Friends at home often look at me quizzically when I say I’m going back to school on January 2nd, since that date is significantly earlier than the start-date for most colleges. I’m never reluctant to return, however, even after enjoying weeks of delightful holiday relaxation. Why is this? Because during January, Erskine students take only one class—a lovely way to ease back into the hustle and bustle of the regular semester on the heels of Christmas vacation.
J-term enables us Erskine students to study one subject deeply and thoroughly, to explore disciplines unrelated to our majors, and to enjoy unique classroom experiences, such as taking a trip to Columbia to study state politics hands-on or taking a course on detective fiction (which involves Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie—so it has to be good!). Since I’ve been at Erskine, I’ve found that January is a month filled with fun, time to hang out with friends, and awesome new experiences.
This year is no exception, since I’m in a J-term taught by Dr. Brad Christie and Professor Glick titled “Flight to the City: EC in NYC.” Yep. We’re going to spend eight days in New York, viewing sites and theater events ranging from the Empire State Building to the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Carmen. In preparation for this horizon-widening, fun-filled journey, we’ve discussed the best way to observe and analyze art (which will come in handy as we keep detailed journals of everything we encounter), how to navigate in New York City (skills which we’ll especially use during our liberal amounts of free time), and how to best appreciate and learn from events such as the opera or a performance by the New York Philharmonic. In addition, each student in the class of eighteen is giving a presentation on so
me site or feature of New York, either before or during the trip. Listening to several of those reports today was a great way to learn more about the city…and has made me that much more incredibly excited about all that I’m about to see and experience. Hello, New York!