Tag Archives: bates courses

Short Term is here!

Hey all. It’s that time of year again… Short Term! 

After completing my thesis, I still had three papers to work on before I could head home for spring break. The first was for my Latin American history class. The course focused specifically on Latin American independence, and in the final paper we were asked to discuss whether independence brought about significant change to Latin America, or whether there was a more gradual shift from colonial rule to national sovereignty. I concluded that when we talk about change we have to talk about what type of change and for whom. Things changed really differently for the indigenous population in comparison with the elite Creole population, so I tried to center my arguments on the nuanced evolution of change in Latin America during the independence period.

Okay, I just read that back and it sounds a little boring. I swear it’s a readable paper and makes sense. As a history nerd, I think I have a tendency to delve a bit too deeply into a paper like this. If you’re still with me, I promise to keep the other paper descriptions short!

 For my Spanish final paper, I wrote a comparative essay on two short stories that we read in class. Because the course emphasized race, afro-spirituality and Catholicism in the Caribbean, I decided to write my paper on the construction and development of character identity in these stories and on how those characters represented the larger picture of the development of national identity in the Caribbean (in Cuba, specifically).

I also focused on identity in my final English paper. In this assignment, I looked to two short stories by Sherman Alexie and Junot Díaz to compare how identity was formed, molded and manipulated through narrative voice.

Anyway, you probably didn’t need to hear the long rambling descriptive explanations of my final papers, but I hope it interested some of you. As you can see from the varying topics I wrote about, each Bates class provides you with an opportunity to focus in on and tackle some really cool, unique and interesting material. 

Anyway, after finishing up the papers, I headed down to Florida for a fun week in the sun with some friends and in just a few short days, Short Term begins. I am taking a class titled “Gender and Tobacco.” I’ll have more information as soon as I take my first class. It’s a Women and Gender Studies (WGS) course and I’m really looking forward to it!

Until next time… 

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Full October…

Hey all. October is here and that means fall is now in full foliage, it is the first full month of classes, the school year’s activities are now in full swing, and my schedule is now… full.

The workload has definitely increased this month. Just this week, I gave a Spanish presentation on Fronteras Compasivias (Humane Borders), a humanitarian organization that provides aid to immigrants who cross the U.S.-Mexican border, had a African geography quiz for my history seminar course, and took a biology test for my Emerging and Re-Emerging infections across the Globe class. I have to finish two books and read some journal articles for my three classes tomorrow… oh, yes, serious work is definitely here.

In other eventful news, Liz Neumark, a blogger for The Huffington Post and a parent of a freshman at Bates, recently blogged about her experience at Parent’s and Family Weekend at Bates. She lauds the Bates Dining Service and is impressed with the school in general. Check out the Huffington Post blog here. Clearly, she is a proud parent. 

Speaking of the Dining Service at Bates, it recently received a national award given by University Business Magaizine. Bates was named one of the ‘Dining Halls of Distinction’ along with three other colleges/universities in the United States. Read about the Bates Dining achievement here.

A busy weekend at Bates kicks off Friday with two movies, a concert, and a dance. Check out Bates’ event schedule here

And one more Bates link… October pictures of the Bates campus.

I will be adding some Bates fall photos of my own soon so be on the lookout… I am off to go do some more work… until next time…

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Quick Update…

Hey all. A longer blog will follow this one (probably in a day or so) but just wanted to give you all a quick update. All is well here at Bates. Classes are in full-swing, my IM soccer season is now underway, and the first edition of the Bates Student came out yesterday. The weather has been absolutely beautiful. Summer is still holding on a bit but the cool nights indicate that fall is just around the corner.

Some items of potential interest for perspective students:

Bates has completely redesigned its homepage making it much more accessible and interactive. I recommend exploring the new website. It has a lot to offer.

Check out the Bates Student website, the new edition of the paper should be out now.

Until next time…

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Junior Year is Underway…

Hey all. I apologize for the lack of updates of late. The past week has been incredibly busy but I am now finally settling back into my Bates routine and schedule.

Classes started last Wednesday and I have really been enjoying my four courses. African Slavery in the Americas has already opened my eyes to a lot of interesting information. I’ve obviously learned more about the horrors of the system of slavery but I’ve also come to appreciate the dangers that go along with misrepresenting slavery in historical writing. The idea that giving slaves ‘agency’ ignores or covers up the atrocities of the slave past is something I had never given much thought to until taking this class.

My biology class (Emerging and Re-emerging Infections Across the Globe) has been intriguing as well. As might be expected, we’ve spent a great deal of time discussing H1N1. Even though I am not a “science person” I’ve found learning about the genetic makeup of the flu to be quite fascinating. 

I’ve found Spanish (Gendered Experiences in American Borderlands) to be thought-provoking as well. The class is taught almost exclusively in Spanish and I can already tell that my Spanish proficiency has improved. We are currently examaining U.S.-Mexican border immigration and studying border culture, relations, and perspectives. 

