Hey there! As you should know by now, my name is Valerie Amerlan. I am a returning sophomore here at Fontbonne University. I love being social and interacting with others, however I am much better at this in person, rather than blogging. But I am also up for new things, so I thought why not give this a shot 🙂
I’ll start off by telling you a few things about myself. I am originally from the small town of Bakersfield, Missouri, which is pretty much as country and backwoods as you can get. But that is more than okay with me 🙂 I take pride in where I am from and how I was raised. Family is the number one thing in my life, but you don’t have to be a blood relative for me to consider you part of my family. I love the outdoors; hiking, camping, float trips, muddin’, hunting, the whole nine 🙂
Going back to where I’m from, you might ask me “What are you doing way up here in the big city?” (Or you might not ask that because you don’t consider St. Louis the “big city”) Either way, one of the reasons I’m up here is because, like I said, I like trying new things. I’ve always wanted to travel, but when family is the number one thing in your life, and you have a huge family, it’s hard to leave them to go to a far away place, and nearly impossible to take them all with you.
If I had to look back at freshman year and compare it to this year as a sophomore, for starters I would say that I am a heck of a lot busier this year. As a freshman I was mainly confused as to what was going on since it was my first time in college just like everyone else around me. I had to learn the ropes and the flow to the campus like how the semester was and such. Sure I made mistakes and learned from those mistakes especially in terms of planning my time. Now that I know the mistakes I have taken what I know and thought of plans to avoid them again. I plan my time out as best as I can and make sure to seek help when things seem to become too overwhelming before it is too late.
My homework load as a freshman was not that bad I would say, since I was making sure to take enough credit hours that I could handle primarily. So homework was never too much but also not too little. Usually I always had something to do each night unless I was free and worked ahead on some courses. This year I can say that I have a lot more homework since I am also balancing a practicum for the first time. So far I know that I am doing well because my grades are still high, but once I finish an assignment, I always have another one just waiting for me to complete before the dead line. Now I can say that I have not been waiting till the last minute to begin an assignment, though sometimes I have my little moments. I mean we all do.
Last year I was not a part of any clubs or groups as much as I am now. Just the other day I had a few classmates say “Sarah you are really involved and on campus practically all the time.” Well I guess I can take that as a compliment because I like to know that people may think I am involved or see me a lot. I know I see a list of friends at least once every day and if not then definitely the next day. I am not saying that I don’t like being involved, but when a person is involved I believe that they really become a part of the campus. That very person is actively giving a part of his or her time and talent into the university, whether it be by giving tours as an ambassador or being an officer in a club. It doesn’t matter what exactly the person is doing on campus but just that they are giving of their time.
I was excited for this school year. It is my second year here, and I have become vice president of the Residential Housing Association. My schedule didn’t look too bad. I am glad that I have no Friday classes. My favorite class so far is my introduction to secondary teaching. This is a more hands on class. I have a co operating teacher that I work with. I get to do a lot from grading papers to teaching a lesson. Both of my hardest classes I have friends that can help me out with what I am not understanding.
I have met a lot of new faces. They all seem like a good group of friends for me. The international students are great too. One of them taught me a Brazilian card game. It was confusing at first, but once i got the hang of it, I enjoyed it. My best friends have introduced me to some freshmen that are pretty cool in my book.
Three weeks have come and gone, and it feels like we never even had a summer break. It’s so natural and easy to fall back into step here at Fontbonne — back in the same routines with classes, work, homework, and hanging out with friends. Although it feels like we never had a summer break, I have certainly noticed the course load difference between freshman and sophomore year. I have much more homework, and my class schedule is completely different as well. On Mondays I have 4 classes, and on Tuesdays I have 2, one of which is 2 hours and 45 minutes, and we meet at Brentwood Middle School. Wednesdays I have 3, but then on Thursday and Friday I only have one which makes it easy to relax at the end of the week.
Although the work load is harder, I am still really excited about this semester. The class on Tuesday that meets at Brentwood is a lot of fun, and is teaching me much more than I imagined. It’s my first real education course I have taken, and it is making it very clear to me that teaching is what I want to go into. This course also requires 30 hours of observation, so I am spending 3-4 hours a week in a 7th grade, math classroom. I have already gone once, and I absolutely loved it! The kids are so energetic, and it is so much fun to see how they try to figure out problems. Observing, and helping in a classroom opened my eyes much more than I thought it would. I never looked at the classroom from the teacher’s point of view, so that was really cool to get to do.
Along with balancing work, classes, and a social life, I am trying to be more involved this year. I am going to more FAB events (Fontbonne Activities Board) as well as trying to help out with Campus Ministry more. So far, these three weeks have been great! I couldn’t be happier to be back, and to not be the lowest on the food chain anymore 🙂