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My favorite Freshman Seminar workshop was Baruch Voices. It was a dramatization of selected student monologues being played out by professional actors. These actors did an incredible job of capturing the essence of the student’s words and thoughts. The recitation of the students’ monologues was a very picturesque experience (to me). Lastly, it also revealed that no matter where you are, there are always other individuals who may have been trough some troubling times and quite possibly still are.
Blog Post #3 (My Average Day After 3 Months)
*If you can’t read the images, just click on them.
6 AM – It is a Monday morning. I wake up, shower, brush my teeth, get dressed, and then rush out the door. And so the cycle begins. I woke early every morning in high school for classes so I prepared for this, right?
I begin my journey to class by first making my way to the quiet train station around half past 6 in the morning. Dreary eyed with headphones on to block out any potential disruptions, I enter to train car—which is just about to pull off for its first stop—and then sit down. It pulls off and so begins my almost 2 hour trip—how enervating this can be. I gradually fall asleep. I wake up just in time to make my make my stop, Times Square-42nd Street. Rushing through the busy crowds, I hear the obnoxious bystanders, the people talking, the babies crying, and that guy who has no headphones to listen to his favorite song so he just memorized the lyrics and is singing them out loud; and then I take a quick glance at the usual homeless people and the musicians playing for tips as the hordes of morning zombies make their way to the trains and exits of the station. I keep walking.
“Oh look, the Jehovah Witness folk are here again.” It always seems like they never go home. Walking faster, I hop aboard the Grand Central bound shuttle train. It’s about two minutes ‘till take off. Trying to make haste, the train operator attempts to close the doors, but people don’t care about that, they’re still trying to storm the train cars like it’s the beaches of Normandy. After about half a minute of hassling, we’re off. Down at Grand Central, I transfer to the 6 train and ride that a few more stops. Emerging from the dimly lit cavern that is the subway, I am greeted by the warm rays of sunlight. I glance at the time on my phone. My eyes widen, I’ve got just six minutes to make it to class. I’ve got to hasten my pace if I want to make it. I fast walk past the half-naked human Statue of Liberty, who’s decided that wearing a diaper is the most fashionable thing to wear these days.
There’s no time to buy breakfast so I quickly run up the stairs and head to class. I glance at my phone again. It’s a minute past the time class is supposed to start. I open the door to a room full of droopy eyed students, who just like me, don’t want to be here. Some have their heads down, some don’t. And there’s one guy off to the corner preparing his daily list of stupid questions to ask in class. Who’s bright idea was it to make people do math this early in the day anyway?
The teacher fumbles with every sentence and can’t remember what he said two words ago; I’m probably only going to retain half of what I’ve heard here today. I sit back in my chair, headphones still on, and then space out.
I come back to my senses just in time to hear someone in the back interrupt the professor with a single phrase, “It’s time, sir,” the voice says calmly. The professor makes his closing remarks, encourages us to study, stops speaking, and then dismisses the class.
“Nice, I’ve got some hours to kill before the next class starts,” I say to myself. I head on over to the bagel shop nearby for some morning sustenance. I see somebody from class. Don’t want them to know I come here every day. Maybe it’s about time I found a new spot? Scratch that, it would be too much work.
After purchasing breakfast, I quietly eat my meal, and then I hurry on to the library. My favorite place on campus. Since it’s so early, there’s not too many people here and so it’s easy to find an unused computer in the computer lab.
I spend the next hour and a half catching up on the readings that I “forgot” to do over the weekend past. I glance at the time like I so often and characteristically do. It’s about that time again. I make my way to the next class and take a seat. The minutes roll by and the professor walks in and begins class. “Oh great, there’s a pop quiz today on the reading,” I think to myself sarcastically. “It’s a good thing I just finished it.”
After another 2 hours of lecturing, it’s time to migrate to the final and most loathed class of the day. I’ve been dreading this moment. The professor walks in and greets the class, “Hello,” he says with a strong foreign accent and begins his lecture. I can hardly understand this guy because of his accent and he seems to go on and on about nothing all day.
“At least one person is excited to be here,” I think to myself. “I’m not going to make it through this.” I set my phone alarm, put my headphones back on, and fall asleep. I’m gone—off to dreamland where analyzing the ideas of dead people are not so important anymore. Fast-forward three months, this has become my average routine. My average day on campus.
I am happy be here at Baruch. My time here has been much enjoyed. There is a great atmosphere that comes with it. An atmosphere that encourages intellectual development and provides great opportunities. And there’s almost always someone willing to help answer your questions or address your concerns. At first I thought waking up at six for morning classes would be just like High School. I thought I’d be prepared for it. Then I realized I was far from it. This is a very different experience, from classes to professors, especially the ones with strong accents. Some classes can be very daunting and will leave you constantly looking at the clock to see if its almost over. On the other hand, some classes can be very interesting and challenging. My only grievance is the grading policy of particular classes and how to manage my time more effectively. But these things get better over time, right?
My favorite workshop we have participated in was the News Literacy workshop. I wasn’t exactly looking forward to attending because it sounded boring. I was pleasantly surprised though; the content of the workshop was interesting and the stories used to prove their points were ones I have not heard of before. I appreciate the people who put the workshop together thinking outside of the box to keep us interested and recognizing college freshmen don’t have a very long attention span. It was informative and not as bad as I thought it’d be.
