Posts in: HY104
Beginning the First Research Paper! A huge portion if our grade this block is a large research paper! We have to write a ten page paper about any topic regarding Mediterranean history! We are only allowed to use primary sources, and the paper is due towards the end of the block. The first step we took in beginning our research paper was taking a trip to the library. There, we attended a presentation by one of the head librarians, Diane, and she helped us learn how to identify primary sources. I had never been taught the exact definition of a primary source, so her information was valuable. She gave us step-by-step tutorials on how to use library resources and also gave us a list of search engines and online databases. I plan on doing a separate blog post on this topic later this week, as I took lots of notes during the presentation! So far, the paper has been going well. Early this week we had to turn in a paper prospectus to Susan. I had a difficult time choosing a topic, but once I figured out my topic, I was fine. I have decided to write on the factors that led to Charlemagne’s successful empire and what personal and environmental conditions made him a great leader. We met with Susan in blocks of 20 minutes last week to discuss our topics and work out any issues we’d had with choosing a topic. I had for the most part worked out my topic, so my meeting was short, as Susan approved of my topic. We have a rough draft due on Friday, and Susan said she would mark up our rough drafts. So far, her comments have been very helpful, so hopefully the comments on the rough draft will be useful in doing our final editing. I will update you all more on this as the paper progresses. Have a great rest of the weekend!
Well, here we are! We’ve officially embarked on the second block of HY104- the two block FYE course that I am enrolled in. All FYE courses are two blocks long, which is why my course is still technically a featured course. Also, my class fulfills the West In Time requirement, which is an all- college requirement. I’ll put a link to more information about that here:
I thought I would write this blog post on my first block reflections, a few tips and tricks of your first block,and basically just my thoughts on the course so far!
Pros of the course:
I love that the course has a wide variety of reading materials. I’ve written about this before, but it’s true. If I don’t find one day’s reading interesting, the next day’s usually is.
The class starts at 9:15 am instead of 9 am! This may not sound like a huge difference, but those extra few minutes of sleep really help me out on weekday mornings.
We have really bonded as a class! Most of the time I have lunch after class with someone in my FYE. All of the people are great, and the class environment is stimulating and intellectual.
The papers and homework are manageable. I usually have about 2 hours of homework per night. This is, however, just an average. I have never felt the need to pull an all-nighter, nor have I been extremely stressed out. The work is totally doable. As long as I do not procrastinate, I can finish my homework and still have time to participate in extracurricular activities or simply watch a movie.
Susan is absolutely brilliant! I can tell that she has an insane amount of knowledge on the subject of Mediterranean history, and it is so cool to be able to learn from her.
Susan’s few lectures have been great! I love learning about ancient cultures, and she certainly is knowledgable and interesting to listen to and learn from.
The large amount of discussion that we have is hard for me to do. I am usually pretty quiet in class, so it can be hard for me to speak up and interject my own thoughts. However, I guess it can also be twisted around to be seen as a pro, because I am learning how to be an effective participant in discussion.
Learning how to manage my own time has been a bit challenging. However, as long as I motivate myself to get my homework done as early as possible, it isn’t a problem.
Some tips for HY104:
1. Actually do the reading! I can tell when some people skim the reading, and discussion usually really lacks the next day.
2. Do not procrastinate! Get the homework done as soon as possible, because it will save valuable time later.
3. Go to the writing center! WE have had 2 essays so far, and I’ve gone to the writing center both time. Without a doubt, my tutor helped me improve my essay immensely. The Writing Center is an invaluable tool in this class.
4. Go to Susan’s office hours! I’ve been twice, and both times I was able to get a more clear idea of what she was looking for in assignments. Susan is so personable, and while it was a bit intimidating to go, she truly helped me out.
I’m going to try and write every weekday this block, as now I am a bit more knowledgable about Colorado College, and have a better grasp on this class and can give better advice. I hope you all enjoy reading, and have a great day!
Another huge concern I had coming in to my class was the length of time I would spend in class each day. In high school, I had never had a three hour class, and I was worried that the professor would not be able to fill that time and keep our interests.
As it turns out, this has not been a problem at all! We start class everyday at 9:15 am in Palmer Hall. We spend the first half of class engaging in discussion about the reading material from the homework. We have class for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, and then we take a break. Susan is usually great about seeing when we need a break, and giving us time to collect our thoughts before the second half of class. Breaks usually last about 15 minutes. We can spend the break however we’d like. Many of us stand in the hallway and talk, catch up on our phone messages, eat a snack, or even take a quick nap in the breakout room adjacent to our classroom. Then, after break, it’s right back to business. If Susan is lecturing that day, she’ll take the second half of class to do that. The second half is usually also reserved for quizzes or worksheets.
We end class anywhere between 11:45 and 12:15 depending on the day. While it can seem daunting to be in class for so long, it hasn’t ever felt like it was dragging. The small break after the first half of class allows us to catch our breath and clear our heads before jumping back into a discussion or class work.
When class ends, it’s only about noon and you have the rest of the day to do as you please.
So far, I am loving the block plan and it’s intense study, and I can’t wait to continue in my FYE second block.
I’ll write again soon!
