November 26, 2013
Student advising is always quite an interesting week. When it comes time to pick your classes, most students meet with their major adviser. This semester, I declared my major and I’m beginning to dive deeper into my studies.
I decided to take a shot in the dark and try something new this advising period. I went into Hale Laboratory and I spoke with Bruce Branchini. Bruce is not my major adviser, but he is a professor in the biochemistry department and he was was more than willing to schedule a meeting with me to talk about my spring semester. We ended up talking about my studies for the next three years! It was quite the interesting conversation and it led to me making some decisions to possibly take some classes sooner than I thought. So while this planning/advising period could have turned out to be a lot more stressful, Bruce definitely took some anxiety off and helped me confirm my course schedule.
Here’s to all the professors that make time for students they don’t have to, welcoming us into their offices with open arms. Thank you.
November 26, 2013
Earlier this month, I volunteered for the astronomy/physics department at our open-house. We opened our doors and invited local kids, parents and high school students to try out our instruments. Even though there were clouds covering the night sky, I got the opportunity to explain how telescopes and other astronomer tools work, helping visitors understand what goes on high above our heads. I hope that we managed to instil a sense of excitement about sciences for the young visitors.
November 22, 2013
I have always wanted to study abroad in Australia. I imagined studying marine biology in the Great Barrier Reef while exploring the coasts. I'm a planner: I like things to be scheduled far in advance with few variations in the plan. Let's just say things are always subject to change.
I intend to be an environmental studies major and an Italian minor. I recently went to an event where several students presented about their study abroad experiences in Italy. Everything from the food to the scenery made me want to be there. As the students discussed what they enjoyed from the country's rich culture, I began to rethink my plans. What if I did a summer abroad in Italy? There is so much to learn about the country’s history and culture.
These presentations piqued my interests so much that I may change when and where I would like to study abroad. While this sudden desire for change surprised me, I can't say that it is unexpected: College is all about exploring. Why not change your mind a few times? Who knows where you might end up.
November 22, 2013
It's comforting to know that I can learn more than just academics here at Connecticut College. I now know a little bit of self defense, thanks to the Martial Arts Club.
November 21, 2013
This week I had a pretty interesting conversation with my friend Jazmine. She is a psychology and sociology double major with a minor in philosophy, and she may try to triple-major. As we both study sociology, we definitely connect on a level of understanding and we are also in the Philosophy of Law course together. We were working on our papers really late and, before we parted ways, we began to speak about different levels and ways of thinking.
The conversation started with the explanation of why we each were studying sociology in an educational context at all. Sociology gets to look at society and why things are constructed and understood. When you ask questions about the mind in a sociology class, students often respond, “we can’t answer that question, because it’s more psychological.” That’s why Jazmine is a double major, because she likes both ways of thinking. I began to not only understand her on a deeper level, but also understand myself.
Our philosophy class requires us to come up with examples very quickly and forces us to think outside the box. My professor worded it very well one day by saying, “you don’t have to agree with what you’re arguing, you just have to understand it and persuade others to believe the same.” That’s why I love the class. As a science major it can sometimes be very hard to think about just the process and the result. What’s at the end of what I’m trying to achieve? Going to a liberal arts school definitely has it’s perks. I can open my pathways of thinking and just observe different ways of going about the same thing. Integrating sociology and science is going to be quite an interesting journey, and I never thought it would be easy. Talking with Jazmine, though, helped me understand what I want to do after college, and has helped me develop how I want to think. For now, though, there’s a long way to go, and thinking about the future is plenty for me.
November 20, 2013
Since November 4th, I have woken up feeling sore each morning because Track and Field season has begun. What’s nice though, is that I see three of my teammates in my first class of the day. (That’s my 8 a.m. Chemistry class.)
Me: “My calvesssssss, they are solid blocks of pain”
Teammate: “My hamstrings are so tight, I can barely walk”
And then we go to class.
Being on a team, especially a large one, is nice because I see my teammates outside of practice. I see them in class, which makes for automatic study-buddies and conversation topics during warm-up.
