Archive for January, 2010

Classes and the “WhatAmIGonnaDo” Dilemma

January 27, 2010

Hey there, gblog readers! Winter break is officially over, and we are a week and a half into the spring semester at Gallaudet University. A month long break really does not feel like enough time, especially if you live a ways from Gally and don’t get to go home very often.

So… this semester I’ll be taking five classes in total, to give you an idea of the type of classes that a English and Secondary Education major might be taking, I’ll explain what they’re about. I am taking the following classes…

ENG 408- This class is a required English class for English majors and it basically discusses multi-cultural perspectives. Seems pretty interesting so far.

ENG 406- Also another required English class, this class covers American Literature from 1865 to the present. I think I’ll be enjoying this class since I’m crazy for American Literature.

ENG 375- An elective class that counts towards my English major, this class is about media literacy, and it is also my cake class, you know, the classes you take because you know you’ll ace it.

EDU 440- This one is required for my Secondary Education major, it basically covers an introduction to curriculum. Seems pretty challenging, but I think it will be something to improve my teaching skills.

EDU 441- Also required, this class focuses on literacy. I admit this class makes me nervous since I will be required to tutor high school students. Yikes!

Graduation is a long way off, but it seems as if it also is really nearby at the same time. It’s really making me think about what I want to do after college, I know my goal has been to be an English teacher for deaf high school students, but there are times when I wonder if it is what I really want to do. Which is completely normal, I can’t tell you how many students I’ve met here who have no idea what to do in the future. Of course, Gally does offer services such as academic advising to help you decide what to do in the future, but still, it doesn’t completely solve the problem.

I would like it very much if I could major in something that interested me but still guaranteed me a job the minute I graduate. Psh, like that’ll ever happen, heh.

If you’ve got questions, ask away!

Cheers,
Heather

Gally’s Quality of Education

January 10, 2010

Hey fellow readers!

Been a while, eh? It’s currently winter break for most of us Gallaudetians so I’m currently at home sweet home in Minnesota. It’s about -10 degrees here, my kind of weather! The first semester of my junior year is over, and wow, it was incredibly hard to get through. I joined a sorrority– Delta Zeta, it was a lot of fun making new friends and I definitely don’t regret it. But then disaster struck, my beloved dog, Bingo, the dog I had since I was seven had to be put to sleep. I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to him and staying focused on school was just so hard. I’m sure many of you have been through the same thing. I love Gally, don’t get me wrong, but at times like these, I wish I went to school closer to home. But the things I’ve learned and got to experience during my time here so far has been incredible, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Sorry to be so personal, but I thought it was important to blog about some of the challenges college students go through.

Anyway, I finally got another question! To the person who asked this, I hope you don’t mind that I’m answering your question on my blog. If you or anyone else wants to contact me to find out more about Gally, feel free to email me at heather.breitbach@gallaudet.edu

Here’s their question:

Hi,

I’m a high school senior, and I just received a full 4-year scholarship to Gallaudet. Before I got this scholarship, I didn’t want to go. But it is certainly appealing… not to have to pay off loans when I graduate. But I’m concerned about the quality of education at Gallaudet. Is the honors program good or is it just a joke? What year are you at Gallaudet? Do you feel like this school is going to prepare you for the real world? I’d like to talk to you more about Gallaudet, if that’s possible?

Wow, full 4-year scholarships ain’t easy to come by, so congrats! I most definitely agree that money is definitely a huge factor in deciding where you want to go to college.

To answer your question, I’m currently a junior or a third-year student here at Gallaudet, double majoring in Secondary Education and English, which means I would like to teach English at a high-school level. In regards to the honors program, I personally turned down the offer to join, I just thought it would be too much work. I don’t know too much about the program, but I’ve heard opinions about it from both ends of the spectrum. Some say that it is very challenging, time-consuming, and ultimately not worth it. Others really enjoy it, saying that the things they’ve learned apply to real life.

Now, about Gally’s education in general– it really depends on what you’re interested in studying or majoring in. We’re obviously not Harvard, but we certainly do have areas that stand out in the quality of education, I’ve heard a lot of good things about our Social Work/Counseling programs and Education programs. But there are some programs that, well, kinda suck. I’ve taken a wide variety of classes and it just seems to me, maybe I’m biased or whatever, that the English and Education classes were by far the most challenging, in a stimulating way, and the most beneficial of most of the classes I’ve taken. I must say that most of our professors and major advisors are really helpful with connecting your studies to the future.

All in all, the quality of education here at Gally really depends on the area you’re studying, there are some cake classes that people take to get an easy A, but every university tends to have those, but there are also a lot of intellectually stimulating classes available also. With the recent addition of GSR classes (general studies requirements) that all new freshmen are required to take, there is a lot of focus on choosing a major that fits you and will help you to find a career in the future. So basically, there’s a lot of preparation for the real world.

Sorry if all this is confusing, but my honest opinion is that Gallaudet University is a great place to be, but your experience, whether it be emotionally, mentally, or academically, all depends on what you make of it. I came to Gally as a freshmen because I had basically no other place to go where I would fit in as well as I do here, I didn’t give a hoot about their quality of education, even though I had heard some negative things about it. But when I got here, I was pretty much flabbergasted. I basically coasted through high school and was never truly challenged academically and a lot of things about real life were sugarcoated. For me, Gallaudet has forced me to work harder, not to the death, but to an area where I feel as though I am not only learning, but wanting to learn. And for me, what I’ve learned here has definitely prepared me for the real world.

Good luck with your decision, I really hope you pick Gally, but of course, you should pick the college that will suit you the best.

Thanks for such a challenging question, I hope I cleared things up for you!
Don’t hesitate to contact me if you want to know more about anything, I love questions!

Cheers,
Heather

December Graduation

January 8, 2010

I’m expecting to graduate in December now. This is going to be insane.

I have only four more classes to finish my degree: ASL 301, DST 402, DST 498, and GSR 300. Technically I can do all this in one semester, but I will need another 12 elective credits to graduate, so I have to spread it over two semesters.

Of course, I’ve also been planning to do an Honors Capstone all this time. That’s normally a three-semester project, but I want to graduate in two. So I got special permission from the Honors director to do it! This is going to mean my summer will be CRAZY busy…that’s the “third” semester. I’ll have to take the classes as independent study,

But by this time next year, I’ll have graduated. I won’t get to walk until May, when I’ll join the rest of the class of 2011 onstage, but I’ll be saving a ton of money by not doing another semester. I also feel better about finishing in seven semesters rather than eight…makes me feel like my time at Western Maryland wasn’t a complete waste!