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Welcome to Peer to Peer, the CAS Peer Advising Blog! Check out our posts for FAQs, advising tips, and current events!

Friday, December 7, 2012

'Tis the Season!

Happy last day of classes everyone! You are in the home stretch and will soon be able to say you have completed one full semester of college here at AU. With holidays and relaxation soon around the corner, right after those good ol' finals of course, us peer advisors thought it would be a good idea to give you some tips on studying and acing those finals as well as preparing for second semester.


December break is almost here and the air is filled with the holiday spirit, but first, we must  survive finals week! Here are a few tips on how to do so:

1. Create a Study Schedule: as you probably learned from Midterms week, you can't just study the day before the exam, and at the same time, you probably have many exams to study for and papers to write. So, the best thing to do to avoid freak-out mode and stress overload is to create a (relatively flexible) study schedule. Mark your calendar for due dates and exams, break down the things you need to do (chapters you need to revise, note cards you need to write) and assemble a tentative schedule for your finals week.

2. Study breaks: take 15 minute breaks every 45 minutes or so, and switch subjects every two hours. 

3. Study groups! 'nuf said...

4. Exercise and sleep: they are not just awesome study breaks, but they also help you stay sharp, allow you to focus more, and increase your memory. 

5. Eat right: while finals is oftentimes junk food craving time, make sure to eat right to help your brain function at its best and keep your energy levels up.Some good brain foods include nuts, dark chocolate, blue berries, fish, avocado, whole grains, etc. 

6. DRINK WATER! And no, energy drinks and coffee does not count...

7. Be happy for all that you learned this semester and get excited for a restful and happy winter break.


So, how do you get ready for another challenging and exciting semester? It's helpful to have a good attitude and approach towards tackling next semester’s workload. First, you should plan to work. When looking at your Spring 2013 classes, you need to estimate about how much time you can and will dedicate to each course. Secondly, as the new semester approaches, you definitely want to think about getting a head start on the coursework. As the new semester starts, try to begin assignments early, read ahead, and stay on top of your homework. Also, learn from your mistakes from this semester. College is a learning process and you will continue to develop into a even better student. After all, before you know it, you will be preparing for your sophomore year at AU. As a sophomore, I encourage you all to explore your interests a little bit more (if you’re unsure about a major) by completing AU’s General Education Requirements.

Your CAS Peer Advisors wish you all a happy and restful winter break and look forward to seeing you in 2013!! Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Getting Involved Part II

Getting Involved in Clubs/Organizations at AU!

Despite the popular belief, there is more to AU than academics. AU’s campus provides you with numerous opportunities to get involved with various on-campus clubs and organizations. Specifically, AU has over 200 student-led organizations that offer knowledge and experience in just about any field/major/topic that students are passionate about. Below are several reasons why joining student organizations or clubs could be beneficial to you:

1)      It allows you to build a sense of community on AU’s campus. Joining student organizations and clubs allows you to meet and make new friends with the same/similar interests. In addition, those who join student organizations/clubs are less likely to miss their family & friends in comparison to those who don’t join any clubs.
2)      It allows you to connect with AU. Being involved in organizations on AU’s campus will help you seek out the various resources that AU has to offer.
3)      It’s a resume builder. Showing that you’re involved in clubs on campus looks great on resumes and applications when you apply for jobs/internships. Even as a freshman, it is never too early to begin thinking about how to position yourself for future employment.
4)      It allows you to explore your interests. Clubs and student organizations give you the opportunity to discover (in more depth) what fields of studies and majors you are interested in. It also allows you to discover what you don’t like as well.

There are various ways in which students can be informed about AU’s clubs and student organizations. The most convenient way to learn about campus clubs is by conversing with other students. By talking to other students in your classes and on campus, you will not only learn about the organizations and clubs they are a part of, but you will also get the opportunity to learn about the mission and goals of certain organizations. Another way to learn about campus organizations is by visiting the AU’s Student Activities Website. This website provides you with the list of clubs and organizations offered at AU. One other way to be informed is by attending club fairs (usually hosted at the beginning of the semester) and other events which allow students to get to know certain organizations on campus. Today@AU, American University's Washington DC publication for campus news, usually posts information about club events and fairs as well. Lastly, you can always ask one of your peer advisors about how to join certain clubs and organizations. We would be more than happy to help you get involved at AU!

Getting Involved with Volunteering!

