Archive | Student Life RSS feed for this section

Partnerships.

11 Mar

I overslept this morning. I could blame it on daylight savings or a long weekend, but really I just plain overslept. I woke up right as my first class was ending and immediately felt  both confused (why did I hit ‘off’ and not ‘snooze’?) and very, very guilty.

You see, when you sleep through your alarm or miss class at W&L, your professor’s notice and that is because when you walk into the first day of class, your Professor’s learn your names right away. Having small class sizes at W&L not only allows for an excellent learning environment and vibrant discussion, it also means that you establish real relationships with your Professor’s. The academic experience at W&L is very much a two-way street, or better yet, a partnership. If you seem to be having an off week or two, it is very common to get an e-mail from a Professor or Advisor checking in to make sure everything is ok. Have your grades taken a hit? Professor’s will open their doors for extra help and office hours.

Knowing my Professor’s truly care instills in me a feeling of responsibility. I matter in the classroom, and that class time matters for my learning. You can’t phone it in at W&L, but once you get here, you won’t ever want to!

 

Relaxed atmoshpere

26 Feb

We have just returned from February Break. Personally, I spent mine relaxing and visiting my friends. It was a great time and I am thankful to have had the break, but I am also excited to be back at school with everyone. The nice thing about being back on campus and even being in classes is that the atmosphere, though serious, is relaxed. Every student works hard along with all the teachers and thanks to the honor system there is a huge amount of trust and a great relationship between the two. I was immediately reminded of this yesterday when my teacher taught us about Combinatorics (Math) with the aid of her dog. Yes, she gave her lecture while letting her dog roam the room. The feeling in the classroom was very relaxed and it was a nice way to ease back into school and the rigor of classes, and the dog was very cute. But it is not all fun and games, in that same class I have a problem set due tomorrow, so better finish that up. At least I have that dog to motivate me!

Honor.

14 Feb
Honor is everything at W&L

Honor is everything at W&L

From ‘The Honor System’ on the W&L website:

Honor is the moral cornerstone of Washington and Lee University. Commitment to honor is recognized by every student, faculty member, administrator, and staff member of the University. Honor provides the common thread woven through the many aspects of this institution and creates a community of trust and respect affecting fundamentally the relationships of all its members.

The centrality of honor at Washington and Lee is contained in its Honor System. The Board of Trustees has granted to students the privilege of overseeing the administration of the Honor System. The sole penalty for an Honor System violation is dismissal from the University. These responsibilities are administered by the Executive Committee of the Student Body, a group of students elected annually by their peers.

Academic life is essentially shaped by the commitment to honor. Assuming that students will behave honorably, the faculty grants flexibility in the scheduling of most final examinations, and all are taken without supervision. Take-home closed book examinations are a common occurrence. The pledge, “On my honor, I have neither given nor received any unacknowledged aid on this (exam, test, paper, etc.),” expresses the student’s promise that the work submitted is his or hers alone. Students’ dedication to honorable behavior creates a strong bond of trust among them and between them and the faculty. This student dedication and the bond that it engenders also provide the basis for the faculty’s commitment to accepting a student’s word without question.

The dedication to behave honorably is not confined to academic life. It is expected that students will respect each other’s word and intellectual and personal property in the residence halls and the Greek houses, on the playing field, in the city of Lexington, or wherever Washington and Lee students take themselves. This principled expectation provides the foundation for the community of trust which students seek to create not only in the academic sphere but in life outside it, as well.

The Honor System has been a unique feature of Washington and Lee University for well over a century. Thousands of students have lived under it while in residence, have been morally shaped by it, and as alumni and alumnae, continue to be guided by it in their professional lives. Current students are as committed to it as were those who lived and studied here before them, and they maintain with firm conviction this distinctive ideal of the University.

 

“On my honor, I have neither given nor received any unacknowledged aid on this blog post.” -Ali

SSA5

13 Feb
Aerial Dance at SSA

Aerial Dance at SSA

SSA, full name ‘Science, Society, and the Arts’ is our on-campus conference which allows students and faculty to share their various academic projects with the W&L community. this year it will be held March 7th and 8th and classes will be suspended on the 8th so that all students and faculty can attend.

From the SSA Website: Science, Society, and the Arts is a multi-disciplinary conference involving Washington and Lee undergraduates and law students in the presentation of their academic achievements before an audience of their peers and the faculty. Conference participants share their work via oral presentations, traditional academic-conference-style panels, poster sessions, artistic shows, or creative performances. Students, faculty, and staff may also choose to participate in colloquia organized around common readings proposed by interested Washington and Lee community members.

Feb Break (Perfect Timing)

11 Feb

The first half to the semester is coming to an end. This is the 6th week of the term and next week there are no classes due to Feb Break or Washington Break. It is so nice to have the semester split up into two and have a little break right in the middle. It allows each student to just relax and either get away from school, catch up on sleep or shows and even get ahead in some classes. Not only that, but since most other schools have class next week it gives students the chance to visit their friends at other universities when class is in session which is always pretty fun. Overall I must say that I am looking forward to the break, but I have to make it through this week. Midterms and Papers are hanging over us here so let’s get them done.

Something Random

29 Jan
2013-01-29_11-46-19_591

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.

In Praise of Honor

29 Jan

The subject line in the e-mail from my politics professor said “Stuck in Detroit.” Of course, everyone in my class was ecstatic; whenever a professor gets stuck in another city with no way to get back for class, it’s reason to celebrate (nothing against any professors or their classes). I had yet, however, to read the e-mail, which went on to say that although our awesome professor was unable to be in class, we were “honor-bound” to report to class as usual and do the assigned lesson. Naturally, my first reaction was “ughhhh, class?!” This was soon followed by a simple decision: I decided to go to class.

I showed up to class, and so did everyone else, and that is really powerful. It is not at many schools that students would show up to class despite the fact that their professor is absent. Everyone in my class showed up, and we all helped each other do the lesson, and thinking back on it, it truly is incredible that every person in our class was present. It is testament to the honor of our students and our school.