people you should know: parc!

Written by program assistant Cat Guzman 10F

Before break, I visited PARC for the first time. Never heard of this particular name among the many acronyms at Hampshire? The Peer Academic Resource Center has a presence on campus that is actually a few years old, but this year is its first in a public location. Where can you find it? You’ve probably already walked by it a few times! PARC can be found at the end of the library Infobar.

So, what is it?
PARC is a space run by students, for students, and supported by the Center for Academic Support and Advising. Most notably, it houses a comprehensive library of resources that can be incredibly helpful to students trying to navigate the Hampshire divisional process—this means you! During a visit, you can browse through example self-evals; Div I and II portfolios; Div II retrospectives, Div III abstracts and portfolios, and academic tip sheets and guides in their collection, among other things. I know it can be difficult to visualize what the end product of a divisional portfolio should look like—I remember wishing for examples to turn to when I was wrapping up my Div I. PARC is definitely the place to find them!

Additionally, PARC can offer information on CEL-I/II requirements, peer support and advice, and monitored study sessions. The students who work at PARC are returning, more experienced Hampshire students who have been specifically trained to help you understand and navigate your Div I/II/III’s and CEL I/II processes. It was built by students on a simple philosophy: “We’ve been there!” The fundamental idea is that students can help you understand and manage Hampshire in a successful way that advisors, parents, or professors cannot, because they haven’t actually done it before. This is an important truth to recognize as you find yourself asking more questions about Hampshire.

There really can be something to learn and see there for everyone, but the unfortunate truth is that they’re a barely used resource on campus! When talking with a student worker, she told me how they consider themselves lucky to work with one student per day. Why? It seems like not many people know about PARC, especially given it’s new location. Consider this post an effort to spread the word, and I highly encourage you to stop by and visit them!

So, when’s it open?
PARC hours are:
Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday,  2–8 p.m.
Thursday, 12-8 p.m.
Friday, 12-6 p.m.

They also have a pretty sweet Facebook page with frequent updates—make sure to check it out!

As always, e-mail us with any questions, comments or concerns you have at newtohamp@hampshire.edu!

time management

On Tuesday, November 13 from 4-5PM in FPH 101, Joel Dansky, disabilities services coordinator and academic support skills specialist, presented a special time management workshop for an eager audience of new and returning students. Did you miss it? Need more information? You’ve come to the right place! Read on for details on what happened, how to find support, and further time management resources.

What Happened:
While participants enjoyed some delicious snacks, Joel asked each of them to introduce themselves and share what challenges they face with regard to time management and getting organized. Common themes included structuring time more effectively, perfectionism, procrastination, lack of motivation, and setting reasonable goals. With these concerns in mind, Joel presented a brief powerpoint which addressed many of these challenges, and offered strategies to help students to plan ahead, make the most of the unstructured time between classes, and work more efficiently. Joel then introduced a three part system for organization,The Big Picture,” “The Weekly Grind,” and “The Daily Plan,” which led to an interactive portion of the presentation. Through the use of a variety of different handouts related to these models, participants had the opportunity to create a color-coded, visual representation of their weekly and monthly schedules, and identify pockets of valuable time that they didn’t realize they had!

What We Learned:

  • Procrastination, distraction, and perfectionism are the three enemies of effective time management. Think you do best under pressure? The work you produce isn’t likely your best work, just the best you can do with the limited time you’ve allotted. Planning ahead can help to alleviate stress, no matter your reasons for waiting until the last minute. By creating small, manageable goals and structuring your time more effectively, you’ll accomplish more and yield better results!
  • The “Big Picture” is a useful tool for mapping an entire semester, and is available in hard copy in the Center for Academic Support and Advising (CASA) each semester. Participants received an 11″x17″ academic calendar for this activity, but you can do it yourself with a planner or a regular calendar. At the start of the semester, gather your syllabi and mark down all of the important dates and deadlines for each course on your calendar. Once you have a full picture of what you’ll need to complete and when, you can identify key steps and work backwards to create small goals for yourself. This will help you to start things ahead of time, and avoid the confluence of too many deadlines all at once.
  • The Weekly Grind” allows you to create a visual representation of what a typical week looks like for you. Using colored pencils, participants mapped out their regular schedule on a weekly calendar in an effort to identify blocks of time between fixed appointments, classes, and other obligations. What did they notice? They have more time than they think they do, and you might too! Take these chunks of time and specify what you’d like to accomplish in each, and give some structure to the larger periods of free time (long weekends, etc.), making sure to vary the types of work you do each day. You’ll be amazed at how much more you can accomplish!
  • Find a daily planning system that works for you. One calendar that you look at every day is better than several that you don’t, so find something that is portable, visual, and spacious enough for a to-do list, and keep it with you throughout the day. Don’t overload yourself, but do keep your planner as up to date as possible with class, work, and meeting times, as well as appointments, deadlines, and fun things.
  • The best system is the system that works for you, so feel free to try a few things as you work to get yourself organized. No system works 100% of the time — keep yourself open to new ideas and ways of planning. Don’t hesitate to reward yourself for accomplishing particular tasks. There are lots of different ways to get motivated!

Use These Resources:

  • Want hard copies of the workshop handouts? Interested in some personalized time management support? Get in touch with the workshop facilitator, Joel Dansky, at jdansky@hampshire.edu. He’s happy to help!

Questions? Let us know! E-mail us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu for more information.

people you should know: joel dansky!

Written by program assistant Cat Guzman 10F

Meet Joel Dansky, the disabilities services coordinator here at Hampshire. I interviewed him a couple of weeks ago and learned about his role on campus, and how you can best benefit from the resources that he provides.

Here are some quick facts about Joel:

  • He has a background in social work
  • Has previously worked as a school therapist and counselor
  • He has worked at Hampshire for nine years

As disabilities services coordinator in the Center for Academic Support and Advising (CASA), Joel’s major responsibility is to make sure the College meets official requirements to accommodate individuals with disabilities. For students with documented disabilities, Joel is the person on campus who will coordinate with administrative services and the campus community to accommodate specific needs, such as contacting the HOO (Housing Operations Office) to assist those with limited mobility and mediating conversations between faculty and students with learning disabilities. Joel acknowledges that accessibility is a right entitled to every student at Hampshire College and that people learn in different ways, and works to coordinate and provide appropriate services and accommodations for students with disabilities.

Additionally, Joel works with students from all different backgrounds on a variety of academic issues. He’s happy to meet with students who are struggling with a wide range of academic needs, regardless of whether or not the student has a documented disability. In particular, Joel helps many students with time management skills, and helps students to create and manage their own personal calendars. While Joel’s title is disabilities services coordinator at Hampshire, it was clear in our interview that he’s open to meeting with anyone who has an issue or just wants to talk.

You can find Joel in the Center for Academic Support and Advising (CASA) in the Lemelson Building. It’s best to make an appointment through calling CASA (ext. 5498), but you’re welcome to visit his office and see whether he’s busy or not. Joel is also available by e-mail at jdansky@hampshire.edu. Not ready for an appointment? Joel will be facilitating a Time Management workshop on Tuesday, November 13 from 4-5 p.m. in FPH 101. Stop by, meet Joel, get some great advice, and enjoy free snacks!

Have any questions, comments or concerns? Feel free to email us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu!