Wednesday, January 30, 2013

New Experiences

by Maryann C., Panther Blogger

This is my last semester at Ferrum College. I am having many different emotions about this fact. I feel excited, nervous, scared, sad, and glad all at the same time! I thought my last semester at Ferrum would not have any new experiences for me; after all, I have been here for four years. I felt like I had done everything there was to do. Well, I was wrong!

This semester, I am doing an internship at Ferrum Elementary School and an "externship" at the Gereau Center in the nearby Town of Rocky Mount.  The Gereau Center is part of the Franklin County middle school where 8th graders go for half of the school year.

Working at Ferrum Elementary School is going to be a very new experience for me. I am studying secondary education, so I have not worked with this younger age group in school before. I have met with my cooperating teacher once and have observed her class one time so far. Based on my first impression, I think I'm going to have a great time working with these kids and learn a lot from my cooperating teacher.

I have done internships at the Gereau Center before, but this one is going to be very different for my cooperating teacher and me. This semester, one of my main focuses is to create lesson plans that all the teachers could access and use that they desire. Let me explain.

At the Gereau Center, they have what is called the CEED Building. It is an environmentally-stable building, and it uses energy from the environment - such as wind and solar - to power itself. The CEED Building also collects data, such as temperature, precipitation, and carbon dioxide levels. My goal is to take the data that the CEED Building collects and use it to create lesson plans, and then make those lesson plans accessible to all teachers.

I am very excited to begin working in both of these internships with the Franklin County Public School system.  I think I am going to learn a lot and of course gain experience. It's amazing how the faculty and staff at Ferrum College never cease to go beyond my expectations with the opportunities and support they provide.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Greetings from New Panther Blogger, Rachel!

by Rachel B., Panther Blogger

Hi, my name is Rachel. I am a sophomore here on campus. One of the main reasons I was attracted to Ferrum was because of the proximity to my house. I am just a hop, a skip, and a jump down Route 40. I am far enough away from home to stay on campus, but close enough to go home on the weekend. One of our family traditions was to see the Jack Tale Players every summer and attend the Folklife Festival every fall. I love the sense of community that Ferrum offers through its programs and activities.

I would recommend Ferrum to any student. This may not be the biggest campus in the world, but it has a lot of opportunities for involvement. At Ferrum, you are not a student ID number; you are a face with a name. This meant the world to me! I decided to come to Ferrum because I had more research opportunities as an underclassman. I was also attracted to playing Division 3 sports.

At Ferrum, the professors are really highly educated. They know whether you are in class, and they really care! Ferrum's Chemistry and Criminal Justice programs are on target for me to reach my career goals. My professors have real-world experience in both the career and college setting. They really can steer a student in the right direction, which is very helpful and a great perk of a smaller school.

On campus, I am a tennis player. This is my main activity, but I am also the Secretary of the Lions Branch Club, a member of the Art Club, and a member of the Boone Honors Program. Division 3 sports allow former high school athletes to compete at a higher level without the extreme stress and pressure of Division 1 and 2. I love playing tennis here! Balance is the key to college, but I have dived in and have found success.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Oh My! Where Do I Begin??

by Anneleisse A., Panther Blogger

Greetings, Ferrum!  It's been awhile since I last blogged and I have much catching up to do!  This year has been full of exciting events so far. Last semester was a busy one because of classes and swimming.

Although I was so busy with schoolwork and swimming, I got to travel to Mexico during my Thanksgiving break for a life-changing experience!  I decided to do something a bit different from my usual travels back home to Colorado; instead, I flew to Cancun, Mexico, where I was able to participate in my first triathlon ever!  The event took place in the Riviera Maya at a park that is one of the 13 natural wonders of Mexico:  Xel-Ha.  It may have been one of the hardest things I have ever done, and at the same time, one of the best experiences ever. The category that I participated in was for Woman Beginners and consisted of 52 participants who had to complete a total of 400-meters swimming, 10k cycling, and 2.5k running.

