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Spring Term

30 Mar

The nice weather finally coming around is a constant reminder of Spring Term. Taking one course for four weeks is not only a good way to become very knowledgeable about that one topic, but also offers a time to get to know Lexington, VA. With time to spend out in the nice weather people often explore the local mountain trails and rivers. Floating down the river is a very common activity during the Spring. With many off campus houses right on the river this is no hard task.

Although many schools have similar short class terms, they are usually in the Winter. W&L offers this short term in the Spring. In my opinion, this is the ideal time to offer such term. It not only allows students to focus on a topic they want, but also gets students to learn more about the surrounding Lexington area. Students take full advantage of this time and Spring Term is many students most favorite thing about their time here. With such a beautiful surrounding landscape, Spring Term is certainly something that makes W&L an enjoyable school for a student to attend.

Fairly Common

26 Mar

Study abroad at W&L seems more popular than at other schools. I don’t know the reason for this discrepancy but here, going abroad is a fairly common activity. The administration make it easy with a simple checklist that walks you through a possibly much more complicated process. I have found that although going abroad is an amazing experience, the fact that professors are so eager, and so easy to meet with is such an advantage of going to school at W&L. Professors are easy to contact and are more than happy to sit down and talk about any issues you may have. If they cannot help you, then they gladly find you the correct person to go to. The ability to always have someone willing to help is a huge benefit of coming to W&L. It isn’t just the professors either, alumni also love helping students and graduates. The common experiences that students have at W&L bring the student body together. This closeness is created through the love of the history, tradition, honor, and simplicity of the school.

Many Interests

25 Feb

As the weather has cleared up and gotten warmer, attending outdoor sports events has become much more bearable. This past week (while many of us were traveling and relaxing at home) the W&L Men’s Lacrosse team posted two great one-goal victories. Winning is common for W&L teams, but these victories were special. First, the lacrosse team beat the number 1 seed in the country, Salisbury, in double overtime. After this game, the team traveled to Ohio to face, then ranked 10th, Denison. This was also a close game with Garrett Paglia, a sophomore, scoring with 2:04 to put the Generals on top. With these wins W&L is now ranked 9th in the country. As this is the highest W&L has been ranked in lacrosse in the past few years it is reason to celebrate. However, I believe that an even better thing to celebrate is the rare breed of student-athlete that W&L has.

As a whole W&L students are very talented and have many different interests. This also applies to our athletes. Although some may be described as stereotypical “jocks” most student-athletes here carry more interests than those just on the field, in the weight room, swimming pool, etc. Many of the student-athletes at W&L have been known to exhibit their artwork, post the music they create online, participate in non-sport oriented clubs, and study abroad. This diversity within a category simply shows how widely held the belief of being well round is here at W&L. Students do not simply focus on one thing and put their head down, they explore many areas of interest.

The liberal arts education pushes students to explore different areas of study. It is this learning style, and the surrounding students, that encourage all students to participate in diverse events. If you speak to students you will find that while one may be in a business related club, that same person may also write for the school paper or blog.

The diversity of each individual student is one of the many things that makes W&L a special place. Each person has so much to offer and is as interesting as the next.

Something Random

29 Jan

In the 60s in January!

Virginia weather is random. Last week we had snow. However, today we have blue skies and 60 degree weather…in January. The random surprises like this truly make one appreciate the beautiful surrounding scenery. Although there will surely be more cold days to come, weather like this makes one look forward to Spring term. Spring term at Washington and Lee is something many schools simply do not offer. During this term we take one class for four weeks. Some students take this opportunity to go study abroad, while others decide to focus  their interests on campus. Regardless of what class you take, Spring term gives students the opportunity to not only focus on just one class, but also to explore the surrounding Lexington area. With many off campus houses right on the river, which flows right outside of town, the Spring weather is greatly appreciated by all students. This experience is something that seems to be very unique to W&L. It is one of the many things about Washington and Lee that makes one’s time spent here different then from anywhere else.

Simply put

13 Jan

It has become a joke in my family that wherever we travel, if I am wearing a W&L piece of clothing, someone will stop me and ask about the school. When I was in Montana during the summer I was stopped while on a hike and asked about the greek system. The person who stopped me hadn’t even gone to Washington and Lee. They simply had a friend who was in Sigma Chi. These types of events have happened to me in airports, at restaurants, and while just walking around. Most recently, this winter break, I was stopped in Key West by a family who had close friends who had attended W&L.

Now, I do not know about this for everyone, but when I see other college apparel being worn by someone I do not stop them and ask them about the school. Is it the history of our school? Is it the tradition? Honor system? Greek life? Or the surrounding natural beauty of the Blue Ridge that makes people talk to me about W&L? I believe that it is a combination of all of these. Not many schools can create an atmosphere where so many unique ingredients are so nicely combined into one setting. This rare result is Washington and Lee. There is no other place like it, and many people who did not even attend here recognize that. It intrigues people and catches their eye. It is a school that people want to know more about and are proud to say that have some connection with. Simply put, it is Washington and Lee.

Something Special

26 Nov

Unlike many schools, Washington and Lee offers a full week off from school for Thanksgiving. The extra two days of Monday and Tuesday allows students to reach home with plenty of time to fully relax and decompress. As students return to campus one usually finds that most simply chose to sleep, eat, and do as little as possible over break. Many used the week off to recharge for the soon to come exam week.

Also differing from many schools, W&L grants students a full week to take all of their exams. There are no pre-set scheduled exam times or arrangements. Each student individually chooses when he or she will take their exams that week. This freedom to choose lessens the stress of a foreboding exam week, even if only slightly.

The ability to choose your own exam schedule is one of the many examples of trust and freedom that the school gives to students.  These opportunities are some of the reasons why W&L is so unique and special. To some people Washington and Lee may be special because of the location of the school amidst the Blue Ridge Mountains or the history and traditions of the school. For others it may be the assurance that the school itself believes its students to be good enough citizens and to not cheat while taking an exam alone. Any number of reasons make this school a unique and special place; you just have to find which one does it for you.

Something Different

5 Nov

This past weekend Washington and Lee hosted Parents and Family Weekend. During this weekend the family members of students come to visit. Although many other schools have such weekends, W&L’s Parents and Family Weekend is a unique experience. Parents attend classes with students, meet with Professors, attend Fraternity and Sorority events, and go out with their kids and friends afterwards to celebrate. This weekend truly offers parents an inside look as to what W&L is like. For those parents who are not alumni, being able to see what makes W&L; W&L is a very enlightening experience. After my first Parents and Family Weekend my parents left feeling amazed at how close the community was. The professors know the students, everyone says hello to one another (thank you speaking tradition), and the overall atmosphere is one of warmth and relaxation. Although the small town of Lexington can feel a bit crowded with the influx of people, the energy is high and everyone is smiling. To me, the best part of Parents and Family Weekend is not only being able to see my family, but also showing them what I am experiencing day in and day out as a student at Washington and Lee.