Deadline for Course Registration Preferences — August 1, 5 p.m.

The time is drawing near to submit your ranked preferences for seven First Year Seminars and seven intro/general courses.  Check that you have a balanced schedule and that your plan of study:

  • has three of four courses in each of the three divisions (NSM, SBS, HA);
  • includes at least one in a subject you love and at least one in a new area to explore;
  • is distributed over the week and within the day (not all jammed up together);
  • has diversity in size and and format (small seminar, bigger lecture); and
  • has courses with different kinds of assignments/assessments.

If your interests lie with a more structured major, keep an eye on the introductory/gateway course, but other than that explore, explore, explore.  Take advantage of Wesleyan’s great liberal arts curriculum, and you will begin fulfilling the GenEd Expectations and refining your Competencies (see 7/26 posting).

On Thursday, the second day of orientation, you will be meeting with your faculty advisor, who needs to approve your plan to make it official.  You may revise your plan after that discussion or after you talk to department faculty at the Academic Forum that afternoon.  You can make these course changes during the Adjustment Period the next day on Friday morning and/or during the Drop/Add period, which runs through the first two weeks of classes.

So don’t sweat it now.  Read the Advising Guidelines, view the videos, and enjoy your exploration of WesMaps, Wesvising, and the planning process.  Then press submit!

Check your WesPortal after 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, August 22 for the results of the scheduling program—your course enrollments for the semester.  You will also see your faculty advisor assignment as well .

The Four Competencies at Wesleyan

COMPETENCIES AT WESLEYAN:  Approaches to Consider in Your Plan of Study

Flexible Framework for Considering Competencies

While at Wesleyan, students engage in the deep study of an academic field once they have declared a major, and they develop academic breadth through their general education coursework. In addition, they will also build broad, interdisciplinary skills through all of their curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular activities. Wesleyan has developed a flexible framework built on four competencies to allow students to engage voluntarily in a process of reflection (both in conjunction with advisors and on their own).

The four competencies:

  • Mapping = navigating complex environments (NCE)
  • Expressing = writing, expressing, communicating (WEC)
  • Mining = quantitative analysis and interpretation (QAI)
  • Engaging = negotiating intercultural differences (NID)

Mapping = Navigating Complex Environments (NCE)

Mapping is defined as the ability to examine the relationship of objects and spaces in the material and imagined worlds. It involves developing tools to create, manipulate, and navigate constructed and natural environments and charting movement through and interactions with space and its consequences.

Mapping courses may include courses across the curriculum, from the arts (e.g., dance, studio art, and art history), to the natural sciences and mathematics, as well as courses from interdisciplinary programs. Example skills include typography, computation, material science, modeling, and mapping.

Expressing = Writing, Expressing, Communicating (WEC)

Expressing is defined as the ability to express thoughts, ideas, and emotions to others effectively and concisely through a variety of media.

Expressing courses are principally but not solely in the humanities, arts, and social and behavioral sciences. These courses assign written, verbal, and creative projects, and performances that help students develop their ability to express thoughts and ideas to others.

Mining = Quantitative Analysis and Intepretation (QAI)

Mining is defined as the ability to use numerical ideas and methods to describe and analyze quantifiable phenomena. It involves learning about the measurement, analysis, summary, and presentation of information, including about the natural world, as well as answering questions, solving problems, making predictions, and testing and constructing theories by employing mathematical, statistical, logical, and scientific reasoning.

Mining courses are principally but not solely in mathematics, natural sciences, and social and behavioral sciences.

Engaging = Negotiating Intercultural Differences (NID)

Engaging is defined as the ability to comprehend and respect diverse cultural heritages and perspectives in relation to their wider historical and social contexts. It involves reading, speaking, or understanding a second or third language (contemporary or classical); gaining experience working, studying, or traveling abroad or in other unfamiliar cultural contexts; and participating in the political and social life of local and global communities.

Engaging courses may include courses across the curriculum, from language, literature, and culture courses, to courses in history, science in society, religion, government, and philosophy, among other areas.