American University has a big emphasis on internships and volunteering for supplementing academic work with real life experience. A volunteer position can often be somewhat less competitive to attain and can still give you the same, credible experience that graduate schools and future employers will look for. While it can be a time committment and is unpaid, volunteering in your field of study is worth your time.

  • Volunteering,  like internships are usually best to start once you have gotten your feet grounded at school with your classes and time management. Starting around your sophomore year is a good timeline unless you feel ready your second semester freshman year.
  • While time management is often a concern for any college student, volunteering can be a great option with flexible part time hours depending on your placement.
  • The AU Career Center is great with offering resume and cover letter revisions, interview practice, and helping you find a place you would like to volunteer.
  • Volunteering is somewhat unlike internships in that it can be valuable even if it is not directly in your field of study. For example, a Communications major volunteering at a need based school can still develop other skills that will be needed for future classes and beyond graduation - don't let "unrelated" opportunities deter you!
  • Volunteer positions are a great way to determine whether you like a certain field or not before committing any more time and energy to it.
  • Where to start looking? Contact your AU Career Center advisor, get in touch with professors and departments who may be in the field of your volunteer placement to get more networking information, or log on to AU Career Web to look for full time and part time opportunities.
And remember - it's never too early to start getting involved! Try to take advantage of all of the great opportunities that this city has to offer. You will be glad you did as you progress through college and apply to graduate programs or other full time jobs!

As always, if you have any questions you can contact your peer advisors at CASPeerAdvisors@american.edu or stop by their office Battelle 164.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Getting Involved Part I

As your first semester here at American University is coming to an end, it may seem like an odd time to talk about getting involved, but really it is an ideal time! Seeing as you've gotten more settled into your classes and being away from home and on your own, it is a good time to start thinking about future semesters and how to make the most of them. This blog will discuss the best ways to going about securing an internship and studying abroad, when and if  the time is right for you.

Internships by Triana Tello Gerez

AU is ranked in the top schools for internships, which tells you a lot about this school, its location and its students. Throughout your years at AU you will learn how there is a big focus on the “learning by doing” idea, which is exactly what internships provide. It is for that reason, as well as our awesome location close to many very interesting places to intern, that many students here take their education beyond the classroom. However, sometimes we feel pressured into doing internships; there is a feel that internships are what we are here for, and that we need to have many on our resume. But that is not the case. Internships are great for many reasons, but peer pressure and resume building are not one of those.
        With internships (as the New Radicals say)  you will only get as much as you give (unless you are lucky enough to get one of those rare ones that pay, in which case, you will also get money).  Doing internships just for the sake of doing them, will only take your time and energy, and in college, those are precious (don’t waste them!). One of the most important things to remember about internships is that you have to be enthusiastic about them and be ready to give them your best. Internships can be great for networking, learning, figuring out what you like and dislike in terms of future careers, acquiring different skills, meeting people and figuring out how what you learn in class applies to the real world, but in order to get this, you have to be committed to them.
        So, with that in mind, here are a few pointers:
-When to intern: it is best to start once you have settled in to college and have some knowledge to apply to your internship. This is different for everyone, but first or second semester sophomore year would be good.
-How to look for internships: The career fair and the career center web page are good resources. However, don’t be afraid to branch out: ask your professors, check out idealist; talk to upper-classmen about their experiences, etc.
-How to make the best out of it: Be enthusiastic; get to know your supervisor and other people and interns in the office. Even if you realize you don’t love it, be a good worker, meet deadlines and if you have time, ask for new projects! Don’t be bored, and keep it interesting.
-Commuting: check out the buses, they can be faster than the metro (in some cases) and they are cheaper!
-Applying for them: Tailor your resume at the Carreer Center (they are great!); send in your best papers and reach out to AU professors for your recommendations (high school recommendations are good, but it is a good idea to start forming mentor relations here at AU)
-Learn a lot and enjoy! 



Study Abroad by Sofie Friedman
There are more than 850 students annually who study abroad from American University. AU Abroad  is the best resource to look up the best areas of study for your major, learning more about the application process, and finding out who your AU Abroad advisor will be for your corresponding program or country of study.

Studying abroad is available on a semester, year or even summer program basis but all specific questions, just like major specific questions should be targeted to your AU Abroad advisor. Studying abroad is an amazing experience that can enrich your college experience immensely. As someone who studied abroad at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland last spring semester, I can't recommend it enough. While it can be scary being on your own in a new country, it's an experience that many students recommend taking advantage of during your time here at AU. Often many employers view your experience abroad as an advantage when being hired and consider it something that makes a person more well rounded.

