My Final Courses

imageMy final semester of college has officially begun. My course schedule is quite unique as three of the courses I am taking are outside of my major.

The first is “Philosophy of Sport” where we will look at the meaning of sport, addressing issues of metaphysics, ethics, gender, and race. I was driven to take the course because I enjoy the differing ideologies surrounding the problem of mind-body dualism addressed by René Descartes. So far, the course has proved to challenge my original understandings of what we define as a sport and who we identify as an athlete.

My second class is “Business & Entrepreneur History.” This economics course takes a historical approach to American entrepreneurs and businesses which have emerged since the seventeenth century. Despite being an anthropology major, the course sparked my interest as it focusses on the culture of entrepreneurship and the use of knowledge to identify opportunities for growth and expansion.

The third class I am taking this semester is “History of World Cinema.” Having taken “History of Photography” last semester, I wanted to learn about another visual medium, specifically that of film. The class involves two parts, one is watching fourteen different films, and the other is discussing the visual elements of the film. As someone who enjoys watching and reading about independent, foreign and artistic films, this course is a great way to further my knowledge base of important cinema.

Finally, and possibly the most important class of my entire college career is my senior seminar in anthropology. In many ways the seminar will serve as a finale to the sixteen different anthropology courses I have taken the past three years. But more importantly, it functions to engage us (the senior anthropology majors) to apply everything we have read, discussed and written about to the real world. To begin asking questions about our own culture and ideas. The seminar will revolve around the relationship between notions of nature and culture, a complex relationship we will work to interpret.

As I enter my second week of my final semester, I am excited by the diversity in the classes I am enrolled in. But that is the great thing about a liberal-arts education, you get to tailor your education to what interests you most.

And so begins “Spring Semester 2014!”

My (Academic) New Year’s Resolution

Untitled11While it is quite stressful to think about my final semester at Trinity, it is also important to set some goals and avoid the all too common plague of “senioritis,” something facing many high school seniors as well. To avoid this decrease in motivation toward academics, I find it helpful to pick a course and set a standard for myself.

Last semester my goal was to achieve the highest possible grades, in an effort to strengthen my grade point average. While your grade point average is just a number, it is often a factor which can set you apart from the competition, especially when it comes to applying for jobs. But for me, it was more personal. My goal is to graduate with a certain g.p.a., and in order to achieve that goal, I had to work diligently. It was a busy semester but the work paid off.

For my final semester at Trinity, my goal remains the same, but with one caveat. I am still working towards that cumulative g.p.a. but I am also going to incorporate a bit more fun into my final semester, to reconnect with people I haven’t seen in a while and continue to take advantage of the great opportunities in Hartford.

Here’s to a great spring semester!

A study place, a happy place

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Setting up to study in Seabury Hall

It is finals season again, which means it is one of my favorite times of the year at Trinity.

Over the past few years, studying for final exams has been more enjoyable than one might think. The best part of preparing for exams is finding the perfect spot to study. For many this spot on campus becomes their new home for a few hours, or even a few days.

During ‘Reading Days,’ the two days before exams officially start, students walk around campus and look for the perfect place to study, either alone or with a larger group. This year, in preparation for one of my anthropology exams, a group of friends and I spent the day in Seabury Hall. With lunch and dinner in hand, we set up shop in a large classroom, with each of us taking a different row of seats, allowing us to spread out and study our individual subjects.

In previous years, I have studied in a quiet corner of the library, or with classmates in Peter B’s, one of two coffee spots on campus, but this year it was our own personal classroom. Finding that perfect spot to study makes the process of studying so much more enjoyable.

Happy studying!

Field Trips in College

Being in college does not necessarily mean that field trips are a thing of the past.

BillingsForge_photoLast Monday, my Anthropology of Food course took a trip to Billings Forge Community Works to learn about how the organization works to promote access to healthy food and engage youth in nearby Frog Hollow. Our course has applied an anthropological lens to food, observing the different cultural influences when it comes to food. Most recently we have been focusing on food insecurity and poverty in the United States.

