Archive | Resources RSS feed for this section

Planes, trains, and automobiles

19 Mar

Some of the most common questions I get on tours and around the Admissions office are regarding transportation. Trust me, I get it. Lexington seems like it is in the middle of nowhere, but it is actually a lot more connected than you think, and certainly more connected than I expected.

I am writing this post from a train on my way to New York City for an interview (wish me luck!) and this is the fourth such trip I  have made by train. While we don’t have a station in Lexington, there are three relatively close; Charlottesville, Staunton, and Lynchburg. All three are serviced by Amtrak and are all well within an hour and a half away. They can take you pretty much anywhere on the eastern seaboard for a very reasonable fare. Want to go to a concert in D.C.? No problem. Visit a friend in Philly? Sure thing. Get a job in NYC? Again, wish me luck.

As far as flying goes, Roanoke is the closest airport and it connects to most of the major airports in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwest. Some students choose to drive to Richmond, about 2 1/2 hours away, where you can find generally find cheaper flights to Texas and the West Coast. When traveling abroad, most leave out of Dulles in D.C. or Charlotte, N.C.

If you prefer to drive, whether for a weekend away or to get home during breaks, Lexington is conveniently located at the crossroads of 64 and 81. Locations in Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina, , Georgia, West Virginia, Maryland, D.C., Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey are all, generally, less than 8 hours away, with many being far closer.

So while we are definitely not a suitcase campus, there are always ways to get where you need to go!

 

 

On the road

4 Mar
The Mall

The Mall

7:15AM Saturday, March 2nd: Weary and tired travellers board the buses to Washington, D.C. for the annual Art History field trip. I happened to be part of a Latin American Caribbean Studies capstone course that was hitching a ride with the Art department. While other courses headed into the National Gallery or the Hirshorn, our contingent went to the Art Museum of the Americas to take in a quaint but great little exhibit on Dominican and Haitian art. Afterwards we went to Oyamel, a great Mexican restaurant by the mall and had lunch as a class. We sampled gourmet tacos and dipped churros in chocolate while we discussed what we had seen that day and how we can relate our D.C. trip to our capstone papers. Unique opportunities like these field trips make up the essential fibers of the W&L experience –  allowing us the chance to learn holistically and truly get to know our professors.

 

Healthy living

1 Mar
Prof. Knapp encourages everyone to get a Flu Buddy for Flu Season

Prof. Knapp encourages everyone to get a Flu Buddy for Flu Season

From the little things like the coat hooks to the big deals like our Honor System, I find something I love about Washington and Lee every day. There are seemingly endless resources on campus whether you need to find an internship, mail a package, and update your computer software, but the one that never ceases to amaze me is our Health Center.

Open 24/7 the Student Health Center is always there for undergrads and law students alike who come down with a cold, sprain an ankle, or need a flu shot. Completely included in your tuition, you can go to the Health Center as much as necessary when you are enrolled at W&L, and I certainly take full advantage of this (essentially) free health care while I still have access to it. Yesterday in class I felt a small bump under my neck and, being a hypochondriac and chronic worrier, I began to freak out. I ran out to “go to the bathroom” (Sorry, Professor!) and made a quick call to the Student Health Center. And then, just 15  minutes after class ended I walked in the door to my appointment where I was instantly assured that it was entirely normal for a lymph node to get a little inflamed and that I had absolutely nothing to worry about. I left feeling relieved not only from the knowledge that I was fine, but also the security in knowing I have a resource like the Health Center to calm all of my nerves and treat all of my ailments.

While the neck-bump was a non-issue, many students must visit the Health Center under less convenient circumstances. If a student happens to have, let’s say, consumed too much of a liquid substance, the Health Center will gladly take them in with open arms and an open cot for the evening, only to be released after they have seen a doctor and had a healthy breakfast the next morning. This resource comes with a guarantee that no student will get in trouble for seeking assistance when needed and ensures that all W&L students have a safe place to go at all times.

Personalizing the major

26 Feb

It’s that time of year: the time for sophomores to declare an initial major. I was fortunate enough to come into W&L knowing that I wanted to major in journalism. I also knew that I wanted a second major to explore another interest to complement my journalism major.

