Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Beginning of the Last Semester

Well, I have been meaning to expand on my last semester of senior year, but the fact that I have not should clue you in on how busy the semester has been. I am taking four classes, am very involved in a club, WES (Women's Empowerment Society), work 2 jobs, and am an RA. Along with having a social life, you can imagine why I haven't had time to write about the beginning of my semester.

First off, my classes. I have found that I really emulate the motto "go hard or go home". I am taking a semi difficult load of classes. One class is a Native American History course with one of the more renowned professors at my college. This class has already been quite the learning experience and is probably my favorite class. There is a lot of reading, but all has been very interesting. I just finished the first assigned book today: Native American Testimony by Peter Nabokov. I have to take a lot of notes on the reading which I am not used to, but I have realized that taking these notes will help in the long run. We have to do weekly journals where we discuss the overall theme of the week's reading, the major theme and the insights that we had. Having these written notes has already earned me an A+ on the first paper. The next book that I will begin reading is: Custer Died For Your Sins by Vine Deloria, Jr. That book needs to be finished by next Thursday, but I am excited to begin reading the book.

The next class I have is Sustainable Development. This class is not quite what I expected the class to be, but I think that I am getting the hang of the class. The readings are sometimes really dense, but last week in class we brought that fact up to the Professor and she agreed and acknowledged our concerns, at least she understands. This class is also an intensive note-taking class. Every Thursday we need to hand in notecards on each reading that includes an overall thesis, two supporting sentences and then a few sentences on the insights we had from the readings. Taking notes in a similar fashion to the Native American class helps me to gather my thoughts and figure out the overall theme for my notecards. After receiving my first set of notecards today and getting As on all of them, I figure I am heading in the right direction.

My other class is Environmental Film Colloquium. This class has discussed the variety of definitions about ecocinema which was a genre of cinema that I did not now existed. We have looked at a variety of films and discussed how they relate to the environment and how they are important. We do a blog post every week about our in class discussions and our readings, which have been very interesting. There have been a lot of ways that people critique films and suggest a different view which I had never thought about before. This class has definitely helped me to embrace my open-minded nature. This coming Friday will begin the Environmental Film festival and as part of the class we are required to go to every movie screening and blog about the movies that we see. Maybe I will include some of my class blogs here. Either way I am excited to see all of the movies, I usually only see about one or two year. Being required to go to all of these movies for a week each night will put a bit of a crunch in my schedule, but I am hoping to get a head with the two classes I mentioned above!

My last class is Environmental Education. I am very excited to be in this class because at this point in my life I believe that this is the direction that I would like to go. This class only meets once a week, so I have only been twice but each time I go I am very pleased with my experience. We play a lot of games and we learned last week about constructivist classrooms, which I found utterly fascinating. We do not have class this upcoming Friday which is awesome, because I can focus on getting ahead for my other classes. In two weeks we will begin working on getting certified for ProjectWILD. Which I am quite excited for!

I was a little worried that I wasn't going to be able to handle the course load along with my work and RA position. I seem to feel this at the beginning of every semester and even when I started a new job (happened this summer as my Aunt can tell you). Of course this feeling was amplified when I got sick the second week of school. So of course a lot of my time was spent trying to rest and doing work under the haze of sickness. I did fall a little behind which made me really unsure whether I was going to be able to handle the pressures of this semester. Now being in the third week, I feel a lot better about my schedule and my course load. I am sure being healthy helps! Receiving my grades from last weeks assignments probably helped me to realize that I could handle everything. I was able to get really good grades even through I as sick. If I can do A work when I am sick, then I can definitely do A work when I am healthy. 

Well, this is enough for one blog post, but I will write more on how my RA life is going and my thoughts on the last semester I will have with WES. Until next time.

Much Love,

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