My favorite workshop was definitely the most recent one, “Voices”. I found it very interesting and entertaining to hear some of my classmates experience. It also gave me a glimpse of how they see the world and where they came from. I was able to identify with some of the things that were said and made me realize that I wasn’t alone and many of my classmates shared my concerns along with some of my aspirations. I think this should be a part of the freshman seminar curriculum every year because it was both helpful and enjoyable.
My favorite workshop was the monk sand art. The art looked like a lot of fun. I would have liked to help them. I think monks are happy people, I hope to be like them some day. Their sand art was really nice, it reminded me of the coloring books where there would be numbers in the space and there was a color associated with that number. The monks looked a bit out of place though. They looked like the belonged in a more serene natural area instead of some artificially lit room. I wonder how they came to be there. I don’t know if I really learnt much from that experience. Maybe to have patience like the monks, but I don’t think I’m anymore patient than I was before. I wonder what happened to that art. It’d be interesting if someone just came and blew it away.
The Reality Show was definitely my favorite workshop. It was funny and entertaining and ridiculously…real. It’s my favorite because I feel like it hit a lot of key points that people are scared to talk about or ask. The actors kept the show funny and entertaining. I actually genuinely enjoyed it. It helped me understand a lot of things about expectations in college and college life in general. From sex, to drugs to academia, The Reality Show was an eye opener as a freshman in Baruch.
There were a couple Freshman Seminar workshops that I really enjoyed. However, for the purpose of this blog I have to single one out. I would say that my favorite workshop thus far was the Baruch Voices act that we attended one week prior. I went to the act not knowing what to expect, tired and to be honest, grumpy that I had to go. I planned on sleeping through it. My attitude when I left Baruch Voices was completely different than the negative one I entered with. I enjoyed the actors and actresses and the presentation of the monologues. I stayed awake through the entire thing because it was so captivating. I liked how they read the names of the students out loud either before or after their monologue reading because it’s fun to hear the work of people I know. At one point in time I was even able to guess the name of whose monologue was being read before their name was said.
Although Baruch Voices had many other positives, the coolest part was seeing that other kids are going through the same struggles that everybody else is and they aren’t afraid for people to know. Also, many students problems are way more severe than even mine are which made me realize how good I actually have it. Consequently, Baruch Voices was my favorite Freshman Seminar Workshop.
My favorite enrichment workshop for Freshmen Seminar this year definitely is the Baruch Voices. It amazed me how those professional actors performed stories of our classmates. I feel that I am able to see those stories happened right in front of my eyes. But this is not the most crucial thing, the stories from my classmates impress me the most. Before, I did not even know there were some many fascinating stories behind them. From those monologues, I found out some problems I shared with them after I got into college, like wanting to get independence for parents, having a difficult time to adapt changes, and missing old friends for previous institutions. During the performance, I feel a sense of relief, as if i was the one who stood on the stage and expressed my problems. And humorous language somehow weakened those trouble I’m facing. It gave me confidence to fight them. I have a feeling that my life in Baruch will be more and more interested.
My favorite Freshman Seminar enrichment workshop was the performance of Baruch Voices last week. The performance, which consisted of professional actors reciting monologues written by freshmen, was captivating. The readers, or actors, created a visual image of the subject. They owned the characters of the students they were quoting. The pieces performed had an amazing variety and depth. The dramatization of a satire on quitting smoking made me laugh. Another one, abut suicidal thoughts, frightened me. A third piece which eulogized a deceased friend I found sad. Clearly, my fellow students are facing many challenges during their first semester here at Baruch, yet some find time to find the humorous side of life. The overall arc of the presentation was one of hope, aspiring for a brighter tomorrow. The world will be a better place in 2016.
My favorite enrichment workshop would probably have to be the performance of “Baruch Voices.” Actually I’m not even sure if that counts as an enrichment workshop but I enjoyed it. The first time I had heard the Voices performance on convocation day I was so tired that I hardly paid any attention to the readings. The ones I did manage to hear were very funny and very interesting at the same time. They were all very different and when I heard that freshmen had written them, I was even more excited. I wondered if the emotions they felt entering Baruch, I would feel as well. This time around when the Voices performances consisted of my own peers, I enjoyed it even more. This time I paid attention to each and every reading and I loved hearing how although we are all freshmen, the differences between us are the most interesting. From a personal point of view, I feel like sharing yourself with people is one of the hardest things you can do. I really do not have a problem expressing myself but amongst people I really do not know all that well is a little harder. Seeing my fellow freshman peers have the courage to lay themselves out on the table and have someone read their inner most thoughts and feelings to others is very humbling to me. I would have never thought I would have had the courage to write a monologue sharing myself with people. I did it though and my monologue even got chosen to be read amongst the entire freshmen class. Not only did I feel accomplished but I felt inspired. This workshop inspired me to not be afraid to share myself with other people and not to feel anxiety or nervous because most likely we are all going through the same thing. The Voices performance made me realize that being a freshman attending a city university is difficult, but that does not mean that you are the only one feeling that way. From the workshop, I heard different personalities and that was comforting to know that people are people. I feel like the workshop also summed up my entire freshman seminar experience and although it seemed pointless at first, it turned out to be an enlightening experience to find out the person I am.