Our trip to Billings Forge Community Works, a short five-minute drive from Trinity, allowed us to learn about an organization which is engaging with the community to provide area residents with access to fresh, local foods. We took a tour of the property, learning about their community gardens, their venue space where they hold cooking classes and a weekly farmers’ market, and two amazing restaurants. One restaurant, called Firebox, is my favorite restaurant in Hartford, and the second is called The Kitchen, and is my favorite lunch spot.

Our field trip to Billings Forge Community Works was a great way to supplement what we had been learning in class with a nearby non-for-profit organization. Personally, it was great to learn about the mission of the restaurants I have been a patron of for several years. After our trip The Kitchen and Firebox remain my favorites.

Taking trips off campus are not unusual for courses at Trinity. As Trinity is located in the capital city of Hartford, there are a plethora of opportunities for courses to utilize resources off campus to add to your learning experience. Two different classes I took last year visited both the Trinfo Cafe (a local internet cafe where students teach computer literacy courses) and the Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy, located just across the street from Trinity’s athletic fields.

Trinity’s location in Hartford is one of the best aspects of Trinity, and is one of the reasons I decided to attend Trinity.

3 – 2 – 1 We are Live! Participating in the Live Chat

LiveChat_GroupPhotoI was fortunate enough to participate in the very first live video chat hosted by Trinity’s Admissions office. It was my first time being in front of the camera, even it was just a tiny web camera. For about 90 minutes, I sat with Dayana (DeeDee) Aleksandrova and Samia Kemal where we answered questions submitted by students interested in learning more about Trinity.

We answered questions ranging from, “Do [we] like the food?” to “What are the most popular majors?” and in-depth questions asking, “Is there a pre-med program? Is there a separate application?”

The short answers to those questions are: Yes, we do like the food. I have even spent upwards of four hours in Mather Dining Hall. Some of the popular majors include political science, economics, English, engineering – with four different areas of focus (electrical, mechanical, biomedical, and computer) and neuroscience. I would also say my major, Anthropology, is quite popular with many students taking the introductory class. Finally, Trinity has a great pre-med track, allowing students to accomplish the required courses while not forcing them into a certain major. For example, a person could be a history major and satisfy all of the pre-med requirements.

It was quite fun getting to talk about our individual experiences at Trinity. The “Lightning Round” of 10 questions in 10 minutes proved to be quite a challenge, as we all had different and unique experiences which would help us answer the different questions. In the end the “Lightning Round” ended up being about 20 minutes long, it was a fun challenge.

Be sure to check out the recorded live chat to see what questions were asked. And feel free to contact the admissions office if you have a question that was not asked.

 

Cheers,

Stephen

Back from Scotland

Having spent a semester abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland last spring, I had not been in Hartford since December 2012. Since returning, I am amazed with the physical changes to the campus.

Returning in August was bittersweet, not only because I was no longer in Scotland, but because it marked the start of my final year at this amazing school. Leading up to my return, I decided to bring only the essentials, packing the fewest clothes and even leaving some “essential” items at home so I could bring my bike and explore the surrounding areas as I had not done in past semesters. While exploring via bike is one of my goals for the semester, another goal is to experience all that Trinity has to offer. There are many great places for students to work, read, and socialize with both peers and professors that I want to explore and test out. Limiting the comforts of home in my dorm room has pushed me to accomplish such tasks as my Anthropology of Food reading in places like the newly renovated Gallows Hill, or watching the Emmys on the 60-inch television in the brand new Vernon Social Center instead of on my small 15-inch TV.

The improvements to campus are amazing, I now have a plethora of choices for where I can study and even hang out with friends. Although I must admit, with the days becoming shorter and cooler, I regret not bringing a heavier blanket. Perhaps a bike ride to Historic Wethersfield this weekend will solve this problem of mine.

As I meet many of the students from the Class of 2017, I encourage them all to get out and explore everything on campus and all of the great fall events in and around Hartford.