In British History in the Twentieth Century, I’ve come to appreciate Britain’s status as a global empire at the end of the 19th century and how the Boer War (along with several other significant events) influenced a decline in power that affects Britain to this day.

I recap what I’ve learned in the first week not to bore you but to provide you with a personal academic experience from one Batesie (myself) that hopefully shows the varied academic opportunities that this institution offers. 

Outside the classroom, I have added a Physical Education course to my schedule. The course consists of playing basketball twice a week in a relatively relaxed environment. Rather than add pressure to my schedule, I’ve found it to be a good stress-reliever and escape from academia. I am not a great basketball player by any stretch of the imagination but I love playing and I frequent some local courts in the summertime. Hopefully I can improve my skills a bit and surprise a few people when I come home.

This upcoming weekend promises to be jam-packed. The college-wide Clam Bake is this Saturday at Popham Beach (already bought my ticket), Matt and Kim, an indi pop electro group, will be performing at Bates on Friday, and work on the Bates Student (college newspaper) must get completed so the first issue of the year can be out on time. 

More updates soon. Until next time…

Matt and Kim:

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Final Week… Final Piece of Advice in the College Process

Hey all. The final week of classes has arrived here at Bates.  Next week is final exam week, the following week is Spring Break, and then it’s back to campus for Short Term.

It’s crazy how fast the semester flew by and I can hardly believe that my sophomore year is nearing its close. I’ll spare you the corny self-reflective blog post and won’t tell you about how I feel I’m at a crossroads in my Bates career etc. I’m sure you don’t want to hear my boring personal story but I will tell you that I have formed a close connection with this school and feel very privileged and lucky to be here.

My final exam schedule isn’t shaping up to be terribly difficult and should be manageable as long as I stay on top of my work. I have one final exam in my Chinese history course, one in-class essay in English, and two final papers for my two American history courses.

I realize that many of you are in the final steps of the college process and presumably, if you are reading this blog, considering Bates. Rather than push anything on you (you’ve dealt with enough of that I’m sure) I will leave you with one piece of advice: think seriously about what you want to get out of four years of education, what type of environment you want to learn in, what opportunities each school offers, and, in the long run, where you think you will be happiest. Ultimately, it is a personal choice and I wish all of you the best of luck in the picking process. There are a lot of great schools out there and I hope you all end up in the school that you feel best fits. You’re nearing the end of the process. Hang in there and good luck. I hope to see many of you at Bates next year. Until next time…

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March Madness…

Hey all. Last week was Bates’ own mini version of March Madness. In the one week period, we had to choose a short term course, classes for next fall, and figure out housing for next year. On top of that I had a 10 page paper due along with all my other work so I apologize for not blogging recently but hopefully you can cut me some slack.

I ended up getting a room in 280 College Street which is the newest dorm on campus and I am really excited about it. In terms of courses:

As a history major, at some point during my Bates career, I am required to take a specific history short term class. This is the time to do it and although some students refer to the course as ‘History Hell’ I am not too worried about it. Most upperclassmen I have talked to who have taken it describe it as very helpful, informative, and not nearly as stressful as the unofficial designation implies. The course is called “Introduction to Historical Methods” and involves working on researching skills and improving general analytical reasoning techniques. It is joint-taught by two history professors and I am looking forward to learning how to refine my ideas for my senior thesis (which seems to be sneaking up on me everyday).

For the fall semester I am taking a history seminar course called “African Slavery in the Americas”, a biology course called “Emerging and Reemerging Infections Across the Globe”, a history course entitled, “Britain in the Twentieth Century”, and a Spanish class which looks at gender roles in South America.

All of these courses should be interesting and I am especially looking forward to the Biology class. I am not much of a science person but the course seemed really cool and I figured I would never have the opportunity to take a class like this again.

In other news, I have been keeping quiet busy outside the academic world. Recently, the intramural ice hockey team I was on won the IM Championship. It was my first IM Championship victory after failing in several sports and I am proud to have won the highly-coveted IM Champion T-Shirt. In keeping with the hockey theme, I went to a Lewiston Maineiacs game (minor league hockey) last weekend which was a blast despite the home team losing and also hit the slopes for another day of great Maine skiing at Sunday River. 

Until next time… enjoy these pictures I snapped while skiing last weekend…

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Busy Week Ahead…

Hey all. This upcoming week is a busy one for most batesies. It is unofficial midterm week at Bates as professors pile on the work before February break (Feb. 14-22). Though I have a lot of work, I am not dreading it terribly. I only have papers to write and, thankfully, no exams to take. In a strange nerdy kind of way, I enjoy writing papers. I am much more anxious when it comes to exams and am certainly not the best test taker.

In any event, I have a paper to write for my Native American History course comparing different tribe interactions with Europeans in the early 1600s, a long paper on native revolts in colonial North America, a paper on ancient Chinese culture, and an in-class essay for English class on post-1900 American writers.

In other news… Bates put on it’s 9th annual production of the ‘Vagina Monologues’ this past week. I wasn’t able to make it but did go last year and it was very well done. Proceeds went to a Health Clinic in Lewiston. Read about it here. Until next time…   

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