Where have I been? The answer is…not at Erskine! That’s right, I used Erskine’s unique J-term opportunity to pursue interests outside of the classroom and spent the month at home. Okay, now before you go there, I did do some work. I promise. However, I was able to do work in a setting much different from the college atmoshpere and gain a new perspective entering into the spring semester.
In case you are unsure of what I am talking about, J-term or Winter Term as some may call it, is a one month semester taking place during the month of January. Rather than beginning a full spring term after returning from Christmas, here in Due West students take this month to take only ONE class. These classes are typically unrelated to their majors and range from Music Videos and Cinema to Math Puzzles and so much more. In addition, January offers unique travel destinations to places such as New York and Italy! However, I chose to do none of those this year.
After the Christmas lights were taken down and all of the presents were put away, I began researching areas in my field, Education. While at Erskine, I have had plenty of chances to take classes and spend time in the schools with students, but I wanted to spend January looking into specific areas of interest and sharing them with professionals. Therefore, I spent the month exploring the topics of collaboration, service learning, and technology before presenting them at teachers’ meetings at local schools. While I will admit this was somewhat intimidating, it was also extremely rewarding. I was able to see what a difference I could make in my community while also gently stepping into the world of professionalism. Even better, I got three hours of credit for this! I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend my month.
Does this sound exciting to you? Or perhaps it is rather boring? Either is okay! Many more opportunities like mine exist and Erskine can help you find them. Through internships, externships, and research opportunties, if you are willing to work, you can find a way. So now, I am back and well into my second week of the spring semester. I am sure I will have some intersting stories so be sure to keep looking…there is more to come.