Book Reviews

Book by: Dr. Gregory Bullock
Review by: Samantha Mercanti-Anthony
Program Manager/Academic Advisor
School of Education, Drexel University

Gregory Bullock’s Grades, Money, Health: The Book Every College Student Should Read attempts to be a definitive guide that covers all the major aspects of the college experience. The book includes a range of topics that span from choosing the right undergraduate school through postgraduate planning. Guidance is also provided to the student for the moving in experience, study habits, cohabitating with roommates and a range of other topics that will prove very useful to all college students. Bullock’s claims his book will not only succeed in enriching the student’s college experience, but also purports to allow them to thrive in college life.

Bullock, as both a student and a science professor, has had a full array of college experiences. He draws on these experiences to give numerous examples that compliment the advice he gives. Since the book is based on experiences and is not academic study, there are some topics covered that would be missed in a more traditional text. These include “Be Nice”, “You and Your Professor” and “Double Dipping”. Each of these sections, speak to the author’s personal experiences with college. “Be Nice” is basically a chapter about approaching situations positively and in a respectful manner. At first the chapter seemed a bit obvious, however this is the first time many students are handling situations, such as parking tickets, without their parent’s guidance. Practical advice, on how to best handle these situations, is something that could prove invaluable. Likewise, the “You and Your Professor” chapter elaborates on the notion of respect when dealing with a professor. However, the chapter delves deeper by covering aspects of how to write for professors by using their roles. In subsequent chapters,  Bullock gives great advice on how to pick up on lecture techniques of various professors in regard to test taking. Lastly, the “Double Dipping” chapter covers the academic courses needed to cover various requirements, an essential guide for all students that either want to focus on the fastest route to graduation or who want to graduate with more then one major.

Each of  Bullock’s chapters is laid out with bulleted recaps at the end stating the most important texts. Since the chapters were often short, this format did not fit the style. Furthermore, for all of the useful knowledge written, there were chapters throughout that were outdated (electronics needed for college) or vague (health). Instead of coming off as an authority on the subject, his writing often appears amateurish; somewhat like a favorite uncle giving advice to his nephew at a graduation party. Although all of the individual advice is good, the sum does not add up to a definitive guide.

Also, as a guide the chapters are somewhat text heavy. For example there are no graphics to illustrate or further elaborate his arguments. This stands out as a stark contradiction to his chapter on how differently students learn. Furthermore, with the exception of the health section, there are no appendices for further study of the topics covered. Although a quick read I could not conclude that Bullock’s book was “The Book Every Student Should Read.”

Grades, Money, Health: The Book Every College Student Should Read (2010) Book by: Dr. Gregory Bullock. Review by: Samantha Mercanti-Anthony. Phillipsburg, NJ: Acute Books. $13.99. pp150. ISBN # 978-0-9829548-0-5.

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