Sunday, August 28, 2011

Week 1 Down, 119 to Go

The end of the beginning is here for us Howard students now that we have finished our first week of class. W have learned where our classes are (sort of), got all our books (maybe), and learned all of our professors names (probably not). My initial college experience has been hectic since I arrived slightly later than most people did, which put me behind and I have yet to catch up, but I'll get there.
Upon graduation from high school, I thought to myself, (or maybe screamed for all of my friends to hear, I forget) "Yes! No more homework!" Wrong! I have massive amounts of reading to do in books which I don't have, write blogs and poems and take placement tests for some classes. Since the track team has a two practices a day, I now know what the main thing I will be learning at Howard is: time management.
Another thing I will be learning is note taking, and I think this is where Freshmen Seminar will prove to be useful. In a class which is mainly centered around lectures and then blogging about the topics, good notes are going to be a highly valuable resource. In addition this, learning note-taking will provide a good base foundation for the rest of our college experience.
I am going to enjoy the Omoluabi lecture which is based upon communal responsibility, because this world has become so impersonal. Instead of going over a friend's house, people just call instead. But wait, instead of calling, you can just send a text to them. Many people are concerned about the condition of the world today, but in order to become a global community, seeking a shift to a new direction, I think it is necessary for people to actually "commune" with each other.
Most of my expectations have been met here, though much of the time it seems like those in charge of what's going on don't know what is going on. I'm sure I was not the only one to go to somewhere looking for something and then be told to go somewhere else, only to go right back to the first place! But besides that, being on the track team has exceeded my expectations by far! One day Coach made me run about ten miles. Ok, this is no problem, I'll just sleep the rest of the day and I'll be fine. Then Coach says "Joseph, I'll see you this afternoon for your long run." I'm like "What!?" I don't remember the last time my legs weren't sore, but I love it for some cursed reason. Week one, over but not out.

Week One: Being a Befuddled Bison

The Truth

Great expectations toppled over my Space Bag-packed luggage, my most agonizing days of high school, and even the most irritating moments when my dear parents and I could no longer see eye to eye. “Howard!” I would excitedly holler when inquiring teachers or observers of my navy blue lanyard would ask to where was my heart devoted in the fall of 2011. College was going to be my time to make up for everything in high school that I never loved. Howard was to be my respite from home as well as a gateway to this new, beautiful city that I admired so desperately. I had fought to be here and was proud to tell others that I coming here. So why is it that not only a week in, I have questioned my choice in attending the Mecca that is Howard?

The overwhelming dose of homesickness that settled in just a few short days after my arrival, let alone the cold I so graciously caught, was initially attributed to my current lack of enthusiasm for college. I went home to Richmond for a day, only five days into my stay here, so that I could see my best friend off on her way to her own chosen university, hoping that a quick fix of home cooking and late night conversation with my girl would stop the sense of unfulfillment that was welding inside; however, this was simply not to be the case.

So here we are now, first week of classes completed, now wholly conscious of the work my education will require, and I am reflecting, “From where does the root of my weariness lounge?” I don’t have a hundred of them but the good friends I have at home are the type that even the luckiest man in the world would be grateful for. My family has not always held high standings in my book, but just the same I wouldn’t have them any other way. The relevance to the question at hand, you might ask? Struggle. Nothing that I have ever loved or even truly liked has come into my life without it. So until Howard can prove itself to me, it is just another university, despite its rich culture and history. In spite of how ba-hum-bug I may sound, I do hope that Howard meets my expectations. I hope it goes beyond anything I could dream in the realm of life lessons and enriching experiences. My point of significance is that I am beyond the infatuation stage.


I anticipate Freshman Seminar to act as a tool to “bridge the gap” so to speak, in regards to the large transition from high school to college as it acclimates me to my new environment with history and rewarding goals. The routine of the course will benefit me most greatly in my drive towards improving my time management skills. Among those listed, I feel as though the Abandonment and Dismemberment: “Something Torn and New” lecture will be one of my favorites. The impact of enslavement on society interests me, especially on the basis of the psychological impacts it creates on a people.