As an incoming freshman, I was very worried at the start of the year that I would not be able to keep up academically in college. Colorado College has such an amazing academic reputation, and I was wrought with fear that it would be too much to handle. Coming from a large public high school, I was accustomed to honors and AP classes, but I just did not know how I would fare. Today, I hope to assuage your fears, and give you the details on the homework load for this “West In Time” requirement-fulfilling FYE.
HY 104 is definitely a reading-heavy course. On average, every night I have about 2-4 hours of reading. The weekends have brought about six hours of homework total. The readings for this class have been a mix of literature, non-fiction research papers, scientific articles, historical accounts, primary sources, and even plays. The wide variety of reading material is great! I have found that if one reading assignment is not especially exciting to me, the next night’s material is.
While reading, I usually take detailed notes in a separate notebook. Many of my classmates have chosen to write in the textbooks, but I prefer keeping my thoughts and the actual text separate. I have found it helpful to include chapter plot summaries, thick questions, notes on character motivation, and bullet points of main ideas in my notebook about the material. Keeping notes on each reading has helped me sort out my thoughts, and also aids in remembering discussion topics in class.
So far, we have only had one essay. It was five pages and analyzed Greek conceptions of human power. We just got our essays back, and I plan on doing a separate post about our first college essay. For your own reference, it took me about ten hours to write the essay from start to finish. This time included the help that I received from Susan during her office hours, and a trip to the Writing Center.
We have nine books that we each had to purchase (which cost me about $140 total by the way), and Susan tells us that we will use them all over the course of this class. We have also used many online articles and documents. So far, we have read through three of our books almost in their entirety. While that may seem like a lot, it has been very manageable for me. It is also nice that we do not have to worry about another class. The Block Plan has been working out nicely for me in that way.
In conclusion, I have found that the homework load has been vey manageable in this course. I will most likely do an update/ final thoughts post on this topic towards the end of Block 2.
Thank you so much for reading, and I will write again soon.
Hey ,everyone! Nila Here. This week has been Greek mania in HY104! The main focus of the first part of the second week of class has been ancient Greek culture, history, and society. (hint- look at the title of the course)
Again, I’ll give you a small sample of the activities we’ve done in class and assignments we’ve had so far this week.
Monday, September 9
Over the weekend, we were required to read Agamemnon, the first play in Aeschylus’ trilogy “The Oresteia”. While some may think that plays written over 2,000 years ago would be incomprehensible, this work was equally fascinating and informative. The majority of this class period was spent discussing the text and clarifying events.
Tuesday, September 10
For this class period, we were required to have read the second two plays in “The Oresteia”. Again, these plays were manageable and for the most part, understandable. I never thought that I would have an interest in Greek theatre, but this play as a whole was intriguing. As before, the class period was spent discussing the text. Issues of Godly power in the minds of ancient Greeks were a main focus as well.
Wednesday, September 11
Today, we met at our professor, Susan’s, house for class! That was really fun, and it was nice that she invited us into her home to hold class. It was a nice change of scenery from the classroom-Palmer Hall 233. We mainly discussed Tuesday night’s homework- which was to read Aristotle’s “On Politics” and to write an online post pertaining to our thoughts on his definition of a good life or government. As traditional with works of Aristotle, our class spent hours discussing his philosophies.
If you love discussing historical viewpoints and ancient works, trust me, this class is for you!
I plan to write again pertaining not just about class work, but of the class homework load and tips, as well as interviews with other students in the class and maybe even Susan Ashley!
Talk to you later!
Hi everyone! My name is Nila, and I am a member of the Colorado College Class of 2017! I am so excited to be writing this blog for you and letting you know all about my HY 104- History of the Mediterranean course for Blocks 1&2.
This week, we have started to study how to study history. Every night, our professor, Susan, has assigned us primary sources to read about how the Mediterranean is studied and viewed. Each reading has opened up my eyes to the Med., and I cannot wait to continue my studies in this course.
I’ll give you a brief summary of the syllabus, just so you have an idea about what exactly we’ve been covering in these first four days.
Day 1- Monday, September 2
This day was an introduction to the “Great Sea.” We mainly discussed the expectations for the class, and did an intro to life in the Med. Our homework on Monday night was so print out and read articles that Susan had chosen for us. These first articles focused on geology and a physical history of the region.
Day 2- Tuesday, September 3
The second day was mainly a discussion-based class period. We discussed the points of view of the authors from whom we had read the night before. Topics included “What are some of the theories that surround the geological history of the Med”, and “The Salinity Crisis of the Mediterranean.” That evening, we were assigned a group project in which we divided up a reading by Braudel about the topography and geology of the region, and then had to give a presentation to the class about the importance of our reading.
Day 3- Wednesday, September 4
Yesterday was a presentation day. The first two groups were able to present their information. Also, a man from the library tech department came in and helped us sign into Prezi, and online tool we will be using to build an interactive map.
Day 4- Thursday, September 5
Today, we finished our group presentations. Also, Susan gave her first lecture about Greek history. That was very interesting and engaging! Tonight we had to read the Greek creation myths, and tomorrow we will be discussing the difference between Greek and Christian creation.
I hope this blog helps anyone who is interested in HY104, and I’ll write again soon!