Halfway through already?

Midterms are happening in my classes as I begin to prepare for spring registration. It has been a series of trial and error figuring things out, and halfway through, it still feels like the beginning. I suppose that is a bit of high school still rubbing off on me as I try to keep reminding myself that these are semester courses, not full academic year courses. My high school did not commonly have midterms, so that is a new transition for me as well. I have settled into a little bit of a routine, visited home a few times, and made a small handful of friends. The first papers I had here at Geneseo were for my two history classes, basically simultaneously. Between the two of them and all the reading, I did not even feel like I had time to visit the library. Thankfully, both papers came back with better-than-expected grades. Regardless, I hope to get to the library for future papers, so I do not have the same formatting issues again.

Courses are going fairly well. Since the start of the year, things have settled and it is much easier to manage the workload. The reading was challenging to understand at first; I would have upwards of thirty-page reading assignments in a night. Then, the next day, I could be quizzed on a topic within the readings. At first, I was only remembering the little details that did not matter so much on their own, but I got better at grasping key concepts. I still struggle with this from time to time, but I have improved nevertheless. In the beginning I was hesitant about taking two history classes I had no say in, but I adore them. Also, the Intro to History Major course with Dr. Mapes has been beyond helpful. At first, I brushed it off, wondering why I even needed to take it. However, I have been getting opportunities to meet the department, see a sample of the library’s special collection, get advice on reading and writing that I can easily apply. In fact, I doubt I would be doing better in my other history classes’ readings without this Intro to History Major course.

Halfway through INTD105-01, a writing seminar with Prof. Arena, it has been going very well! Since we finished some of the key concepts from the seminar, we have been working on the topic, Theatre: Therapy for Veterans. Since the start, we have finished The Theatre of War by Bryan Doerries. Doerries studied Greek plays in college, and after the tragic loss of his partner to cystic fibrosis, he found a personal connection to them that helped voice how he felt. He made it his life’s mission to read his translations to people who have experienced trauma, especially to war veterans. I do not have a military family; only a few distant cousins, my great uncle and my great grandfather served. Although they served, they never talked about it. I never understood even a smidge of the struggles that veterans and their loved ones go through or that people thousands of years ago experienced such similar struggles. I was drawn to this course by the use of theatre, something I have always enjoyed for entertainment, being used as therapy for those with post traumatic stress disorder. Not only am I learning about how those with this condition cope, but it is helping me form an understanding of people I would have otherwise not been able to connect.

I have not changed stances much on where I hope to be at the end of the semester since I got here, but want to be ready to take the next step up in classes next semester. Due to the amount of credits I have coming in, I do not have a lot of gen ed left and I have previously been advised to start some second-year coursework. Keeping my GPA good is an overarching goal along with get a good foundation set up, and continuing to improve my writing. I also aim to get a better grasp of Chicago citation style, as that is what a bulk of my future essays will be using. By the end of the semester, I also hope to gain a better sense of initiative for getting any help I need. I just need to get through this semester and keep calm. Knowing me, the end will likely catch me by surprise, I will panic, and then will get anxious. I am hoping by the time this semester ends fewer things catch me off guard that are in the syllabus. However for now, I just need to keep reminding myself it will all be okay.

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