Our final blogging assignment for the semester (kind of by accident, I think–we STAs have the same blogging assignments as our students) is to write about the FHRCS experience. My FHRCS experience was extensive and spanned three fall semesters.
This will be my last post on this blog, probably ever. So long, blogs.lt.edu. It’s been fun.
The FHRCS experience? How can I ever begin to express, in the shabby form of a blog post, what I have thought of the FHRCS experience?
The FHRCS experience was anxiety and failure and frustration. It was a willingness to be flexible and different way of seeing myself and a way to talk about community and something that I only did for the students I taught, which came with many tremendous rewards.
The FHRCS experience was that first day of teaching, in 2011, when I dressed up special for FHRCS and then was mistaken, by one freshman, for another freshman.
The FHRCS experience was when I emailed Dr. Stephens and Michael and stated unequivocally that the student that they felt should fail FHRCS should not fail.
The FHRCS experience was feeling, during all of fall 2012, that I was failing as a FHRCS STA, after I had enough experience that I should be better.
The FHRCS experience is helping student after student with concerns that seem small to me and huge to them.
The FHRCS experience was suggesting that we go to farmers’ market and hearing my students let out gasps of delight.
The FHRCS experience is being able to share with freshman the ideas about community which have been shared with me and (most importantly) feeling like they made an impact.
The FHRCS experience was meeting one of my best friends in the world (and fellow FHRCS STA) in the fall of 2011, when we both decided, by chance, to take our freshmen to the Blacksburg Farmers Market at the same day and time.
The FHRCS experience was trying to show a 2.5 hour movie in the theater and finding that the speakers did not work.
The FHRCS experience was taking 10 students to see a play, which I loved and they hated (sorry, guys. I thought you’d like it better).
The FHRCS experience is trying to explain to folks how to keep a blog, when I myself have never had any idea how to keep a blog.
The FHRCS experience is grading CoSPs and being impressed at the diversity of interests contained in a small group of honors freshmen.
The FHRCS experience obviously isn’t perfect. Sometimes it is doing stuff simply because the higher-ups said that we had to, which can be frustrating and annoying.
The FHRCS experience can be carefully planned activities that fail miserably (because you can’t really know if something will work until you try it).
The FHRCS experience is teaching yourself how to teach. It’s teaching yourself how to have authority and how to deal with a group and how to keep them interested in you and what you have to say.
The FHRCS experience is how very inspired and humbled I was by my freshmen’s final projects on community this year. They are very thoughtful and I’m glad that they are the future of this community.
The FHRCS experience, more than anything, is how the 35 students I have taught in FHRCS have changed me. Teaching is exciting because it is dynamic and it changes you, over and over again.
To Michael, who first told me to teach FHRCS,
To Dr. Stephens, Dr. Ferraro, and Tomalei, who taught it with me,
To Ross (Papa FHRCS), who taught me countless things about leading a group and about community,
To all of the other FHRCS STAs, from whom I have gained ideas and insights over and over,
And, most importantly, to my students, who have taught me, inspired me, (amazingly) listened to me, embarrassed me, and changed my life,