The biggest task I have seems to be helping students learn how to learn. Some fail to come to class, others never look at the notes they take, and many seem not to even open the book. Many never ask questions, and those who do, often ask things that could be found immediately by looking them up in the index of the book. People who ignore office hours for weeks expect me to schedule extra help sessions the day before the test. Questions more often focus on "what will be tested?" instead of how to understand what has been taught. Everyone seems to have taken calculus in high school, but most also seem not to know anything about algebra or geometry or trigonometry. With the advent of calculators some also do not know simple arithmetic, like how to multiply two digit numerals. (I have had students who had to add up a column of thirteen 65's on a test, apparently not knowing how to multiply 13 by 65.) Many think that having taken a subject "2 years ago" is a valid excuse to have forgotten the material, and to expect the teacher to reteach the prerequisites. Appparently no one ever dreams of reviewing the prerequisites before the course starts. Books like "Calculus for cretins" are apparently more popular than books like "Calculus for science majors". When I was in college students like this were just ignored, or expected to flunk out, but in today's setting there are so many like this that they form the primary market. With all good faith to teach these stduents, the failure rate is still about 50% in college calculus across the nation, in my opinion. What are some ideas on how to improve this?