During dinner, the four of us in Chem discuss the homework or the topics covered in the lecture that morning. We moan about the struggles of being science majors and exchange phone numbers in case we have academic questions later.
Because of track, my social circle grows enormously, which increases my resources of people to study with or ask questions to. Since there are a number of upperclassmen on the team, classmates/teammates who have already taken the courses are always willing to meet up lif you have questions. For an underclassmen, that’s a huge asset to have.
November 19, 2013
Course selection is one time where everyone on campus has the same problem. One could say that the severity of this issue varies by year and that first year students have it the worst. Since you don't have to declare your major until the spring semester of your sophomore year, the early semesters are perfect for exploration. There are tons of classes to choose from, and your studies aren’t necessarily refined yet. The possibilities are endless and, well, that can be very overwhelming. Picking courses makes me feel like a little kid exploring a new playground, you just don't know what to try first or in what order.
The good thing about being a first year student with many options comes in when it’s time to register. Since our class select their classes last, there's a chance that the class you want to take will be full. After you spend about 30 seconds being sad that you didn't get into one class, you can be excited because now you can take the other class that seemed really interesting but didn't fit into the schedule.
Course selection is so stressful. So many classes, and only 4 of them can win. It's like the Hunger Games but with more victors. Every time I think I'm ready for registration, friends keep telling me about yet another interesting class I might like. Looks like I might need to rearrange my schedule again...
November 18, 2013
Last weekend, the Dance Club premiered their Fall show. Each night, there was a packed house.
November 18, 2013
Last Sunday night, I left my appointment in the Writing Center at 10:30 p.m. with hours worth of revisions left to make on an English paper due the next day. Nevertheless, I was thrilled. Inspired by Robert Browning’s poem “My Last Duchess,” I just had a conversation with the student writing tutor about the similarities between art and people and the value in treating art like a human beings. Fortunately, conversation in non-academic settings (such as Knowlton Dining Hall) is equally as fresh, real and juicy. In non-foodie terms, the conversation is equally as courageous.
“Courage” stems from the word coeur meaning heart in French. In her TED talk, sociologist Brené Brown defines courage as the act of telling one’s story with one’s whole heart. My friends at Conn embody courage. They make themselves vulnerable by spilling their stories, even the shameful chapters. By sharing our whole selves with each other — the good and bad alike — we connect authentically.
November 17, 2013
I can’t really explain the experience in such a short post, but I’m going to try. Last weekend I went to Harvard University. No, I’m not going to transfer, in fact I’ve realized I actually like where I am even more after this day. I was invited by the V-Day Organization, along with Alia Roth ‘14 and other members who worked on the V-Day: 100 Men Rising project, to the “Speak Up and Take Rape Culture Down” conference.
To openly speak about difficult issues in a room full of people that actually, professionally understand the topic was a very different experience from what I normally encounter.
Often, the point of the conversation is to carefully and calmly educate and inform on a surface level. At this conference, we moved past the basics, diving into more complicated models, examples and stories.
After listening to speakers like Jaclyn Friedman (who has an amazing story of her own,) we had lunch and prepared ourselves for the upcoming workshops. Our whole team was to attend the V-Day session which would feature the the Connecticut College contingent as presenters! Afterward, we would break up and attend different workshops.
In the V-Day session, Alia and others spoke about the 100-men rising video project and the “1 Billion Rising for Justice” campaign in which countries around the world will make video submissions on their promise that 1 billion will rise to end violence against women.
After all our workshops, we all came together and a microphone was passed around to share reflections on the day. As nervous as I was, I spoke. I spoke about the day, my experiences, my hopes, what I felt, how I wanted things to change, what made me happy and what I’d learned that I would bring back to Conn. My heart almost jumped out of my chest by the time I was done and I felt like I had just run a marathon.
The day was spectacular. It brought things into perspective for me and reminded me that, yes, there is a long way to go in the world, but that we as a college are really very far ahead when it comes to activism. We often forget that. I’m glad I have the peers that I do... they bring about amazing opportunities for all of us, and this year on February 14th, 1 billion will rise for justice.