Friday, August 26, 2011

"The Howard Experience" - Week One

Howard University is an institution that easily surpasses my expectations after finally arriving and settling in. After what seemed like the longest summer ever, I arrived to campus on August 13th and every day after that I’ve seen more reasons why choosing Howard was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. Freshman week activities, lectures, and showcases were just a sneak preview to what we have to look forward to for the next four years. And I must say I’m impressed and excited all at the same time.
            Freshman Seminar was a pleasant surprise for me because the course title “Freshman Seminar” was misleading and caused me to think the class would be about totally different material than it actually is. When registering for courses, I didn’t think much of this class because I thought it would be about adjusting to college life, navigating resources, effective note taking, studying, and things of that nature. I thought to myself, “Those are things I already know.” Now I see that Freshman Seminar is a special course exclusive to Howard University and one that should be especially taken seriously because it’s based on the mission of The Mecca, as well as teaching us some history and opening our eyes to concepts we might not have been introduced to before.
            Upon completion of Freshman Seminar, I expect to have a greater understanding of what being African descent means and also the importance of lifelong learning and research. The lectures that catch my eye are “Omoluabi: Self Actualization and Communal Responsibility”, “Abandonment and Dismemberment: Something Torn and New”, and “Research and Methodology: Inscription as Liberating Practice”. This course will definitely help me meet my academic goals because I see it as a foundation and a motivation. A foundation because it teaches and gives me historic information to stand on, and a motivation because the history is what pushes to me to succeed.
            On another note, Howard is a great place and I see why so many influential, successful people are Howard Alum. College is a different ballgame than high school though, and it took a week for me to actually get hit with reality and understand that. After attending class for a week, we will get settled into our daily routines and slowly but surely the weeding process will begin. Not everyone will make it through these four years. My goal is to not become a “weed” and be picked. With hard work, persistence, balance, and time management I’ll be sure to meet this goal and others.

Kelvonna Goode
HU C/O 2015

Post 1

My first week at Howard has definitely been one of experience! I've gotten the chance to talk with many people of different backgrounds and cultures! I expected Freshman Seminar to be something boring and dealing with a lot of research. I was right about the research, but the materials we are covering are actually very interesting. I am really looking forward to the Abandonment and Dismemberment: "Something Torn and New" lecture, it sounds the most interesting to me. The Freshman Seminar class will help me reach my goals by learning how to do extensive research on my own and with others while giving me the opportunity to embrace my ancestors' history. So far, my expectations for life at Howard have been met exceedingly, excluding the little mayhem with not being as organized as they should be.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ready... Set... GO!

Alas, the summer has ended and a new school year is here. However, this new start is completely different then any new beginning that we've ever embarked on. We are officially in ... College. New places and many new faces. Out of our own individual comfort zones and into a new place in which we soon love and call home. The Class of 2015 comes from as near as a few blocks from main campus and as far as California and Alaska. There are even some students that are international and not from the continental U.S.A.

Now that we are here and wrapped up our first week of classes, I can say that it has been a smooth transition. I can honestly say that I did NOT have any bad encounters with any staff, and I saw them as very helpful. I find that interesting because people often advised me that Howard University,(or just HBCUs in general), would be a terrible place for me to be, and if I had to choose one, go to Morehouse. I felt that I should do what's best for me... and I believe I chose right. Howard Alum California Attorney General Kamala Harris spoke with me and wished me the best at her Alma Mater. I look to do great things here at Howard University - An Elite Black Ivy League School. The "Mecca" of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

My challenge is for all of us to live up to that name and be the best that we can be. The time is now. Are we ready? I think the Class of 2015 is.

Ready... Set... GO!
David Thomas
Political Science
Oakland, CA

First Post (August 22-25): Introduction To The Course

Hello, my name is Dannie Bolden and this is my section of this weeks blog post so feel free to comment and enjoy the reading.

In regards to the question "What do you think college will be like after going to class for a week?", I think that college will soon become as routine as high school once was, you get up, study, do your work, and master your subjects and topics. "What do you expect of freshman seminar ?", I expect freshman seminar to enrich my mind about the progress of Africans and their descendants from the ancient civilization all the way up to our current time period. 

"Which of the lectures seem most interesting?", the lectures that seem the most interesting to me are "Abandonment and Dismemberment: “Something Torn and New” and "Practices of Freedom and Justice: The Black Diaspora". "Which do you feel most comfortable about, or which are you looking forward to the most? ", I feel most comfortable about the Diaspora lecture because it will teach me so many things about why and how the Africans dispersed across the world.

"How do you think Freshman Seminar and/or its goals and objectives help you meet your academic goals?", I honestly at the moment cannot describe how this will impact me in regards to meeting my academic goals in other subjects, but I am sure along the way I will find many uses from this seminar. "Have your expectations for life at Howard been met?", In some ways it has and it someways it has not. Howard University will eventually meet my expectations I am sure.

Until Next Week,

Dannie Bolden II 
Class of 2015