently.
  5. Read about Politics: Now that you’re studying politics, you must increase the volume of your daily readings or viewings on politics (apart from your course materials) by at least fourfold. It’s like studying a language: immersion counts!
  6. Speak up: Whether you practice politics or study politics, conversation is of crucial importance. Speak up in class as much as you can!
  7. Talk to your professor and your TAs: Your professor and his team of assistants are there to help you with all of your questions and concerns. Don’t hesitate to talk with them.