Michele Pettis—As a college student, it’s easy to get caught up in our own little, busy, worlds and start to forget that the person lecturing in the front of the classroom is an actual human being and not some very life-like automaton. Every now and then it’s good to get to know the flesh-and-blood side of the faculty. The semester is only a week old, and I’ve already had two great opportunities to do just that.
Friday, August 23, was Academic Convocation. As a transfer student, I had never gone to this event before but wanted to take advantage of the opportunity while I still could. (As a senior, you start to notice your last chances at things in college life.) I spoke with several faculty and staff members before the event and they all said it was their favorite. They enjoyed it even more than graduation.
I started milling around the SERC taking pictures (I also “live tweeted” the event) when the students were herded in by their group leaders. The Brockport Symphony Orchestra played some stately music and the faculty entered in their robes. Approximately 1,500 people were there to hear remarks by Dr. Halstead, interim provost Dr. Scheidt, and several student and former-student guest speakers. The ceremony concluded with a rousing performance from the Sankofa African Dance and Drum ensemble. As the students left the House of Fields they were applauded by the faculty and the music of Sankofa It was a very inspiring send off. I’m sure the students were ready to start their college careers with enthusiasm.
The Tower Fine Arts building hosts performances and art exhibits. On Thursday an exhibit of faculty work premiered. There were some striking works of painting, mixed media, sculpture, and glass. Many of the pieces were very personal and revealed so much about its creator. It was amazing to me that members of the faculty were willing to bare their souls like this for their coworkers and students to see. (The Department of Art Faculty exhibit runs until October 13.)
So the next time you have the chance to get to know one of your professors, take it! You never know what you might discover. Plus, a few brownie points never hurt anyone. 😉