End of the Semester

The end of the semester and finals week is creeping closer. It can really sneak up on you, but if you prepare yourself and do not procrastinate, you’ll be on top of everything and it’ll be a breeze. Don’t let finals freak you out. Everyone survives them, and you can too!

Academic Advising Week and Housing Applications

It is already that point in the year when we get to pick classes and housing for next year. It is a lot of decision making all at once, but it is also exciting to look ahead and make plans. There are also a lot more opportunities for classes, roommates, and dorms after you’ve been here a year and get to apply for everything in person. Here’s some information and advice on how its different from the summer before your freshman year, and what you do to make sure everything is all set up.

Special Education Observation

I know I talk a lot about how amazing the education program is, but it is, so I will continue the trend of talking about education because how could anyone even get to college without teachers? Teachers are the driving force of our nation, but I digress. For the education program, students have to get observation hours in different classroom settings for some of the classes, so I did my special education observation this week while on Spring break. I went to a school in Michigan (because that is where I am from) and observed a special education teacher at Lakeview High School. While most people would probably not enjoy going to a high school for fifteen hours during Spring break (not that this is the only time to get observations), it was still a very interesting and educational experience, as I have almost no experience with public schools or special education. more “Special Education Observation”

Sociology of Aging

Last weekend, I was able to participate in one of the most meaningful conversations I have had in quite awhile.  For my sociology of aging class, my professor assigned the students to interview a person 65 years or older.  At first, the task did not seem very intriguing because I knew I would have to write an eight page reflection on it afterward.  To my surprise, I enjoyed the whole thing.

I decided to interview one of my great aunts.  To my surprise once again, the conversation was seemingly effortless for over an hour and a half.  Because I had prepared plenty of questions ahead of time, and due to the fact that my aunt was ecstatic to share her life story, we had absolutely no problem talking about everything and anything.

Even though it was a very enjoyable exchange, I had to bring up some pretty difficult questions.  For example, because I was writing my reflection for my sociology of aging class, I needed to ask her about some of the hardships she has faced during her aging process.  Unfortunately, this included the death of her spouse and one of her sons.  I found it difficult to make sure I was staying respectful of her feelings towards these events, while still realistically learning about the challenges of getting older.

I couldn’t believe the responses that I was getting from my aunt.  She told me about how she and my uncle met, and I could sense the free and happy spirit she had about all of it.  She told me she has no idea what would have happened to her if my family (whom she married into and absolutely loved) wouldn’t have become part of her life.

Assignments like these happen once in a lifetime, and I will always appreciate the fact that I was able to have such a deep and meaningful conversation with a family member that I likely never would have otherwise.

The Joy of Math Classes

Perhaps you think I’m being sarcastic.. math classes can’t possibly be a joy, can they?  To be honest, there’s not a lot I was looking forward to less than having to take my first math class in college.  Even though I took a statistics class during my senior year of high school, I was pretty worried about what it would be like to take a similar class in college.

And to my surprise, the class hasn’t been overwhelming in the least.  I have had no problem following along with the problems that are being worked out in class, and I actually don’t mind doing my homework.  Being a science major, I’m not used to being able to check off anything when it comes to doing my homework/studying, because a majority of my science classes just include reading assignments, followed by the quiz or exam in class.  On the other hand, when I want to be able to feel a little more accomplished than finish readings, it’s really nice to do something as black and white as math problems.

Another wonderful aspect about my statistics class is that it has allowed me to have an opportunity to work out problems with some of my friends.  It has been pretty nice to be able to make study sheets with my classmates and to struggle through calculations together.  This has also given me the opportunity to succeed in an area where I didn’t believe I had much strength.  Math has always been the subject that I can only do really well if I put all of my effort into it.

After getting 100% on both of my first two exams in the class, I have a newfound confidence in a subject that usually gives me anxiety.

New Testament and Coffee

As a Lutheran Education major and a Theology minor, I take some extra religion courses that the rest of the student body do not partake in. One of the ones that is definitely a blessing is New Testament with Dr. Paavola. He is one of the most energetic professors I have met which is likely do to the amount of coffee he consumes each day. My class is not until 4:00pm, and by that point he has drunk so much coffee that he is bouncing off of the walls. It makes class much more interesting, not that he wouldn’t be without the coffee because he is constantly telling interesting stories, relating the conversation to us, and directly talking to each person in the class using their name. more “New Testament and Coffee”