Most students choose to study abroad during their Junior year for one semester, although this varies based on finances, how much of one's general education and major requirements have been fulfilled, and when the program is offered.

In order to study abroad, you must have already completed 8 out of the 10 general education courses that you must complete during your time here at AU. Keep in mind, these general education classes can only be completed at AU and can therefore not be classes you choose to take while abroad. Also, depending on your major, there may be some courses that you can only take here on campus. However, it is generally the case that many major elective courses can easily be fulfilled at your abroad university.

When choosing a place to study abroad, try to think about whether you want to immerse yourself in a new language, if you want to go to a school known for its focus in your specific area of interest, or if you want to go for more of a cultural experience. 

As always if you have specific questions about studying abroad ask your CAS Peer Advisor or contact AU Abroad directly!

TUNE IN NEXT WEEK TO HEAR ABOUT HOW TO GET INVOLVED WITH CLUBS AND VOLUNTEERING OPPORTUNITIES FROM MEG AND SHANICE!

Happy Thanksgiving to all celebrating!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Do's and Don'ts of Registration!

With registration just around the corner, we as peer advisors understand the stress and panic that may set in somewhere along in the process. So, we decided to put together some do's and don'ts for before, during, and after the registration process based on our personal advice. Hopefully some of these helpful tips will aid you in your process and give you some things to start thinking about and preparing for as your registration date approaches.

Before Registration:

  • DO clear any stops on your account before registering for next semester classes. For more details on which stops to clear on your account, view your myau.american.edu portal
  • DO remember to attend a pre-registration workshop and meet with your academic advisor to be cleared to register
  • DO know the course - Read the course descriptions of the classes
  • DO have a back up - If things change, it is totally okay. Allowing yourself the flexibility to change will help you be okay with whatever schedule you have at the end of registration
  • DO check out the professors – in your AU portal, go to academics and then click on Student Evaluation of Teaching to learn more about student’s past experiences with the professor and the class
  • DO NOT choose classes just based on times—It does not matter if the class is at the wonderful time of 11:35 or 2:35, if you are not interested in the topic or professor, it will be a dread to get up and go to class. Instead, choose classes based on your interests, even if it is an 8:55, you will be happy to wake up for that class
  • DO NOT visit a subjective professor evaluation website.  INSTEAD look at the Student Evaluation of Teaching on your portal-- Its a much more accurate evaluation system!!!!!
  • DO NOT prolong scheduling an appointment with your academic advisor for registration clearance.Remember that when it gets closer and closer to registration, your advisor’s schedule will be extremely busy!
During Registration:
  • DO remember that if you register for more than 17 credit hours, you will be charged for each additional credit.
  • DO know the section numbers—be sure that you know the number and section number; moreover, have other section numbers and times available in case the class you want is full or closed
  • DO email your academic advisor if you encounter problems or have questions about classes so that they can be addressed ASAP
  • DO NOT register for an Area 5 course if you have not completed your math requirement. You must have the math requirement fulfilled in order to take courses in that specific area
  • DO NOT waitlist first and then register – If you waitlist, say, LIT 101-001 and then register for LIT 101-002, the system will drop you off the LIT 101-001 waitlist. It is best to register for the open course first (say, LIT 101-002) and then put yourself on the other waitlist (LIT 101-001) Register and then waitlist!
  • DO NOT freak out! All will be well even if you encounter technical mishaps or realize that some classes are closed. Try your best and everything will work out.

After Registration
  • DO know that your schedule is flexible—If half way through your winter vacation, or once we hit 2013, you realize you want to take a different class instead of the one you signed up for (and you have checked that it fulfills your requirements, etc) go for it! You have from your registration date until two weeks into the semester to change your schedule
  • DO confirm your changes by checking your new schedule on the AU portal after registering for classes (or changing your schedule)
  • DO get excited! You just registered for your second semester as a college student, and all by yourself at that!
  • DO NOT drop an old class before adding a new when changing your schedule. This way, you will always have it as a fallback, if the new class is closed.
  • DO NOT panic! Even if things don't go exactly as planned, you will be okay. Email your advisor if you are feeling anxious. 
  • DO NOT neglect your email if you are on any waitlists – when a spot opens up in the course you waitlisted, you will receive an email (usually at 6 am) and then you have 24 hrs to register for the class. If you don’t check your AU email and fail to register for the class within those 24 hrs, then you will lose your spot in the class, so check your email!

