Posts in: HY104

Research Paper- The Rough Draft

Our final research papers are in full swing! On Friday, our rough drafts were due to Susan- both an electronic and a hard copy- by 5 pm.

Susan told us, “Make the drafts as complete as possible. But remember, this is a work in progress. The point is to get started. The more you can get down on paper the easier it is for the critics to make substantive comments. If you don’t complete a section, then sketch it out. If you’re stuck on organization or on the argument, say so. Try even at the draft stage to write clearly and correctly..”

While are rough drafts are just that-rough- all of the students in my class have tried to add as much substance to their papers as possible.

On Thursday, Susan gave us the guidelines for our rough drafts, and also split us into four groups of four. We were assigned to ‘read three other papers and prepare a set of written comments on each one.” On Monday, we are going to “meet with the other readers in the classroom or break out rooms to discuss the paper in turn.” The goal of this workshop is to allow readers to offer their comments and allow the writers to respond and ask for guidance.

Susan gave us a list of general elements to evaluate the drafts, as well as guidelines for proper editorial etiquette.

Personally my  paper is nowhere near perfect, so I am excited for my peers to edit my work. The paper took me quite a while to write, so I’ll be glad when I have an outsiders look at my draft. The draft took me about ten-twelve hours to complete, including topic choice, research, outlining, and actually writing, just to give you all an idea.

All of our papers must include a bibliography and either endnotes or footnotes done according to the Chicago Manual of Style. I have never used Chicago style before, so I am eager to obtain the help of our school librarians, other classmates, and Susan as well.

I’ll keep you updated throughout the week on our progress, as the papers are due Friday.

Have a great day, and I’ll write again soon!


HY104 Soccer!

Hello everyone!

Our rough drafts for our research papers are due tomorrow, so I’m on bit of a time crunch! However, I wanted to get another post out to you.

I decided that today I would write about our intramural soccer team! Our wonderful FYE Mentor, Mark, signed us all up to be on an intramural soccer team here at CC! Intramural sports can be played by anyone, and compete against other teams of students here at CC. Our entire class is on our soccer team, and so far we have had two games!

While I didn’t have a chance to go to the first game, I heard that we did not do so well against a reigning championship team. I heard that we actually got crushed 7-0, but that the team still had a great time!

Yesterday’s game went really well! We actually won 2-1! We played our game at 4:30 on Slocum Quad, and the weather was great! Quite a few of the guys in our class, namely Gavin, Sam, James, and Dennis, stood out as soccer superstars and really helped bring our team to victory!

While I am a horrible soccer and clearly the weakest link on the team, they all cheered me on as I attempted not to get hit with the ball. Forming an intramural soccer team has been great for class morale, and has added another component to our class bond. While not everyone was able to make it to the game yesterday, the majority of our class had a great time!

I will write again soon everyone!


HY104 Trip to the CC Cabin

Earlier this week, our class went to the CC Cabin, and it was great!

The CC Cabin is a college-owned cabin in the mountains that is available to all classes to use.

All of the members of our class, including Susan, left campus at about 3:45 on Monday. We took a CC-owned small charter bus to the cabin, which was about 1 hour away. We took turns playing deejay and had fun together on the bus ride there. The drive was absolutely beautiful! We went through a wonderful mountain pass and through Woodland Park, CO to get to our destination.

Once we got there, we were dropped off at the bottom of a large hill. We had to carry our belonging up the hill on this narrow path, which was a bit of a struggle for some of us (namely me). After about 15 minutes of uphill trekking, we made it to the cabin.

The cabin was great! It was three stories high. In the basement was a large bedroom, foosball table, and both a men’s and women’s restroom with showers. The main floor had a living room, fireplace, large kitchen, bathroom with a shower, and two long tables with benches for us to eat. The main floor also had access to the deck, which wrapped around the back of the building. The deck had great views of the valley and mountain! The top floor was a simple area with about seven bunk beds for sleeping.

We explored the main cabin for a while, and of course claimed beds! While one of our classmates, Dennis, began grilling hamburgers and hot dogs for our dinner, most of us engaged in silent reading to finish our reading assignment for the next day, which was a selection from Pico’s “Oration on the Dignity of Man.”

At about 7 pm, we had dinner, which consisted of hamburgers, hot dogs, beans, chips, salad, and salsa. The food was actually very good because it came from the dining hall here at CC.

After dinner, some of us exercised or just sat around and talked with one another. It was so nice to be able to relax in the beautiful cabin!

Later on, we made s’mores in the fireplace and watched the classic movie “Casablanca,” which was set in northern Africa on the Mediterranean Sea, which is why it technically related to the course.

After the movie, some of use went to bed, and some of us stayed up to play games.

The next morning, Susan woke most of us up with, “Class starts in ten minutes!” So obviously we all got out of bed pretty quickly. We ate muffins and fruit and yogurt for breakfast while we prepared for class.

Class took place as usual as we discussed “Oration on the Dignity of Man.” It was a deeply philosophical day, as it usually is, as we discussed the relationship between man and God.

After class ended at about 12:30, we had lunch. This included a variety of sandwiches, including peanut butter and jelly, leftover hamburgers, and lunchmeat and cheese sandwiches, as well as chips and cookies.

After lunch, we divided up the chores for leaving the cabin. We packed our things, wiped down counters, did dishes, swept the floors, and cleaned the fireplace. After we finished that, we took a group photo on the deck and headed back down the hill to the bus.

Susan offered to take a few of us down the hill in her car, so Jhana and Gabby were the lucky recipients of that prize. I was able to stash my bags in her van though, so my load was light.

Most of us slept on the bus ride home, but I again enjoyed the beautiful scenery of the Rocky Mountains.

The purpose of this trip was to provide us with a bonding experience and to allow us to enjoy the great outdoors using CC resources. Overall, the trip to the CC Cabin was enjoyed by all, and I can’t wait to get to go back in another class.


Talk to you later!


First Research Paper Update! 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!

Back in Action

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!






Class Length

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!


HY 104- Homework Load

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 to keep 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 very 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.







So Far in Week Two- HY104

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’s trilogy “The Oresteia.” While some may think that plays written more than 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 is 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 to class work, but also to 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!



Week One- FYE HY104

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 to 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 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, an 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!