Hello again, everyone! As promised, I'm writing before the week ends.
I've tried to spread myself out this week to cover as much ground as possible to keep you updated. I spent most of my time creating a social media report, but still managed to visit and keep track of some of the activities the students were doing. Speaking of the social media report, thanks for being such an awesome audience. The number of views throughout all of our social media has been incredible!
Now back to the important part: our students. I took the Academic Foundations for Non-Native English Speakers (AFNNES) kids for breakfast on Monday and showed them where their classes are. The AFNNES class has a group of 8 students from a high school in China, which I think is awesome (as an international myself). I also think it's great that students from other programs will get to learn about another culture by spending time with the AFNNES students.
I see both the Documentary Filmmaking and Summer Institute in Leadership and Sustainability students frequently, as they hold some of their classes outside, enjoying the comfortable weather we're experiencing. I personally know the Teaching Assistants (TAs) for those programs, and I'm positive the students are learning a lot from them.
I managed to visit the Summer Design Academy (SDA) yesterday. Architecture is something that has always interested me and I really wish I were doing the project they're working on right now. The House & Garden project concentrates not only on the structure of the building itself, but also on determining the right topography. I'll check on them later today to view the finished models.
As for the Astronomy kids, they'll be visiting the campus telescope in the afternoon and I'm already planning on meeting them there. Next week I'm sure I'll get to spend more time with the Kinesiology group, since they'll be doing more outside activities.
I also had the opportunity to throw a football around and have dinner with the Research Intensives students. Even though they've been here for almost four weeks they're still as energetic as they were the first week. There's a great sense of community, and like I said last time, I feel like they've been here as long as I have.
In other outside-of-class activities, I enjoyed a Spinning class with some of the students on Wednesday, taught by one of our Program Assistants! Tuesday featured a workshop with Admissions representatives from Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, Worcester Polytechnic Institute and of course, UMass Amherst. The first SAT Prep course took place on Wednesday for students who signed up for it, and our very own Director, Anne Hutchinson, complemented the two other workshops with a Common App masterclass on Thursday.
Our students are not only getting the academic and social experience of living at UMass Amherst, they're also learning steps to take to improve their applications to any college!