As always, feel free to email your peer advisors at CASPeerAdvisors@american.edu or make an appointment to address any lingering questions about schedules, registration, or anything in between. We are always here to help! Good luck!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pre-Registration Workshops!

As your peer advisors, we all can remember how daunting the registration process can be especially the first go around. Luckily, your academic advisors have set up pre-registration workshops to help you remember some key tips for when you begin the registration process. They are also MANDATORY in order to be cleared for registration so it is imperative that you sign up to attend one if you haven't already!

To see the schedule and sign up for a pre-registration workshop please click here

The pre-registration workshops will inform you about

  • how to use the add/drop feature on the online registration
  • reviewing the rules about waitlisting for courses
  • adding classes for "general education" credit
  • understanding the importance of pre-requisite courses
  • reviewing guidelines for taking courses Pass/Fail
In order to be cleared to register for the Spring, you must attend one pre-registration workshop (it does not have to be with your assigned academic advisor) and then make an appointment with your academic advisor for sometime after the workshop. When you meet with your advisor, be prepared to bring a draft schedule to show them. Your schedule should include some back up classes in case you get wait listed or closed out of classes you had planned on taking. Your draft schedule should also make sense time wise; that is, don't have 2 classes that overlap during the same time slot unless one of them is a back up class.

Also remember that the college writing and math requirements must be completed within your first year. This means that if you have not already completed this requirements, they are mandatory for the spring semester and your other classes must fit around them. For any questions regarding your status on college writing, math or general education classes, you can email or meet with either you peer or academic advisor.

As always if you have questions or want to go over a draft schedule with a peer advisor feel free to email or make an appointment to meet! We are always here to help!

Ø  Review registration guidelines (such as dates and the waitlist process) here

Ø  Confirm your registration date here 

Ø  Review the online schedule of classes for Spring 2012 here

Monday, October 8, 2012

Student Skills Blog

One of the great things about utilizing the CAS Peer Advising program is that we are all current students! Therefore, we can advise based on our experience here at AU to give you the best advice and tips in order to succeed during your time here. The 4 peer advisors have put together a blog that discusses 4 main components of what it takes to be the best student you can be. We want you to be able to learn from our mistakes and from what we found to be most helpful. Hope you enjoy!

 1. Time Management by Shanice Harris
Do you ever feel like there is never enough of time in the day? Does 24 hours
just seem like 10 minutes? Has that feeling increased ever since you walked onto AU’s campus?
If you answered yes to all of these questions, you are facing what I like to call “A Time Management Crisis.” Don’t worry though, many college students struggle with managing their academic and social life. Here are a few tips to help you be productive throughout your day and week:


REALIZE THAT TIME DOES NOT CHANGE: There will always be 24 hours in a day; that will not change. What can change is how well we use the time we do have. Time management starts with changing our behaviors, attitudes, and actions.

ASSESS HOW YOU SPEND YOUR TIME: For several days, write down & record how you spend your time. Look for time that can be used more productively & effectively. For instance, instead of lying on the quad talking to friends for two hours, bring some homework or reading along with you that you can complete.


PLAN EACH DAY OR WEEK: Write a to-do list and keep a schedule of all the activities you are involved with. This will help prevent last-minute rushes & procrastination.

TAKE A BREAK WHEN & IF NECESSARY: Take a break when you need one. Too much stress can cause anxiety and a whole lot of other problems. Go for a walk, read, or even take a power nap.

 

2. Note Taking by Meg Fischer
Note taking can get pretty frustrating depending on the class. Coming from the girl who decided it would be a good idea to write with her left hand to spice up a lecture, I know that taking notes can make difficult or boring material even more complicated to unpack (I would not suggest writing with your non-dominant hand!). Through my many classes at AU, I found my system. Overall, the cornerstone of note taking is a notebook. Having notes that you can remember writing is important. Actually writing the words helps you remember in another way too! Whichever system works best for you, use. It will be different than your friend’s which is totally fine—when it comes time to review, more ways of learning will help you remember. Also remember that some teachers don’t allow you to use laptops. I know that I would get distracted, so I stick to old fashioned pen and paper. There are lots of strategies you can use when taking notes too—If a teacher puts up PowerPoint slides, try printing them 3 slides per sheet and take notes right there! That way you can remember what they said as you review with your own added notes. Color can also be helpful (when reviewing too!) Use one color for material you know and another to mark that you need an extra review. There are tons of resources and other tips on note taking at the Academic Support Center’s website. Check it out here!

