Friday, September 10, 2010
The new fall term has begun at the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University! Fortunately, our educational system is cyclical much like the seasons. We are assured of beginning anew, with a fresh slate. First year students begin another phase of their education by starting college and leaving things of high school behind. Sophomores are no longer first-years and can complete their search for a major. Juniors are so excited that they have made it to the third year of their college career and could possibly be going to study abroad for a semester. And, lastly, the seniors are both exhilarated and frightened at the same time to be starting the last year of a rather sheltered life. They are ultimately facing the “real world” with job fairs staring them in the face.
Educators, like myself, consider themselves fortunate to be able to start fresh each term, be that a semester or a year. Teaching at the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University I have been privileged to work with first year students. The bright and eager faces of first-years warm my heart and make my job easier. My First Year Symposium called “the Power of Story” allows us to learn everyone’s story as well as read other stories in order to learn from them.
Unlike any other, however, this year I am part of the Intercultural Leadership, Education, and Development program. This means that four very enthusiastic and excited first generation students are part of my FYS class. They add a zest for life and learning that has given my class and me, as well, a boost in the quest for living in a diverse world. Because they have been designated as leaders in their home communities, they strive to be leaders in college. They represent many different cultures, races, and ethnicities. Therefore, in my FYS, there are Hmong, Hispanic, Chinese, besides students from New York, California and Minnesota. I find the richness of such a group to be beneficial to all.
Posted by Mary Jane Berger, OSB at 5:05 PM