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Clarksville MD

Can't Imagine Any Other Way: Part One

(April 04 2009) Written by: Emily Okey in Advising & Support, Coursework, Student Life

This post is for mostly for the amusement of my professor (who apparently ran across my blog a while ago looking for something else), although, I’m sure others might find it helpful.

Anyway, a week or so back we were all getting ready to go down to DC for the accepted students reception. I was sitting around class on the Thursday before talking with my drawing professor as well as a number of other people. I was explaining what we were going to be doing in DC, what I do in admissions, etc. Somehow we got on the topic of what I would say if I were asked “what don’t you like about RIT?” It kind of got me thinking because honestly, I can’t really think of anything off the top of my head. Sure, there are things about everything that you’re not going to like/wish could change but I couldn’t even pinpoint one thing in particular that I don’t like. During class I did something really silly and reached into my backpack to get a pencil and accidentally stuck my finger onto the blade of my exacto knife—oops! He said that I should tell you all that the thing I like least about RIT is exacto knives… but seriously guys, I can assure you that this school had absolutely nothing to do with me being stupid enough to leave my exacto knife in a bag without a cover. It’s gotten to be somewhat of a joke now because every time I walk into class he’ll ask me, “so have you figured out what you don’t like yet?”

I think the better question is, what DO I like about RIT?

The Diversity

The diversity here is rather awesome. Due to the eight colleges that all offer a huge range of classes, there are a wide variety of people with extremely different interests and backgrounds. One of the most distinct things about RIT is NTID (National Technical Institute for the Deaf), which is one of the eight colleges.  Before I came on campus, I knew vaguely about this but didn’t really know how much it affected life on campus. I can assure you it’s really, really awesome. I live on a mainstream floor, which means that roughly 75% or more of the people on it are deaf or hard of hearing. Don’t let this scare you if you don’t know sign language. Everyone is really understand and willing to communicate in other ways, writing, charades, etc. But if you’re open to the idea and you put forth a little bit of effort, you’ll pick up sign language really quickly! I was able to almost completely understand conversations by the end of the first quarter—of course, my sign language is obviously not the most accurate/fastest thing ever but I can get my point across. Aside from the array of academic backgrounds, everyone is from a different place geographically so that brings even more to the mix. I have friends from all over the country and there are even some from other countries. It’s really cool to share our experiences from high school or wherever and realize that, for the most part, we’ve all been through the same things but everyone has their own story.

The Classes
I can only really speak for two of the colleges but from hearing other people’s account, it’s true university wide. The classes here are excellent. That’s, of course, why I’m taking 19 credits this quarter—to fit everything in! I don’t ever find myself dreading going to class. Sure, there are other things that I would rather do sometimes—like sleep instead of an 8 am class—but once I’m there I really enjoy it. Classes are so different here than in high school. For my art classes, anyway, they are a lot smaller (usually around 12 students) so it makes for a close-knit community.  The quarter moves at a rapid pace, which I like because there are constantly new things to work on. In my psychology class we study a chapter a week. It’s a 4-hour lecture every Thursday night on one chapter and then we take a test on what we covered the next week. For my art classes, we usually complete between 3 and 4 projects a quarter so we really don’t waste time moving from one thing to another. Oh and I guess I should talk about how awesome drawing class is because it's my drawing professor who will be reading this... Joking aside, I really do love that class... It's one of those love/hate relationships. On the surface it looks virtually impossible but it's when you get over that hump and drawing becomes second-nature and fun that it makes it totally worth it. Looking back to first quarter, I laugh at some of my drawings-- that's a GOOD thing. It means I'm actually getting somewhere. Don't ever take a class "just to get an A" those aren't the kinds that will help you in the long run. A 4.0 won't mean anything if you can't draw, solve your own problems or deal with other people. Take something because it will challenge you to think more than you ever thought you could. I'm taking 19 credits this quarter-- 8 of those credits aren't even in my major and they're things that I wouldn't necessarily consider myself "good at" I'm finding myself enjoying them more and more as time goes on. It's a completely different way of thinking, I'm taking multiple choice tests instead of drawing with charcoal. It keeps things interesting.

The Help
There are people everywhere. It's kind of hard on a campus of 14,000+ students to fall behind. There are people on your floor who are going through similar things as you. We have great academic support centers to help with anything you could possible need. In the science building there is a Bates Study center to help people specifically with science related homework. In the art building there are multiple offices that all deal with different aspects of the college. In the dorms there is a "study group" or tutoring session every week where people can go down and get the help on homework that they need. Professors hold office hours, they give you their emails for weekend questions and some will go as far as giving you their home phone number for those more urgent questions-- just uh, try not to call after midnight. If you're interested in switching majors, changing your meal plan, finding a group of students to hang out with, interested in a club, declaring a minor or basically anything that you could ever think of... there are people here with answers. Ask questions, take advice. People are there to help.

I think that this post has gotten pretty long already and speaking of the fast moving quarter system—I have some work to do! I’ll continue this next week with the weather, things to do on campus, the greater Rochester area and possibly more…

Aren't you proud of me? I didn't talk about hockey at all in this post... oh wait, I just did...

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