In Fall 2017, I fulfilled Goal 1, which is the Longwood Seminar goal.
Longwood Seminar (LSEM) is a course that every freshman at Longwood takes that helps them transition from high school to college life. Typically, LSEM classes are sectioned by major and are taught by a Peer Mentor. My LSEM cohort was all students in the LIFE STEM program, so the curriculum differed from everyone elses. While we went over Longwood traditions, financial tips, and discussed the summer reading like everyone else, our LSEM did an online course to help build mathematical skills and had discussions with our professor based off of our needs in LIFE STEM. For the Honors students, this course counted as an Honors class credit as well.
I found this course to be beneficial in many ways. While I personally did not struggle in the transition to life at Longwood, I found it helpful to learn Longwood norms from my Peer Mentor. It was nice to automatically know an upperclassman, and she was able to help me when I had questions. I also found it relaxing to have this class twice a week because it was a laid back environment compared to more rigorous classes, and I got to become close with my LIFE STEM peers. Our professor also did an amazing job checking in with us and she created a comfortable space. She even taught a class outside one day and she brought us snacks every week.
The artifact I chose to include is a Journal Reflection, which is when we had to write on a specific topic each week. This particular week, the topic was open. I chose to write about an unpleasant experience I had where one of my best friends pranked me the week prior by joking about contracting HIV. I chose this artifact for a few reasons. The first reason I chose this particular Reflection is because the rest of the Journal Reflections I wrote were not as colorful as this one. The second reason is that I think this piece reflects an interesting lesson. Serious things like contracting HIV are simply not funny to joke about happening. It made me really unhappy with my best friend. It represented a time where I was just getting settled into my college life and I was separated from all of my friends from home, making me extra vulnerable in this situation. I also see this artifact as a time capsule because I remember the exact evening when this story occurred and how I felt. Looking back, I have done so much and I have grown so much as a young woman, so there are some positive feelings towards this artifact. Overall, I think it is an exciting and emotional piece to read back on and I think it represents the quality of my work for this course nicely.