Monday, June 28, 2010

3rd Day: "Boot Camp"

Today was the first day of actual class! 

This morning, I woke up early to have breakfast with my RA and other students from my floor. The dining area was packed, as over 800 students were trying to eat at the same time. 

After we fought our way through the hordes of hungry students to get breakfast, we went into Lerner Hall for the orientation. There, the Dean of the School of Continuing Education spoke to us passionately about the program and the roles she hoped for us to fulfill. In her words, "To use knowledge and understanding to benefit those around us." That really inspired me, because it sums up what I hope to achieve in life.

After orientation, we went to our class, American Presidential Powers at Home and Abroad: From George Washington to Barack Obama. The teacher turned out to be very different from my expectations. I was expecting a young, inexperienced teacher to be assigned to us; after all, we were only a group of 12 high school students. However, we instead received an experienced teacher who taught a similar class, but of a slightly higher caliber, to actual college students on this campus. She seemed very knowledgeable and eager to help our group of high school students achieve all we could achieve. However, to achieve this end, she assigned us a huge load of work, including an additional 4 books to read, and a 20 page paper to be finished by the end of the course. 

While this does seem to be a lot, it is what we expected, seeing as we are attending a rigorous course in one of the world's most prestigious institutions. 

At lunch, we went down to the bookstore in order to buy the necessary books, and were ready to begin research on our topics for our papers by the second session of class. At the second secession, we were taken on a tour of the library by our teacher, and were given a chance to begin our papers. My topic will likely be about how FDR used the lessons learned from WWI in his management of WWII in domestic and international relations. This paper will be the hardest paper I've written yet, but I'm looking forward to it nonetheless! 

Well, I should start reading my 4 books, so I'll blog more tomorrow!


  1. I like your topic, Winston. Do you have a interest in FDR?

  2. "To use knowledge and understanding to benefit those around us." Very good goal. Arm yourself with a kind heart and understanding others, you will achieve it, Winston. We believe in you.

  3. Winston,

    I'm surprised by your assumption tat Columbian would throw an inexperienced instructor at you just because you're all high school students. You're getting the same education you'd get if you were enrolled as a regular college student and it would be unprofessional of them to give you anything less than a top flight course with an instructor up to the task.

    And never assume that just because an instructor is young or may lack experience that they're incapable of teaching you. That would be the wrong assumption. Likewise, just because an instructor's been around forever doesn't mean they're any good at teaching. Sometimes the young ones have the fire in the belly that long ago was extinguished in the older instructors.