Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I had my first class of the new year yesterday - Practicum is a yearlong experience for senior psychology majors - each student (16) will be located at a local service agency and will spend 8 - 10 hours each week on site under the supervision of a master's level professional. They spend 2.5 hours back in class processing their experiences. I am always nervous the first day of classes yesterday was also the beginning of my complete use of our new technology on campus called Tegrity - this captures the video from class as well as anything that we use from the class computer. I will be using this in all classes and students seemed excited (albeit a bit nervous) about it - they can go back and review class anytime they want. A couple of Practicum students were in Sports Psychology and I used it there so they were very comfortable. I did an interesting exercise where I sent the students out of class for half an hour in pairs - each student was to "interview" the other for 15 minutes and then when they returned to class they had to introduce their partner to the rest of class - since interviewing, listening and responding are such an important part of this class, it turned out to be a great exercise. The most common comment: "I have known him/her for a couple of years now but never knew all of this about them" - good job everyone.

Sports Psychology and Theories of Counseling this afternoon and yup, still nervous........

take care and be well and, as always please keep the members of our military in your thoughts and prayers AND additionally, please keep all those here in the beautiful State of Vermont in your thoughts and prayers as well as SO many areas have been devastated by the flooding from Hurricane Irene - the pictures from all over the State are incredible. I am a huge lover of covered bridges and watching one just be swept away by the raging waters was heart-wrenching.


Monday, August 29, 2011

First day -

Here are our wonderful Orientation Leaders and their "leader" - Grace Kelly A great group.

Classes begin in a few minutes for our new academic year. Yesterday's Hurricane Irene did devastating damage in many areas around Vermont but SMC was lucky not to sustain damage other than a few branches blown down and a LOT of rain. We finished up the formal Orientation Program in the morning and then the new student-athletes had their Orientation in the afternoon. The Orientation Leaders were amazing with so much genuine enthusiasm and since they had worked since January to prepare for our new students, they did a GREAT job. Congratulations once again to Grace Kelly, Director of Student Activities and all of the Orientation Board for your hard work - it clearly paid off.

Our new curriculum begins today too and we have all been challenged by Dr. Karen Talentino, our VP for Academics to make sure that students realize that taking fewer classes also means that they are getting a more intense educational experience in EACH class. As I told our student-athletes yesterday, OUR expectation is that students will put in 10 hours per week for each class - that includes in and out of class experience. I know that for my classes, there is a great deal of work to be done and this should be a very exciting semester. I will be using one of our new technologies again this year BUT will now be using it for every class. Tegrity is a software package which allows me to "tape" each class period which is then available to my students at anytime to review. Some worried that this would mean that students wouldn't come to class IF they could just view class on their computers but that is definitely NOT the case at SMC - this technology is just another resource which faculty get to use in order to assist our students in their learning.

Take care, be well and, as always, please keep all of the members of our military and all of our veterans and their families in your thoughts and prayers. It should be a great semester and I am heading to campus to begin again.................

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Three more weeks.....

As amazing as it seems, in just three weeks we will be completely immersed in welcoming the Class of 2015 to SMC and also welcoming all of our returning students back to campus. It is a busy time with my continuing to get requests for recommendations for my students who have recently graduated and saying "later" to some who have been around Burlington all summer but who now head off to graduate school. This is also the time for THAT discussion between parents and students - talking about realistic expectations, hopes, fears, etc. CAN take place anytime now as too soon you will no longer be just down the hall from your "kids" or from your parents.

Some of our recent graduates - not to mention any names Matt Falcone and Meaghan Cormier - seem to have forgotten that you may NOT return to live in the Townhouses this year as you DID graduate this past May. It is not unusual at this time of year, as the stores and the internet advertise "back to school" specials, for recent graduates to suddenly (although we DO try to warn them) realize that for the first time since they were 4 or 5, they will NOT be returning to school - this is just different, it doesn't have to be bad, just different. :)

I fully intend to make the most of these remaining weeks with a lot of kayaking, some hiking, lots of "fun" reading and time with friends before the new year begins. I hope that you will also make the most of this time and spend quality time with family and friends.

Take care and be well, and given the incredibly sad news out of Afghanistan today (30 of our soldiers were killed in a helicopter crash) PLEASE keep all of the members of our military - active and veterans, AND their families, in your thoughts and prayers.