It is a busy time here at The Woods! In the past week I have done so many different things, it has been great.
Last week we had campus wide Greek Week! All of the fraternities and sororities across campus came together as a community and talked about what it means to be Greek and gave to a great cause. Every house had a Greek God/Goddess to wear a backpack everywhere they went to raise money for the Buddy Back Pack Program. This program was started by a school teacher when one of her students was crying because they had to go home for a break and they knew there was not going to be regular meals like lunch at school. Now the program provides food for kids to take home so they can have regular meals all the time!
Other than raising money, the Greek Gods and Goddesses participated in a Greek trivia, chapter members received Greek Awards, and we had an all Greek BBQ. We also spend time volunteering for SERVE, a local soup kitchen. It was a very fun and eventful week!
Over the weekend the Dressage program held the Completely Relaxed Spring Schooling Show. I did not ride in the show, but I did help work it. It was really neat to watch all the different riders perform their tests. For Dressage, the goal is to get a certain percentage on a certain test in a certain level. Each rider performs their test (or tests) individually, and then is scored by a judge. I got to work in the scoring room so I learned a lot about all the different types of tests. Coming up in April is the USEF/USDF licensed Dressage show. I am very excited to get to watch and help with that too!
My Mentor/Mentee project is moving along quite well! Last week my mentor, Professor Jean Kraus, sent our first website module to one of her classes for a test drive! I can't wait to meet with her later to discuss the feedback.
In the Biology world I have been learning more and more things not only in my classes, but also as a work study. Dr. Nicholas Pullen has been doing some research with live mammalian cell lines (including some cancer), and he has been teaching me how to keep the different cells alive! I am really enjoying the experience. It is really fun to get to have this type of lab experience.
It is crazy how quickly the semester is flying by! I already had my advising appointment so I can sign up for classes next fall. It is crazy to think that once we get back from spring break it will be April!
I am really excited for next week. My family and I are going to Disney World and Universal Studios in Orlando, FL! I will be sure to take pictures and get some quality time with my family!
It has been beautiful out for the past few days here at The Woods! Spring is starting to roll in. The sun is shining, it has been warm, and everyone is enjoying time outside!
Yesterday when I was walking back to my room from class, I felt all the happiness that comes with getting outside after winter. The fraternity and sorority houses had their front doors open with music blasting, and a lot of students were outside playing catch. Everyone seems to have a little spring in their step!
At my sorority, the girls like to lay out on the lawn to get some sun. We have a small pool that we fill up when it's warm enough to dip our feet in. Sometimes we get creative, and put a tarp in the bed of a pick up and then fill it with water! Yesterday the girls were outside with their feet in the pool, and a few more were laying in the grass with the music going and a gentle breeze. Everyone welcomed the study break!
Another great thing about the beautiful weather is that there are chances to get LEAD points outside! In the fall people often go to the soccer games. This time of year, baseball is playing. It's a super fun way to earn a LEAD point. You just bring your bottle of water and a few snacks and watch the game with your friends!
Another fun way to get some LEAD points outside is through frisbee golf! I had never hear of this game before I came to The Woods, but apparently it is pretty popular. You just check out some discs from Weider Fitness Center, and there is a course than runs all over campus. The object is to throw the disc into the metal nets with the fewest tries. I've done it a few times and even though I don't have the best aim, it is a lot of fun to run around our beautiful campus with a group of friends.
Campus Activities Board also hosts some outdoor events where you can get LEAD points! Last fall they hosted an outdoor moving night and we had a concert on the dock. I really enjoy all the different types of LEAD events at The Woods, especially when I can take a break and go outside.
I love spring weather! Everyone seems a little brighter and it is great to get outdoors. We are getting ready for Spring Break here at The Woods, it is just over a week away! I'm excited to go to Disney World with my family. Then we will come back and I'm sure the rest of the semester will just fly by! Enjoy the sunshine
The William Woods Equestrian Department attracts a lot of people from all over. There are so many opportunities that come from being a part of this program like showing at A-level shows, clinics with well-known equestrian people, and soaking up all the knowledge you can from our very well qualified instructors. But what is it like on a day to day basis?
Even though I am not an equestrian major, I spend a lot of time at the barn. With my riding class, equine anatomy class, stable management class, and Mentor-Mentee project I've had a lot of great experiences with the faculty and students in the program.
