Usdan’s 10th Anniversary Celebration!

Wes Students –

Mark your calendar for September 7th, 11am – 3pm, for the Usdan University Center’s 10th Anniversary celebrating the Center and Student Life.  This is the perfect opportunity to learn more about this amazing building by informing yourself about the rooms and services it can provide you throughout the year.  Review a display of the history of campus centers at Wesleyan – Downey House (1936), The Davenport Campus Center (1984), and now Usdan (2007).  Have a piece of Anniversary cake, and earn a chance to spin the prize wheel throughout the afternoon.  Listen to music from 2007 in the dining bay.  This is a must do event for your first week back on campus, and a great break from chasing classes.

Volunteer Opportunities to Teach English, Spanish and French!

Volunteer with ESL (English as a Second Language) children in the Middletown Public School System

  • Provide academic instruction and support to children at Woodrow Wilson Middle School (WWMS) as they continue to hone their English language skills
  • Help them with day to day assignments and classroom activities
  • Knowledge of Spanish / Arabic preferred, but not required
  • Minimum commitment: ~2 hours per week, between 8:30 am and 2:30 pm (WWMS school hours), preferably over the whole 2017-2018 academic year

Informational meeting: Friday Sept. 9, at 3:00 pm (to be confirmed)

For further information, please contact Phoebe Howe (phhowe@wesleyan.edu)

Teach elementary Spanish / French to Middletown children (ages 4-7) at the Russell Library

(“Speak like Babar” / “Speak like Dora”)

  • Limited to 4 volunteers who will be enrolled in a French/Spanish class 221 or above (2 French/2 Spanish)
  • Commitment: 1 hour on Saturday (12-2 pm, October and November), plus several sessions to prepare lessons

For further information, please contact Prof. Ana Pérez-Gironés (aperezgirone@wesleyan.edu )

Theater: Auditions for “The Pillowman”–9/8 and 9/9

Wesleyan Theater Presents

Our production this fall is The Pillowman by Martin McDonough. Here is a note from the director, Visiting Professor-of-Practice Eddie Torres:

“In a world of violence, mistrust and apathy, the state of justice is struggling to survive in the wake of the Pillowman. Come out and take a stand…. AUDITION!”

A brief comment about the play from http://stageagent.com/shows/play/1434/the-pillowman: “This brutal dark comedy from Martin McDonagh, the master of the horror-comedy, poses unanswerable questions: Can stories hold the power to cause atrocities? Where is the line between truth and fairy tale? Is a life of horror worth living at all? Drawing on inspiration as diverse as Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Kafka, and Antonin Artaud, The Pillowman is a dark, twisty, and utterly unforgettable masterpiece from one of Ireland’s most treasured writers.”

All students are encouraged to audition, no matter of experience or academic focus. We would like to have as diverse a pool of talent as possible from throughout the Wesleyan student community.

Auditions: Friday September 8 & Saturday September 9

1pm to 6pm

Theater Studio (TST 001)

Lower Level in Theater Studios Building (#31 on campus map)

Link to audition sign up and script sides on wesleyan.edu/theater

Questions about Pillowman auditions? Email Stage Manager Zack Lobel (zlobel@wesleyan.edu)

 

Course with Seats: MUSC 109–Experimental Music

Introduction to Experimental Music (MUSC 109)

Fall 2017; Tuesdays & Thursdays, 2:50 p.m. – 4:10 p.m., RHH 003

This course is a survey of recent and historical electronic and instrumental experimental works, with emphasis on the works of American composers. Starting with early experimentalists, germinal works of John Cage and Henry Cowell, Earle Brown, Christian Wolff, and Morton Feldman will be studied; followed by electronic and minimal works of La Monte Young, Terry Riley, David Behrman, Gordon Mumma, Alvin Lucier Robert Ashley, Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Meredith Monk, Laurie Anderson, Arthur Russell, John Zorn, Julius Eastman and including discussions of recent work by composers, performers, and sound artists such as Pamela Z, Tristan Perich, Jacob Cooper, Lesley Flanigan,  Nick Hallett, Jace Clayton (DJ /rupture), Jennifer Walshe, and Object Collection. The course includes lectures, demonstrations, and performances, occasionally by guest lecturers.

Financial Aid Office: Info Session & Money Matters Orientation Workshops

The Financial Aid Office extends a hearty welcome to the Class of 2021!  Our office is responsible for the administration of scholarships, loans and work-study employment. We offer individual loan counseling and financial literacy workshops to interested students and provide guidance on the financial implications involved with taking a leave of absence or studying abroad.  Our office is located on the 2nd floor of North College.  Please feel free to drop by at anytime!  Our office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30am – 5pm.  You can also reach us by phone at (860) 685-2800 or by email at finaid@wesleyan.edu.

To help you navigate the financial aid process and gain a better understanding of how financial aid at Wesleyan works, please join us for one of our Financial Aid Information sessions being held during orientation.  The sessions will be offered on Thursday, 8/31 at 3pm and 3:30pm in the Woodhead Lounge (next to the Exley Science Center).  Come meet Michelle Jarvis, the Class of 2021 financial aid director!  Michelle will be working with many of you throughout your years at Wesleyan.

