Tally ho

I am on day three of my Summer Bridge program and so far things are going well. Move-in was smooth and the first day only had a single hiccup, with several students getting stuck in an elevator for a few minutes. Uphill from there. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday the students have a study lab to allow them to complete assignments in a relatively structured environment.We did have some trouble with getting all students set up with the various online portal aspects of their classes but that has passed. Despite being initially concerned that I had possibly over-structured the students days, they still have a preponderance of free time, which is probably good. It gives them the opportunity to be social with each other and with other programs in the building.

Classes that the students are taking are intriguing. Their first class is an introductory English class, that introduces the students to college level writing and looking into research. I figured that the students would likely be most challenged by this class based on workload and stale material (with no evidential basis for the thinking), however the instructor keeps stuff light and engaging. The second class is a sociology course on race and ethnic relations. This class should be an engaging one, the topic is both ripe and in powerful need of discussion in this country. Unfortunately the instructor is neither engaging or energetic, and so far has spoken almost exclusively in a low monotone. Even while working on the lecture for the first THRIVE class, I was having trouble staying awake. This class has tremendous potential and looks to have good bones, I just…

Tuesday and Thursday are where my assistant and I get to stretch our legs and provide academic/life programming for students. In a course that the program has dubbed “THRIVE,” students will be learning about student life. Not the glitz and glamour part of college life but -hopefully- the day-to-day realities of how to get by, particularly for low-income students. The first class, we began with discussing what the class would encompass, the schedule, and assignments. We then had a brief lecture on Student Success is and some theory behind it. The lecture started well, discussing admittedly boring material. It was derailed by the students wanting to discuss material from the lacking race and ethnic relations class. One of the students also asked about my experience as a white-male in this and other programs where I often end up in the minority. It was an enlightening if off-topic discussion. Hopefully the next class is able to stay on topic.

 

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