This semester I am riding in an intermediate Dressage class with Karen Pautz. It meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4PM. Regardless of your seat, riding classes meet twice a week. Then Friday-Sunday there are opportunities to free ride horses that you have successfully ridden in class. Each riding class also has a few teaching techs (usually 2) who are learning how to teach people to ride. I enjoy taking tech lessons on the weekends and free riding.
Because this program is geared toward preparing students for all aspects of the equine industry, riders are responsible for making sure their horse is comfortable and cared for on the days they ride. On a typical class day, I get to the barn around 2:45. Since my class is later in the day, I like to get there early to clean out my horses's stall and give him some love. It is also nice to have some extra time to chat with the other people in my riding class. We always like to guess what we will be working on in class that day.
After the stall is done, I spend extra time grooming. It is one of my favorite things to do! I get to know the personality of the horse and the repetitive brush strokes is calming. I also use the time to go over some anatomical structures I've learned about in my anatomy class (what can I say, I'm a little nerdy!). Once the class is all tacked up and ready to go, we head over to the arena together.
We ride for an hour, and there are six of us in the class. The number of people does depend on your instructor, but it is never more than eight and there is always plenty of room! The way our class is structured there is usually a topic or a skill for the day. Karen tells us about it after we've warmed up and then she either explains an exercise for us or gives us the opportunity to master the skill on our own.
After we get off, we head back to the barn. Then it is time to un-tack and do a little more grooming. I usually spend about twenty to thirty minutes (depending on how sweaty the horse gets!) putting my stuff away and getting my horse settled in for the evening. Then it is off to Tucker Dining Hall for some dinner!
Next week marks midterms for this semester. It is crazy how quickly time flies at The Woods! Coming to college I was very concerned about how I would keep up and handle the course loads, but I've found with a little planning ahead and good study habits I can get what I want out of my classes.
My Best 10 Study Habits:
#10: Try New Things!- Do you ever get into a pattern of studying exactly the same way every time? When I came to college the only way I knew how to study was to re-write my notes and go over them again and again. Now I've used several different strategies like flash cards, creating a study guide, and watching YouTube videos (Be cautious! Make sure they are accurate!). Using different strategies helps me focus, and it makes studying a little less boring.
#9: Get a Buddy- Study buddies are great! I have a friend or sorority sister in every class here at William Woods. Whenever a test is coming up, we study together. That way we have each other to use if we missed a comment that a professor made in class, or if one of us understands a certain concept a little better. It's important to be careful when choosing your buddy. You want someone who has the same motivations that you have and will help you while you help them!
#8: Switch it Up- Sitting down and looking at one subject for hours is not very effective. Give your brain a break and switch topics every so often. That way you stay more interested and focused on what you are reviewing.
#7: Find a Comfortable Space- If you aren't comfortable, you'll spend more time thinking about changing your position or moving around than studying! Pick a quiet spot with a nice place to sit and a surface to write on. That way you will be able to focus on what you're doing, not where you are.
#6: Test Yourself- I do this before all big tests. I write questions out that I think might be on the test and I make sure I can answer them. Be sure that you include the topics you aren't as sure about, that way you can see what you know and identify your confusion.
#5: Teach Someone Else- If you can teach it, you probably know it! Find a friend or a sibling who wouldn't mind listening to you teach them something so you can check your own understanding.
#4: Don't Get Highlighter Happy- Colors are great, especially to point out key ideas and topics. If you use too much, however, it will lose its significance. Only highlighting key points/words/ideas especially the ones you struggle with will train your brain to pay attention to those specific points.
#3: Minimize Distraction- Turn off the TV, put your phone down, and get off the Internet! These little things can become huge distractions and take a way a lot of valuable study time!
#2: Give Yourself a Reward- Rewards are great, especially if you are working on a subject or assignment that you aren't excited about. Give your self a break after you master that one challenging topic. Eat a snack or a little piece of candy (I use Starbursts) after reading five pages of that dense textbook. This way you have incentive to keep going forward!
#1: Plan Ahead!- Studying the night before and only the night before is a bad habit. It is better to review a little at a time a few days before hand, and then do a final review when the test gets closer. If you leave all your studying to the night before odds are you will stay up to late and not get enough sleep before your test! Use a calendar or planner to write down those pesky test dates, and pay attention so they don't sneak up on you!