3. Organization by Sofie Friedman
One of the biggest ways to be successful academically is to stay organized. By staying organized, you are less likely to forget one of your many commitments and therefore do better in your classes.
  • One of the best ways to stay organized are writing things down. Different people utilize different methods of organization which can range from writing in a planner to using Google calenders to utilizing iPhone reminders. It is important to try to learn which method works best for you which sometimes involves a bit of trial and error. Once you figure out how you keep organized best, make sure you try your best to stick with it!
  • When you become involved on campus or in DC it makes it even more important to stay organized and manage your responsibilities. As you get more involved, more people will be demanding your time. In order to decide how much you can commit to, staying organized is key.
  • Keeping your room clean can increase your organization, surprisingly enough! From past experiences, I have found that if I kept my room neat and organized, I was able to stay on top of my school work and other commitments. Surrounding yourself by an organized environment can have a vital impact on other aspects of your life so cleaning your room is a great place to start! (And your roommate will like you so much more for it too!)

4. Study Skills by Triana Tello Gerez
The best way to do well in future exams and write good papers is to stay on top of your work today. It is very hard to cram all course material into one or even two nights, but if you go to class, do the readings and finish your homework, studying for exams will be way easier. Study techniques change for all students, which is why it is important to try different study skills if you feel lost. 
 
Here is a list of ideas to help you this midterm season:

Note cards—they are a classic because they very much work
Study Guides—Go over the chapters and subtopics in the book and syllabus and make sure you understand them and can expand on them. Actually write them down! This is better than just thinking about them…
Draw and Make diagrams—you are in college now, so chances are, professors are not going to ask you to regurgitate the material. They will want to make sure you understand the issues backwards and forwards, so to make sure you do, try representing the information in a different way, like drawing concepts or making charts and diagrams.
Study Group—meet with classmates and explain the topics to each other and ask questions

These are just some ideas, but there are plenty more. If you feel like you need more help, reach out to your professor! Alternatively, you can contact the Academic Support Center for further study and time managements skills.

Monday, September 24, 2012

College Transitions: Moving Out and Moving Up!

So you just officially moved out of your parent’s home for maybe the first time ever. You moved onto campus and have been trying to get settled into your new life here at AU. It is completely normal to not feel entirely comfortable or settled in just yet. The transition of going to college can be a very stressful time for some with all of the changes that naturally occur. But have no fear your peer advisors are here with some helpful tips on how to get through this transition!

1. Get involved (on campus and in DC)
You now live in DC – an exciting and vibrant town full of many different types of people and countless activities to partake in. Even if none of the clubs or sports teams on campus fit your fancy, getting involved can be helpful even just to take your mind off of missing home and feeling out of place. Sometimes being surrounded by people who are going through the same emotional rollercoaster as you can be comforting.

2. Talk it out
The feelings that you may be experiencing now are completely normal and something that your peer advisors experienced when they came to AU. There is a variety of people on campus who would be more than willing to listen and try to give some advice on how to process the adjustment, including your advisors both peer or academic, professors, and AU’s counseling center.

3. Stay organized
Going through a transition like this one can seem even more overwhelming if you don’t stay organized. Utilizing planners, computer and phone calendars, or whichever method works best for you to stay up on all of your assignments and other commitments can be very helpful. Another important aspect of staying organized on campus is keeping an open line of communication with professors and other resources on campus. Going to professor’s office hours or events on campus designed to help you get acclimated can be very beneficial.

4. Be open and patient
Try to give yourself enough time to fully adjust to this big transition. Even if everyone around seems to be fully adjusted it may not be the case. Be open to the feelings you may experience and be willing to act on them to ask for help.Also be patient with yourself - if some of your classes are feeling like they're too much work or over your head try to be proactive and talk to your professors, visit the Writing Lab, or the Academic Support Center to manage the stress a bit better.

5. Take chances
This is the beginning of a great chapter in your life so this should be a very exciting time even amongst the stress or confusion. Try to experience new things and branch outside of your comfort zone. This can include joining clubs or sports you never thought to try, taking a class in a new discipline or speaking up a bit more in class.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Welcome from your 2012-2013 CAS Peer Advisors!


We’re all so excited to welcome you to American University for a new school year! 