At the academic fair during orientation week, a professor encouraged me not to rush into choosing a second major. He suggested that I take a variety of classes and find subjects and professors that interest me the most. I took a variety of courses from art history and literature to mathematics and economics during my first year at W&L. This past fall term, I took a course in politics that was very interesting and useful to my study in journalism and taught by a great professor. I decided to take a seminar with the same professor this winter term and I really liked working with her.

Now that I am required to officially declare an initial major in journalism, I have also decided that I want to add politics as a second major. I am fortunate enough to get to work with my politics professor even more as an advisor for my politics major.

Because W&L is such a small school, students get to choose their advisors when they declare their majors. I feel very fortunate that I not only get to create my curriculum around topics that interest me, but that I also get to pick the professors that I get to work with.

My Professors Are Saints

28 Jan

As a Physics/Engineering major, I sometimes come across homework problems and parts of assignments that are over my head, even after reading the corresponding chapter in the book and rereading every detail I wrote down from class. The cool/difficult thing about engineering is that all the problems are applicational.  Every problem is different, and until I have trained my brain to think its way through a certain type of problem, there is no guarantee I will be able to solve it using an example from class or a previous problem.  There have been many times over my past 2 and a half years at this school when I have been completely stuck on an assignment.

What do I do when this happens?  I run into the open arms of my professors.  Not literally, since they are not all the hugging types, but they are always willing to assist me when I need them.  And if they are not in their offices, I hunt them down or post up outside their offices until they come back and then I don’t leave until I understand the information.  How annoying.  If I were them, I would start putting signs on my door like “Professor has moved to a different office” or “Not here, go away!”  My professors, on the other hand, are saints.  They have helped me think my way through difficult homework assignments an innumerable amount of times, and have uplifted me throughout my entire process of my understanding.

I would not survive this major without the constant willingness to help that is seen in all my professors.  My relationship with each and every one of them is extremely strong, and that is something that you can’t find at every university.  The professors at Washington and Lee are here to help students, and they make that very apparent.

The Center for Global Learning

23 Jan
Artist's rendering of Center for Global Learning at W&L

Artist’s rendering of Center for Global Learning at W&L

While we students are very proud of our campus, there is generally one building that we avoid whenever possible is dreaded DuPont. I know this blog is meant to sell you on W&L (as if that were a difficult task) but even our fantastic campus in beautiful Lexington is not perfect. Luckily for us, however, change has been sweeping through due to our Capital Campaign that has funded new programs, increased scholarships, brought new technology to campus, endowed professorships, and renovated many buildings on campus. The Colonnade renovation has passed the halfway point as Washington Hall was unveiled in February, and after Tucker is finished in a few years, attention will be turned to DuPont at the end of Stemmons Plaza.

Formerly the arts building, DuPont is now home to classrooms for an assortment of courses, often in the humanities. In the future, it will become home to the Center for Global Learning on campus, creating a place on campus to study the ever-increasing globalization we live among. Although I am sad I won’t get to study in this new building before graduation, it is so exciting to see the plans underway to really modernize W&L. Check out this news release regarding a pretty large donation to the fund, and to find out more about the Center of Global Learning.

Collaborate and listen!

14 Jan
KRR_4754

Professor Eastwood (Sociology), myself, and Professor Dickovick (Politics) with the finished textbook!

A few of the greatest aspects about the Washington and Lee experience are the close relationships with professors, the endless opportunities to get involved on campus, and the liberal arts education that provides many ways to learn in order to make the most of your college experience.

This past fall I was able to participate in something that encapsulated all three of those great aspects. Following a summer of research funded by an R.E. Lee Grant, I worked with Professor’s Eastwood and Dickovick on supplementary materials to their recently published textbook. Having the opportunity to work directly with Professor’s who I admire was an invaluable experience that allowed me to really grow as a student. This kind of experience truly encapsulates the endless possibilities that students gain once they enroll at W&L. From Spring Term abroad to Summer Research to Individual Studies, students at W&L get to make their mark and will graduate having had unrivaled experiences.

Click here to read the article about the textbook on the W&L website!