Why Foreign Language Study is A Good Idea for Every Student!

Dean’s Note:  This is a great piece about the benefits of foreign-language study at Wesleyan.  As entering first-years, you are in a prime position either to begin a new language, especially if you want to reach the level needed to study in a country whose language Wes teaches, or to build upon your previous learning for greater fluency and deeper cultural immersion.

Why Foreign-Language Study is a Good Idea for Every Student  

We assume if you have reasons to learn a particular language (to study, work, travel, or live abroad or for resources not fully available in English translation), you already know why it is important. Here are reasons to study any language besides English or whatever you regard as your native language:

  1. Many employers, professional schools, and graduate schools see serious study of a second language (potentially, a double-major) as evidence that you can (a) put yourself more easily in others’ (colleagues’, clients’) shoes and (b) communicate more effectively even in English.
  2. You will never know your own language and culture more deeply than by studying another–by looking at it from the outside. Learning to thrive with the unfamiliar is often linked to creativity in many intellectual and professional contexts.
  3. Language learning teaches you to think more clearly and sharpens your brain’s ability to make sense of the world.
  4. Deep study of another culture through its language brings home how much of value will never be made available in English.
  5. Puzzling out another language and culture will help you understand (and empathize with) the difficulties of non-anglophone immigrants, colleagues, clients, and travelers in the U.S., even if you never leave American shores.
  6. Learning another language well makes it easier to learn any language in the future. Even if you never need this, the experience–especially if you study abroad–will make you far more confident in your ability to face any intellectual or professional challenge.  
  7. Foreign-language courses fit easily into study plans: offered on highly varied schedules, they provide a stimulating (and fun!) break from problem-set driven, heavy-reading or arts courses.

Wesleyan offers:

Arabic language and culture: http://www.wesleyan.edu/academics/faculty/aaissa/profile.html

American Sign Language: http://www.wesleyan.edu/lctls/courses.html

Classics (Greek and Latin): http://wesleyan.edu/classics/

East Asian Studies (Chinese, Japanese, Korean): http://wesleyan.edu/ceas/

German studies: http://wesleyan.edu/german/

Hebrew language and culture: http://www.wesleyan.edu/academics/faculty/dkatz01/profile.html

Romance Languages & Literatures (French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish): http://wesleyan.edu/romance/

Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies program: http://wesleyan.edu/russian/

Any other language: http://www.wesleyan.edu/lctls/silp.html

Take the Placement Exam if you have questions about the level at which you should begin, and if you have questions prior to your meeting with your faculty advisor, do not hesitate to contact Dean Brown’s office at 860-685-2758 with questions.

 

Another New FYS!

Check out another new addition to the First Year Seminars!

AMST119.01 Reading Difference

Also, check out, if you have not already, the newly-p0sted course being taught in FILM by Michael Pope, the long-time collaborator of Amanda Palmer (of Dresden Dolls), called the “The Art of Doing,” then definitely do so.  It is a Permission-of-Instructor course and applications are due August 15.

New Course: “The Art of Doing: Creative Project Production and Making It Happen”

New First Year Seminar Course Options!

Below are some additional First Year Seminar Courses for you to consider that have been added since pre-registration started.  Update your ranked FYS list before 5 p.m. on Tuesday, August 1, if you are interested in any of them.

GRST230.01 The Simple Life

PHIL207.01 Live Like a Philosopher

ENGL190.01 Place, Character, and Design: Techniques in Writing Nonfiction and Fiction

ENGL176.01 August Wilson

 

 

 

 

New Course: “The Art of Doing: Creative Project Production and Making It Happen”

This new course will be hosted by Film and taught by Wes alumna Amanda Palmer’s long-time collaborator, Michael Pope. (If you are not familiar with Amanda Palmer’s work, you can check her out here: http://amandapalmer.net/)

It is a Permission of Instructor (POI) course with notification of admission on August 31.