My name is Sofie Friedman and I am one of your Peer Advisors this year! I am from Columbia, MD and am currently a Senior Psychology major. I am also currently working with kids with Autism which I absolutely love. I spent last semester studying abroad at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland and had an amazing time. I am so excited to be starting my first year as a peer advisor and can’t wait to meet everyone!


This blog will be used to update everyone on upcoming events and provide some general advice on things that we, as peer advisors and AU students, think may be beneficial for you to know. We are open to suggestions on blog topics so if you have an idea about something you want us to cover feel free to email us! You should also follow our updates on our Facebook and Twitter pages to check out the latest things going on.

There are 3 other peer advisors who also will be meeting with students and getting to know you: Meg Fischer, Triana Tello Gerez, and Shanice Harris. As peer advisors we can provide you with a student’s perspective on how to survive your four years here at AU. We are all current students in CAS and can therefore advise based on our experiences that we’ve had. We can help you with anything from figuring out what you should major in, to advice on studying abroad, to trying to figure out what classes to take – and of course everything in between! Don’t be shy to come by and see us - we were each in your positions not too long ago and are here to help you. We can be contacted via email at caspeeradvisors@american.edu or in person during our office hours in Battelle 164. We look forward to getting to meet all of you and wish you luck as you start off your year!


Meg Fischer 

 Hi! My name is Meg Fischer and I am a senior studying Elementary Education and Psychology. When not peer advising or in the 5th grade, you can find me in the Wellness Center, The Dav, or in my Education Methods classes. I love coffee and the color coral. Can't wait to meet you!
Triana Tello Gerez 

Triana is a senior from Mexico City double majoring in Economics and Environmental Science. This is her second year working as a CAS Peer Advisor and loves meeting and helping out fellow students.  She studied abroad at the London School of Economics and she spent last summer interning in DC and working in a lab here at AU.

Shanice Harris 

 Hello American Eagles! My name is Shanice Harris and I am one of your 2012-2013 CAS Peer Advisors. I'm a sophomore in the Premedical Program. My current major is Biology, but I am in the process of switching it to Public Health. I grew up in West Orange, New Jersey which is 20-30 minutes away from New York City. I am looking forward to meeting and working with everyone this year!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Interdisciplinary Sophomore Seminars

The general education program gives students an opportunity to go outside their comfort zones and experience a diverse range of disciplines. Professors are designing new courses, called sophomore seminars, that offer an even more interdisciplinary flavor to the general education program. This year, the pilot sophomore seminar was called "The Two Cultures," and was co-taught by physics professor Nate Harshman and literature professor Richard Sha. This unique course investigates how science and the arts have both clashed and entertwined over the years. The class can be used to satisfy Areas 1, 3, or 5 of the general education program. Triana and Lindsay are both in the course this semester, and agree that it has been one of the most challenging (and rewarding) courses they have taken at AU. We asked professors Sha and Harshman about what made them interested in creating this course. Here are some excerpts from their responses:

Professor Sha:
When Nate Harshman and I were designing this course, we spent a lot of time talking about aesthetics.  Now, you might wonder why a physicist would care about the prettiness of his or her math.  Elegance speaks to simplicity, and simplicity implies that a phenomenon has been reduced to the most basic truth.  Moreover, symmetry makes the work of physics easier; by understanding one part of something larger, symmetry enables us to extrapolate efficiently to the whole.  Rather than using aesthetics to think about being of the world, literary critics, by contrast, consider how forms represent but do not stand in for reality.  Aesthetics in this view is a way of apprehending the forms of the world, and because we cannot have access to the things of this world outside of our perceptual apparatus, the only claims we can make about the world are in terms of its forms and appearances.  So from a humanist perspective, claims about the actual being of the world are off limits, and such claims always run the danger of mistaking a linguistic entity for a natural one.

Professor Harshman:
As I get older, I recognize that many pleasures (food, relationships, television, excercise) are complicated.  The things I like have upsides and downsides.  But learning new things, finding new perspectives, enjoying new subjects and fields, seems to only have an upside.  Exposing oneself to new things, especially things outside one's comfort zone, keeps the mind flexible and the heart playful.

We hope that you too will embrace the goals of the general education program by taking advantage of courses that challenge you to step outside your comfort zone. We encourage you to check out fall 2012's sophomore seminar, GNED-234 Global Digital Citizenship. As always, email us with any questions! CASPeerAdvisors@american.edu