In addition to the information sessions, the Money Matters workshop will be held in Exley 150 on Thursday, 8/31 at 2pm and on Friday, 9/1 at 10am.  The Money Matters program will provide you with valuable information regarding the process for securing a job and getting paid!  The session will also provide an overview of your student account statement, noting important billing deadlines.  A review of the charging privileges offered through your student account will also be included.  Open to all students, the Money Matters session is required of all financial aid recipients.

Should you have any questions concerning your financial aid or experience financial challenges throughout the year, please do not hesitate to contact us.  We look forward to working with you over the next four years!

 

Seats Available in FYS Course: Ethnicity, Race & Religion in the Middle Ages

Why does some characters’ skin change color in medieval romances? What did Ghenghis Khan’s family think about Europeans? And why do US white supremacist groups wear symbols from the twelfth-century crusade era? These are all different kinds of questions, but we address them in:

English 153, “Ethnicity, Race, and Religion in the Middle Ages.”

Professor Ruth Nisse     MW 1:20-2:40PM

This course concerns the invention of premodern ideas of ethnicity and race. Our focus will be on a selection of medieval texts dealing with the encounters–real and imaginary–of Western European Christians with other cultures, from the Celtic borderlands to the Mongol Empire. The readings will begin historically with the Crusades and the (often grisly) chronicles written by Christian, Muslim, and Jewish authors. Other genres will include religious polemics, autobiographical narratives of religious conversion, and travel accounts by missionaries, spies, and colonial propagandists. We will also read some later “romances” that re-imagine the crusades in terms of exoticized sexuality, racial transformation, cannibalism, and nationalist fantasy.

Pre-Health Information Workshops during Orientation

HEALTH PROFESSIONS ADVISING FOR THE CLASS OF 2021

Gordon Career Center

Thinking about a career in medicine, dentistry, optometry, veterinary science or any other health profession?

Health Professions Advising in the Gordon Career Center offers individual advising, workshops, and information sessions to prepare students for the health professions application process. First-year students interested in health professions are encouraged to attend these upcoming sessions:

INFORMATION SESSIONS

Session 1: August 31, 11:00-11:30 AM, Gordon Career Center, Boger Hall

Attend this session, if you are interested in preparing to apply to medical, dental, veterinary, or any other health profession program. Mildred Rodriguez, Health Professions Advisor, will provide information on the pre-requisite courses and suggest ideas on how to improve your candidacy by developing a manageable schedule for your transition to college.

Session 2:  September 1, 10:00-11:00 AM, Gordon Career Center, Boger Hall

Attend this session, if you are interested in preparing to apply to medical, dental, veterinary, or any other health profession program in the future. Get an overview of the preparation for the health professions including information on pre-requisites, community involvement, clinical/shadowing exposure, summer enrichment programs, etc.

DROP-IN HOURS

Health Professions Advising Drop-in Hours, August 31, 1:30-4:00 PM

If you are considering health professions and have questions about course selection come in for a drop-in appointment.  You may call ahead to reserve a slot (860) 685-2180 or stop by the Gordon Career Center in Boger Hall.

 

Advice from a former Peer Advisor: Don’t Be Nervous!

Peer Advisor Rachel Earnhardt ’17 wrote this for the incoming Class of 2020, but good advice never gets old!

It was in the Container Store, standing among clearance laundry baskets and desk organizing supplies sometime in early August, that I had a *minor* meltdown about starting college. Somehow, browsing for reasonably priced, but sturdy dorm necessities had made college feel so suddenly imminent and terrifying. If you find yourself having a similar experience, whether it be in Target or Bed Bath & Beyond or anywhere else really, I’m here to say that’s completely normal.

If you are totally chill and prepped and ready for college, then I envy you. Likely though, if you have traversed the internet to find this humble peer advisor blog post titled “Don’t be Nervous,” you are feeling anxious or excited or overwhelmed or some combination about starting college and would like to hear from some “wise” not much older soul who’s been there. I hope you find my personal narrative and unsolicited advice reassuring.

Okay, let’s rewind to the weeks leading up to the Container Store Incident. The summer before my first year at Wesleyan, I had my first real job working as an assistant camp instructor at the natural science museum. For several weeks, I stayed gloriously busy doing bug-themed crafts and making dinosaur footprint cookies and leading nature hikes and deliberating about how long I could avoid washing my staff shirt, but then, abruptly, camp ended. And the whole month of August was empty. It stretched out…a painfully open, unplanned void. This unscheduled month meant that I had four weeks with nothing to do other than think about heading off to college.

Let us rewind a bit more to April of my senior year. I had made an exhaustive spreadsheet, titled “The Decider.” With nearly 25 categories (like food, climate, “do I have to take a math class?”, faculty to student ratio, etc) I had meticulously input data about all the schools to which I had been accepted. I had been blessed with several wonderful options, many very similar to Wesleyan. But after careful analysis, Wes emerged as the clear choice. The last (and most important) category of my spreadsheet was titled “good vibes?” Next to other colleges, I wrote things like “too cold” and “too radical.” By Wesleyan, I had written the succinct, but completely confident: “Yeah.”