Title: “The Art of Doing: Creative Project Production and Making It Happen”

Instructors: Michael Pope with Amanda Palmer

Description:

Students learn collaborative creative super filmmaking powers before being dropped off on a metaphoric desert island with nothing but a camera phone and a song. Beauty Ensues.  This studio class will focus on non-traditional video production techniques towards a final project of a class-created music video featuring music and performance by Amanda Palmer. Students will co-create every aspect of this video, from conceptualization to editing to screening, with the final product being released to her Patreon community.

The course seeks to illuminate the creative process by way of mindful reflection, and physical training to promote creative cooperation between various artistic mediums. Students are expected to participate in team building physical exercises inspired by physical theater, Butoh and some physical meditations. Meaning:  Students will be be expected to participate in physical activity that includes jumping, running, yelling, and the like.

The course will allow us to sketch answers to questions like these, among others: How do you forge creative collaborations that allow you to realize your projects and that create the best conditions for your creative work? How do you raise awareness about your creative projects?

Taught by director Michael Pope who has shot, cut and directed the music videos for The Dresden Dolls and Amanda Palmer’s first solo album (Who Killed Amanda Palmer), in collaboration with Amanda Palmer as visiting co-creator, the course will culminate in a screening of the class-created video that will be part of a Wesleyan-hosted Amanda Palmer concert on Dec 9.

No prior film or video-making experience required, though all students seeking admission to the course are required to submit an application.

Only serious, fully engaged and enthusiastic students should apply. Students must commit to shooting the weekend of Nov. 17-18-19 and must be available all day Sat. and Sun. Nov. 18 and 19.

Students will be required to apply for this course by August 15. They will be notified of admission to the course by August 31.

Course enrollment limit: 15 (all class years allowed)

Grading mode: Cr/U for final grades. Students will be given an indication of whether they are passing the course by midterm.

Major Readings: Course Reader.

Other readings may include: “The Five Rings” Myamoto Musashi; “50 Secrets of Magic Craftsmanship”, Salvadore Dali;”Giovanni’s Room”, James Baldwin; “Just Kids”, Patti Smith; “The Power of Movies”, Colin McGinn.

Assignments:  Weekly assignments from individual students, collaborative assignments, final reflective essay of 5 pp.

Class meetings: W and F 2:40-4:10 pm

Additional information:  No prior film or video-making experience required, though all students seeking admission to the course are required to submit an application.

Application to the “The Art of Doing”

Students are invited to submit this creative challenge for consideration for admission to “The Art of Doing”.

Applications should be submitted to this email address: artofdoingapplication@gmail.com .   Only applications sent from wesleyan.edu email addresses will be considered.

There are two required parts to the application. Please make sure each part the application clearly indicates your name.

Part I. Create a digital still-image Self Portrait (photograph, collage, rendering).

Choose and incorporate three items into your self-portrait

A. One item to represent who you have been.

B. One item to represent who you are now.

C. One item to represent who you imagine yourself to be in the future.

Applicants are invited to interpret this exercise as best suits their creative strengths.

Part II. Please submit only one document that contains all the required elements A-D (detailed below). Please make sure this document clearly identifies you as the author.

A. In 200 words or less, explain the significance of each item in Part A.

B. In 200 words or less, explain why you’re interested in taking the course “The Art of Doing: Creative Project Production and Making It Happen”.

C. In 100 words, or less, describe your experience with Cr/U courses and your attitude toward Cr/U courses.

D. Applications should include

  1. List of current creative skills
  2.  List of additional interests

E. Optional

Applicants are invited to submit up to three samples of creative work jpeg and mov files.  Note: mov files may be no longer than 180 seconds.

Please do not purchase any books until you have been notified about admission to the course.

 

The Advising Guidelines!

If you haven’t checked out the Advising Guidelines, do so ASAP.  Important advice about how to think about your planning your course of study and specific advice about a range of topics.  It includes pearls of wisdom from your class dean–really! ;)–and sage advice from professors and the academic peer advisors.  Selected topics will be featured over the next couple of weeks, and reading now (or again) will reinforce all the good info you know.