Swimming was the easiest for me just because I'm on the Ferrum swim team, but the rest was more complicated than I thought. I probably should have practiced running and cycling before doing this triathlon, but thankfully, I was able to achieve a 2nd place!  Honestly, I must say I felt pretty accomplished, and I truly recommend anyone to try out this amazing sport if you get the chance. Because I have family down in Cancun, it was exciting to have them there as my cheerleaders. Plus, I got to meet some pretty talented triathletes, one of whom was a girl named Charlotte Cassarrubias who recently competed at Worlds in Auckland, New Zealand. I also met a guy named Rodrigo Ruiz, who is one of the best triathletes in Mexico. Both Charlotte and Rodrigo are great people and truly inspirational!  I'm looking forward to doing a "Sprint" triathlon in six months where I will do a 750-meter swim, 20k bike ride, and a 5k run.

Coming back to school after being on break is always bittersweet, but I must admit that I was pretty excited that I was going to be able to attend my first Snowball this year. This year's theme was "Everything is better in the dark," and boy, it was fun!  I got to meet many people and take time-off from studying and preparing for finals. It was great to see everyone dress up for the night and dance with friends. I am definitely looking forward to next year's dance. If you didn't attend this year, I truly do recommend making an appearance even if you don't want to stay for the whole night. Ferrum has transportation to and from the event, plus it's so much fun you won't ever notice if you don't have a date.

This semester, I am looking forward to blogging again and trying to keep ya'll up-to-date. So far, we are only two week into the Spring semester, but it's looking good so far. As a member of the Ferrum swim team, we are close to the end of our season. We had a meet on Friday in Greensboro against Greensboro College and Sweet Briar where we took third place. With only two meets left on our schedule, we are all working hard to have a strong finish against Guilford College this weekend and against VMI/Washington and Lee on the 26th. Wish us luck!

P.S. - Laurel, Jess, and Lauren -- if you read this, I love you guys, and let's finish this season strong! And Morgan, good job this season and good luck in softball!

Thank you, and I look forward to next time!
- Anneleisse

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Greetings from Ferrum College Student, Chang!

by Chang S., Panther Blogger

Hi, my name is Chang.  I am an international student at Ferrum College, and I am from China. I am currently a sophomore in my second semester.

I made the decision to study here at Ferrum mainly because one of my friends who graduated from here recommended Ferrum to me, and I consider it a great opportunity to study in the United States.  As some might have recognized, Ferrum is a comparatively small-sized and remote school. So honestly, few big events truly occur from time to time, taking into account that there are less than 2,000 students on campus. However, these are the facts that I well understood before I came here, and they still did not affect my decision.

There are actually a number of good things about being in a small and remote school. In the first place, people know each other better than bigger schools -- which is a good thing because this means we can more easily build up communities of friends. Moreover, in a relatively remote area, the whole environment is a lot quieter so that we can get more focused on our work. Surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, Ferrum is a splendid spot for natural scenery. It is more than enjoyable to appreciate the beauty of nature!

On the other hand, there are still plenty of activities that you are able to attend. Personally, I believe some of the activities that I have been involved in have made a big difference to me. In terms of work and studying, I have been a PAL tutor for two semesters, helping students with math problems. I also became an RA this semester -- still a newbie, yet gradually getting familiar with this job. Ferrum Outdoors has other fun events and trips that I have experienced. I still remembered last year when we went skiing at Wintergreen -- it was awesome! Apart from these, I also enjoy some individual activities which Ferrum provides me the opportunity to have access to. For instance, during my free time, I can teach myself to play the piano using the rehearsal rooms in the Grousbeck Music Center. And the even more fantastic thing I enjoy is doing celestial observations on starry nights with my astronomical telescope!

I think Ferrum has given me a brand new experience which I have never had before. As a matter of fact, it is the first time I have been in a foreign country. It is interesting and also significant to understand cultural differences so that we can build up friendly relationships and get more involved in the community. Folks at Ferrum are really kind to me, and they have been teaching me lots of meaningful things, either in class or out of class. The economic classes and business classes have greatly enhanced my perspectives toward day-to-day issues. Jobs help me to better communicate and interact with people, and they let me know what responsibility means. Critical thinking has taught me to make better decisions.

This is just an overall view about me. I'll be telling you guys some more fun stuff about my experiences at Ferrum. Thanks!