First-Year Seminar


FYS Class Shield, Fall 2013

FYS Class Shield, Fall 2013

This fall term, I’m teaching a First-Year Seminar. In a lot of ways, this is my academic career come full circle. As a first year student myself many years ago, I had an Introduction to College Life course entitled “Learning in Common,” better known as “LinC” in MoCo lingo. This class did change my life. I had a professor who challenged me every class period. I was exposed to the true meaning of a liberal arts education. I had a student advisor who I felt truly cared about me and honestly helped me to be the person I am today. He helped me learn to speak up, to voice my thoughts, to participate in discussions and debates, to be energetic and outgoing. All of these things were not part of my nature as an unfailingly shy introvert (which I am to this day, unbeknownst to many–he helped me become that good at hiding it). As a sophomore, I applied to be a student advisor myself, and I was accepted into the program. For three years, I was an SA.

For many years, I’ve thought back to the first college courses I taught (well, co-taught with a faculty advisor). They were fun, but they weren’t quite the course I’d taken. This year, it’s my turn to be the lead. This year, I have my own FYS. It’s called, “What’s my place: Young Adult Fiction and Liberal Arts.” We’re reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, The Giver, and Divergent. These books share similar themes of coming of age, being categorized (stigmatized?) for life via a formal ceremony, and they all embody a liberal arts education in meaningful ways (when we look behind the teenage drama).

As part of the course, I’ve designed my own ceremony, just for these students. As part of that, I’ve commissioned a class crest. It’s that great big, beautiful image at the top of this post. My talented freelancing graphic artists sister created this for me. It has each “category” a student could be described as.

I am so looking forward to this class. It’s the joy in my life right now, and I hope it continuous to be.

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