It’s the last week of class . . . where has the time gone? I know that everyone is excited that summer is nearly here. Unfortunately, we still have that week of stress known as “finals” standing in our way. Ugh!
Anyway, for many students, these last two weeks are the final days of school before moving into the “real”world. Graduating seniors, besides studying for finals and finishing projects, have been preparing for graduate school or filling out job applications, completing forms for graduation, and purchasing caps and gowns. Let me tell you, it takes a lot of work to graduate! Preparing for the next step takes a lot of preparation.
The next step for me involves earning a graduate degree in speech-language pathology; my field requires a master’s degree before I can become a speech therapist. I have enrolled in Fontbonne’s master’s communication disorders program, and will begin my studies this summer. While I don’t have a lot of down time before the next leg of my academic journey begins, I will get to have some vacation time before I return to school. Kind of. But not really.
The day after graduation, I leave for a trip to Germany with the HST/PHL/REL 496 class on the Holocaust, and I return a few days before summer classes begin. I am excited to be visiting a new country, but with moving to an apartment and trying to get ready for graduate school, I will be super busy for the next two months. But since I’ll be continuing school for two more years, I don’t feel like I’m growing up quite yet. I will be doing many of the same things I’ve been doing—attending classes, seeing friends, working. I think that my next step in schooling is slowing my progression to adulthood. Which can be both good and bad.
What is your next step in life? Are you beginning a new job, a new school, or a new year at Fontbonne?
This is my last semester at Fontbonne. Wow. Though it feels like I’ve been waiting for years to be able to say that, actually saying it feels strange.
I finished all of my courses required for my various biology programs in December, so now I’m just finishing up my theatre minor and taking a couple of independent study courses with two of my favorite Fontbonne professors. In addition, I’ll continue working for the Kinkel Center as a peer tutor for biology courses, and I’ll continue interning in my microbiology lab.
I’d be the first to say that this blog’s title may seem contradictory, since I’m hoping to go “back to school.” I’ve had aspirations to continue with my education at the graduate level ever since my freshman year at Fontbonne when one of my professors told me I’d need a graduate degree in order to pursue science and, in particular, biomedical research in the way that I want to. As of right now, however, I have no idea where I’m going or which type of degree I’ll be pursuing. For someone who’s as much of a planner as me, not knowing such important life details can begin to feel unbearable at times.
All of that aside, however, I’m hoping to have a relatively peaceful last semester at Fontbonne before I enter graduate school and the “real world.” Welcome back, Griffins, and a good semester to all.
I must admit that during my undergrad studies I went to the library to A.) Print a paper when my dorm printer didn’t work, B.) Find a book to use as a cited source when the professor required it, and finally (my favorite) C.) Take a nap! Now, college students, I am not saying this is the best way to use the library! As a matter of fact, now that I am in my graduate studies I have found myself in the library more than not, especially these last few weeks. I think the Librarians even know my favorite computer and my habit of grabbing a soda and snack after I claimed said computer then sitting down and punching out paper after paper. For those that don’t know, teaching majors have to complete what is called the Culminating Project which is a 3-inch binder filled with data reports, papers, lesson plans, reflections and samples of student work. Now, if you are like me and a commuter, the Library is the best place to complete this massive piece of work.
When at home, I find myself distracted by my dog who constantly feels she should be petted or played with, TV shows and movies, my parents telling me to do something, and of course taking a nap. However, when at the Library I have nothing else to do but sit and write. It’s amazing how when at home it takes me an entire day to punch out three papers, but at the Library I can be there for an hour and have my daily allotment of work done.
I honestly have no idea how I would have gotten my Culminating Project done without the Library at Fontbonne! If you are also fortunate like me and find yourself living out in a very rural area where the local Library doesn’t even have a computer then heading out to Fontbonne was the only way I had to print my papers out (I say this because after my last move my printer found its way down a flight of stairs, it doesn’t work so well).
To wrap this up, I must say, during finals or even during a stressful time try the Library, it can’t hurt to try!
This semester, I took a leadership course for graduate students (HES535 Leadership Development for Professional Practice). In this class, we talked about different leadership styles based on theories. There were many meaningful assignments we needed to do for this class. One of my favorite projects is to shadow a CEO or president in a non-profit organization.
I chose the CEO at Health Literacy Missouri to shadow because I like their mission: “to help people make good health decisions,” and my major is related to what they do: to offer health literacy training, health environment assessments, and plan language services to help health care systems improve patient outcomes.
Dr. O’Leary is the CEO at Health Literacy Missouri. She is a very intelligent, organized, and supportive leader. She brought me to attend different meetings with her to observe different leadership styles, to experience the decision-making process and to observe the importance of synergy in the team’s action. After shadowing different meetings with Dr. O’Leary, and observing how she communicated with her staff and board members, I learned a lot leadership skills from her. The most important things I’ve learned from her is to focus on the real job. As a CEO at health literacy Missouri, Dr. O’Leary’s real job is to lead and manage that organization. She is a very knowledgeable female leader and very good at focusing on her real job. Moreover, she is a very good communicator who reads situations fast and communicates with people efficiently.
This is a one of the most meaningful projects I’ve done during my student life at Fontbonne. I will use the lessons I’ve learned from this class and Dr. O’Leary to encourage myself to be a successful leader in my future career.