Thinking of Majoring In CSS, COL or CEAS?

With over 1000 courses in 45 majors, 14 minors, 12 certificates, and a unique open curriculum choosing classes during pre-registration may seem like a stressful and daunting task. Many students come into Wesleyan without any idea of what they want to study – and that’s totally fine! For most students, major declaration does not happen until the second semester of sophomore year. However, Wesleyan has three majors that require declaration during the spring semester of freshman year. These programs are the College of Social Studies, the College of Letters, and the College of East Asian Studies. While we like to advise students to explore a wide range of classes in their first year of college and hone their interests, if you are thinking about one of these programs, it may affect the decisions that you make during pre-registration. This blog post will provide a description of each of these programs and some suggestions for those who are thinking about choosing one of these majors.

College of Social Studies. The College of Social Studies is a rigorous, multidisciplinary major focusing on History, Government, Political and Social Theory, and Economics. CSS is reading and writing intensive, encouraging intellectual independence with weekly essays, small group tutorials, and a vibrant intellectual environment.

College of Letters. The College of Letters is a interdisciplinary major for the study of European literature, history, and philosophy, from antiquity to the present. During these three years, students participate as a cohort in a series of colloquia in which they read and discuss works together (in English), learn to think critically about texts in relation to their contexts and influences—both European and non-European—and in relation to the disciplines that shape and are shaped by those texts. Majors also become proficient in a foreign language and study abroad in order to deepen their knowledge of another culture.

College of East Asian Studies. The College of East Asian Studies challenges students to understand China, Japan, and Korea through the rigors of language study and the analytical tools of various academic disciplines. This process demands both broad exposure to different subjects and a focused perspective on a particular feature of the East Asian landscape.

For those considering one of these three majors, here are some helpful tips as you select your classes and enter your first semester of college:

Deadlines. CSS, COL, and CEAS require major declaration in the spring of your freshman year. The deadline for CSS and COL is generally in March, and CEAS is in April. The application forms and the exact dates can be found on the department page of each major. If you are thinking about one of these majors, I would recommend talking to people who are in one of these majors or reaching out to any of the faculty members in the major as soon as possible.

Admission Requirements. All CSS majors must complete the economics prerequisite either by taking ECON101 and achieving a grade of CR or a letter grade of at least C- or by taking ECON110 and achieving a grade of CR or a letter grade of at least C-. Some students who have not completed the economics prerequisite are admitted each year on the condition that they must complete the prerequisite in the fall term of the sophomore year. Even if you are possibly thinking about majoring in CSS, I would consider enrolling in an economics course in the first or second semester of your freshmen year.

Language Requirements. COL and CEAS both have language requirements. COL majors must become proficient in a foreign language and study abroad in a country where the selected foreign language is spoken. CEAS majors are expected to take at least four semesters of East Asian language courses and reach a minimum of advanced-level (third-year) competency in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean. Majors who are native speakers of Chinese, Japanese, or Korean are expected to study another East Asian language. Those who have already studied a foreign language relevant to one of these majors do not necessarily have to enroll in a foreign language in the first semester. However, for those who need to start at a beginning level, it is highly recommended that you enroll in a language course as early as possible.

General Education Expectations. Only CSS requires completion of Stage II general education requirements (three course credits in HA, SBS, and NSM, all from different departments or programs). However, CSS majors have until the end of junior year to complete Stage I general education requirements (two course credits in each area, all from different departments or programs). While COL and CEAS do not have general education requirements, it is highly recommended that ALL students complete Stage II general education requirements. A student who does not meet these expectations by the time of graduation will not be eligible for University honors, Phi Beta Kappa, honors in general scholarship, or for honors in certain departments and may not declare more than a combined total of two majors, certificates, and minors.

If you have any further questions about any of these three programs, we encourage you to check each college’s website in WesMaps and on Wesvising, and/or reach out to a peer advisor or to a faculty member in the specific department.