Yet still, even though I had penned this definitive assessment and highlighted the Wesleyan column in green on the spreadsheet, sent in my deposit, and bought my “Wesleyan Girls: Making Connecticut Beautiful Everyday” shirt, throughout the month of August, I woke up wondering. Wondering about each of the other schools from my spreadsheet, and even ones that I had not even applied to. For example, I had to remind myself that I crossed colleges in the state of Minnesota off my list for a reason (I’m sure it’s a great state, but I’m from the South and I’ve always just pictured a frozen hellscape). In retrospect, I realize that channeling my energy into my college choice stemmed from a general anxiety about going 900 miles away for school, where I didn’t know anyone.

Side note: It was also in August 2013 that I discovered College Confidential, which is sort of the underbelly of the internet. I stayed up for hours consuming the crowd-sourced anxiety about selecting a school and prepping for college. I also read countless Buzzfeed articles and mediocre blogs about the first year of college. *This was ultimately counterproductive and I do not recommend it.

But back to the story, fast-forwarding a bit to late August. After returning several items purchased in the heat of the moment to the Container Store, I had acquired everything on the packing list (and a bunch of things I didn’t need). We packed the car and began the eleven-hour drive from North Carolina to Connecticut.

I arrived in Middletown the day before move-in and led my parents on a tour of my new home. Draped in the flowers of late summer, the verdant campus was even more welcoming that it had been during our first encounter. (Okay, here comes the corny part): As I stood on the top of Foss hill looking out at College Row under the dome of blue sky, I knew that I would have the incredible opportunity to grow in profound ways over the next four years. I had picked a wonderful place to learn and prepare to make positive impact in the world.

I would be lying if I said that every ounce of anxiety evaporated during the first days or weeks or even months on campus. Eventually, I found my community and I can confidently predict that you will, too. Here is a whole paragraph of encouraging, very sincere reassurance:

If you are wondering if Wesleyan made a mistake admitting you: they didn’t. Or if you made a mistake in choosing it: you didn’t.  You are intelligent and capable. You will be surrounded by 780 interesting, smart, creative, idealistic people in your first year class. You will be able to find common ground with plenty of other people (even if you may not find those souls on your hall). It may take a few days or weeks or months, but you will meet friends and find professors with whom you connect. You may get overwhelmed by the coursework or, on the other end of the spectrum, find that some your courses are not what you expected, but there are plenty of people around to commiserate with and more importantly, to provide support and guidance. You will change your mind and your major and likely your haircut several times…and that’s all expected and celebrated!

Because I didn’t know where else to put it—here it is the obligatory list of unsolicited advice about preparing for college/the first few weeks (in no particular order) that you will probably ignore:

  • Go to different club meetings and activities. It might take a little time, but you will meet people who share your interests. I don’t want to minimize your unique personality, but there are plenty of other folks who are interested in science AND movies!! And yes, there will be at least one other person interested in starting a band.
  • Your hall will likely fuse together for a few days. That’s totally normal. Try to expand a little…Ask people from your classes or activities to lunch or coffee or to the Film Series or a WesBAM class. (Please feel free to contact me for other friend date suggestions.)
  • If you are unsure about ANYTHING, reach out to the peer advisors, the RAs, CAPS, OSRL, the deans, your orientation leaders or any the other groovy resources available.
  • Orientation specific: Go to all the events! Maybe you feel like you met your new bae or best friend and you will never hang out again if you separate to go to the meetings….but more than likely, you will learn something important at the orientation event.
  • Real talk: Across the nation, the first two months of the fall semester see an unsettling spike in alcohol hospitalizations. Please, please take care of each other.
  • Your residential advisors and orientation leaders are so excited to welcome you to campus. Maybe you don’t connect with them on a spiritual level and that’s totally fine.
  • ******Academics don’t happen in a vacuum. Your emotional, physical and mental well-being are all intimately a part of your experience and affect your ability to succeed (whatever success means to you). ******

So let’s wrap up. You’ll recall several paragraphs ago I explained that in my spreadsheet, by Wesleyan I had written: “Yeah.” I will now artfully use that as a nice frame for this post.

Is there an expansive network of resources and people (students, faculty, staff, peer advisors, the list goes on…) to support you throughout your Wesleyan journey so that you can get the most out your time here and go on to be a thoughtful and engaged citizen? Is the entire Wesleyan community so jazzed to have you join us?

Yeah!!!!!!!

The title of the post is “don’t be nervous,” but I had plenty of people tell me that and I didn’t listen. If you’re nervous, there’s not much I can say to change that. Nervous or not, either way, you will arrive in Middletown… and more than likely you will thrive here.

So, again, if in the next couple weeks you have any moments of doubt or anxiety or maybe you just get so excited you can’t breath, please feel free to reach out to the peer advisors (or one of the many aforementioned resources).

And of course, I invite you to have a last minute existential crisis in your local dorm supply depot. It can be quite cathartic.