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.

Welcome to Wesleyan!



We are so glad you are here!!



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

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


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:


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.


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?


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.


Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

Counseling and Psychological Services welcomes the class of 2021!

Your first semester at Wesleyan may be the most fun you’ve ever had, or it may be the toughest transition you’ve ever experienced.  Or it could be both.  The clinicians at CAPS are ready to meet with you, whether for one session or many, to assist you as you navigate your new life at Wes.  No problem is too big or too small to talk over with one of our therapists.  We see students who are struggling with academics, social life, adjustment to college, and relationships, as well as students who experience depression, anxiety, panic, trauma, eating and body image concerns, and many other mental health issues.  We offer individual sessions and medication management as well as support groups and workshops.  If you’ve never met with a therapist before, schedule an appointment to see what it’s like!  We are an enthusiastic staff who love working with college students.  We offer crisis visits for students who are too distressed to wait for a regular appointment, and we have on-call clinicians available for after-hours emergencies during the academic year.

We are open for regular services on Monday, September 4th, but you can contact us to schedule an appointment beginning August 28th.  Call us at 860.685.2910 or 860.685.3143.  You can also email us at

Looking forward to meeting you soon!

The Rule of 7

If there is a magic or golden rule for college, it is the Rule of 7.

You have probably never heard of it before, but never mind that.  What it means is that you should take on no more than seven things this semester.  For real.  That includes your four courses and three other activities, whether that be a campus job, a sport or a student group.  I know this seems like an impossible thing to do, especially for those of you who were involved in 16 co-curricular activities in high school for the love of what you were doing and/or to get into a good college.

Now that you’re in one, scale it back so that you can step up to the intellectual demands and focus on your academic work.  (Did you know you are supposed to dedicate three to four hours of outside work for every class session of a 1.00 credit course?)  Scale it back so that you can be really engaged with each of your other activities and not burn out, especially in this first semester when you are also spending time and energy meeting new people, learning the landscape, and finding your place.  Okay, so you end up doing eight things, but as a good guide, keep in mind the Rule of 7.

The Gordon Career Center


The Gordon Career Center is eager to partner with you over the next four years.

We can help you clarify your interests, choose a major, explore job shadow and internship opportunities and brainstorm career options. We also help with writing resumes and cover letters, and interview preparation.  The Gordon Career Center invites all students in the Class of 2021!

Here are 5 easy ways to get started:

  1. Login to Handshake

Complete your profile on our new, mobile-ready career management system (  Check out hundreds of internship opportunities and employers wanting to engage with Wesleyan students.

  1. Visit the Gordon Career Center

Meet with a Peer Career Advisor (PCA) to learn about the resources and services the Gordon Career Center has to offer.  Ask a PCA for tips on how to make the most of your first year at Wesleyan.

  1. Write a Resume

Attend one of our resume writing workshops or look at the resume writing resources in Handshake to get started.  We can help you develop your first polished college resume.

  1. Create a LinkedIn Profile

Use this tool to bring your professional presentation to the next level.  Discover the fascinating things an English or Math major can do and see what Wesleyan alumni actually pursue after graduating.

  1. Attend a workshop, program or employer information session

Check out the Events calendar listed on Handshake to see all of our offerings.  We hope to see you soon!

The Davison Health Center

Welcome to the Davison Health Center:

The Health Center is staffed by a clinical team ready to keep you healthy while residing on campus.  We provide care for illness and injuries, as well as wellness visits ranging from immunizations (i.e. flu shots), sexual health screenings and testing, travel consultations and nutrition counseling.  We are open six days a week and have a physician on call when closed.  We schedule by appointment, but students can always call and speak with a nurse who will triage you to the most appropriate visit based on your concerns.  Call 860-685-2470.

The Health Center administers the Wesleyan school insurance plan.  All students must have private insurance or enroll in the school plan annually.  If you have not yet done so, please waive or enroll at  The deadline has been extended to September 14.