Tag Archives: Classes

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!

 

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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!

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.

New Recruits

28 Jan

Seniors from High School are not the only people that want to come to Washington and Lee. There are also transfers and a number of students from abroad. But the people I want to talk about are the people who could be teaching you in the next few years, the teachers. I am a Math Major and currently the Math department is looking for a new teacher. Any guesses on how many applications have been received…. Almost. The number is over 500, around 575 I believe. Not the best chances to get the job, but the great thing about being at W&L is that for many students they get a chance to help their given departments. I was lucky enough to take one of the people interviewing for the job position in the Math department to lunch. It was a lot of fun and quite the honor. It shows you just how much the faculty and school value the opinions of the students because afterwards I had to give a report on the perspective teacher. (Overall, he passed with flying colors) So not only can you be involved with the teachers at the school now when at W&L, but you can help the school pick its teachers for the future!

Back At It

10 Jan

The first week back at school is hard strictly because you have to get right back in the swing of things. Needless to say though, I, along with all my peers, have settled in and we are developing our routines. It’s exciting! We all have new classes and right now we have formal recruitment. Although I am a math major and I am taking two math classes, I am able to take different types of classes here because of the liberal arts environment at W&L. I enjoy math, but I think my favorite class this year might be my Shakespeare class. Not only is it a tad bit different then proof based math, but it allows me to be a little more creative. We will see though! Giving a tour this Saturday, looking forward to seeing the new faces!

2013 on our minds…

22 Oct

When I arrived at W&L in September 2009, I thought 2013 was forever away. But just as every upperclassman warned me, my years at W&L would fly by faster than I could ever imagine. Last Thursday, the Registrar released the Winter Term Course Listings in preparation for next week’s undergraduate registration process. I’m always SO excited to see which classes I can take next term, but seeing 2013 at the top of the page definitely threw me for a loop. Seriously, where has the time gone?! Well, at least the Registrar consoles us by allowing seniors to register first!

You Know It’s Spring Term When…

24 Apr

Spring Term officially began yesterday, but I already know exactly what every upperclassmen has tried to describe to me since I first looked at W&L as a college option.

I do not spend my lunch hour in D-Hall like Fall and Winter Term, but instead in spin class with an amazing teacher, Rob. I do not sit in a classroom during my afternoons, but instead sit on a mat in the meditation room at the Bodhi Path Buddhist Center just outside of town. And my evenings hours do not tick by in Leyburn Library, but instead I get to experience yoga with Don (which, trust me, is no easy feat). I am actively participating in something, instead of sitting in a classroom, passively learning. It is kind of like riding on a motorcycle while on the highway.

“On a cycle the frame is gone. You’re completely in contact with it all. You’re in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming. That concrete whizzing by five inches below your foot is the real thing, the same stuff you walk on, it’s right there, so blurred you can’t focus on it, yet you can put your foot down and touch it anytime, and the whole thing, the whole experience, is never removed from immediate consciousness.” -Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Spring Term is one of the most appealing and interesting things about W&L. Whether you are in Lexington with me or studying economics in Ghana, you are doing something special and unique. You are actively a part of the learning experience, you make the class what it is.

So, if you want a little piece of MY Spring Term experience then pick up a copy of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values by Robert M. Pirsig at your local bookstore.