win this week’s care package!

Care Package FrontHappy Thursday, friends. It’s time for this week’s care package giveaway question!

All first and second semester students are eligible to win a care package – just post an answer to the following question in the comments before midnight TONIGHT to be included in the drawing for this week’s care package. The winner will be chosen randomly from all of the respondents tomorrow morning. Ready? Okay!

If you could eat one food in any quantity for the rest of your life with no ill effects whatsoever, what food would you choose?


CEL-What FlierOn Thursday, November 14 from 3:30-4:30PM in FPH 101, Ivana Staiti, assistant director of community partnerships for social change and community engagement, set out to answer this question for new students. Have you started your CEL-1 yet? Still have questions? Read on for some great information about how to get going.

What Happened:
Attendees came with questions, and had the opportunity to learn more about the requirement and how to sign up for activities. Ivana also shared this helpful handout that broke down the steps for CEL-1 registration and sponsorship. Did you see the CEL-What? bulletin boards in Dakin and Merrill Houses? Check them out if you haven’t already — they’re chock full of information about FAQs, what counts, and other great tips. Most of this information is also available on the CEL-1 website.

What We Learned:

  • There are lots of different ways to complete the requirement, and there’s no need to choose just one activity to satisfy all 40 hours. By engaging in a multitude of activities, you’ll gain experience in different areas of campus life, meet more people, and have more opportunities to connect the CEL-1 to your academic interests.
  • New activities are posted almost every day, and each has a different timeline. Check back regularly to learn more about short and long term opportunities. Some last only a day, while others span entire semesters. You never know what you’ll find.
  • Participation in student groups, OPRA, EPEC, and Lemelson co-curricular courses counts towards this requirement, so you may have already started without even knowing it. Talk to your advisor and take a look at the website for more information on how to register the things that you’ve already started, and to ensure that these hours count towards your completion.
  • Although there are countless posted activities, it is possible to create your own. Staff, faculty, Division II, and Division III students can sponsor activities. If there’s something you’d really like to work on, talk to your advisor about how your idea will fit into the requirement and how to find someone to sponsor your work.

Use These Resources:

Did we miss anything? E-mail us at for more information!

people you (transfer students) should know: anne downes!

Written by program assistant Xavier A. Torres de Janon 12F

0028449“Hi! What year are you in?” “Well, technically I’m a third year, but I’m changing my concentration, and I entered Hampshire last fall. You see, I’m a transfer student.”

Incoming transfer students may have similar experiences as first-years when they come to our school, but a transfer student’s adaptation to Hampshire is very different than that of a Hampshire first-year. This fall, 75 transfer students entered Hampshire (quite a large transfer class by Hampshire standards, if you were wondering). Let’s be honest: transferring into our school can be disorienting, but luckily for transfer students, Anne Downes can help in smoothing this transition.

Anne is a staff member of our Center for Academic Support and Advising (CASA) and she oversees students in their sixth through eighth semesters and transfer students. She’s been working at Hampshire College for 30 years now. Wait, let me emphasize that — she’s been working at Hampshire College for 30 years now. She started her work here as the Greenwich-Enfield House Director, then became the Associate Dean of Students, and later joined our Center for Advising (now CASA). There’s no question that she understands very well the nuts and bolts of our college and the needs of its students; when meeting with her, I couldn’t help but feel a huge level of understanding from her. As we talked, I inadvertently found myself getting much needed insight and advice into my own Divisional work (thanks Anne!).

Not being a transfer student myself, I asked Anne what common challenges transfer students face as they come to Hampshire. Other than, of course, our unique divisional system, transfer students tend to be surprised about the intimacy of our classes. This can probably be new to every incoming student, but because transfer students have had previous college-level class experiences, they are able to compare our courses to something different that they’ve experienced. Hampshire classes demand high levels of engagement, participation, and critical writing; it’s not about a grade or just passing a course. “Hampshire is more than course counting, and this is sometimes hard to understand for transfer students,” says Anne. At other institutions, what matters is getting credits in classes that can count towards your degree. At Hampshire, transfer students are expected to truly immerse themselves in their academic concentration, which often changes as we explore our interests through the divisional system.

Anne has the following words of advice for incoming transfer students:

  • It’s common to change your academic program. This is hard to grasp because transfers have already spent time during their education focused in certain fields, having coursework limited to that. Faculty and staff like Anne Downes can help you if you’re in this position. Staff at Central Records can also offer support for transfer students with regard to how their former classes can map onto Division I and possibly be included in students’ Division II portfolios.
  • Don’t feel you have to figure everything out on your own. Transfer students worry a lot about forming their committees for Division II and III. Because most of them enter Hampshire in the ‘middle’ of their divisional progress, they can sometimes feel that they are alone in the struggle, scrambling for unknown faculty just to get advisors and committee members. The fact is that regular students go through the exact same process, and there are tons of programming and resource to help transfers get through this. CASA is a fantastic place to start if you are feeling lost in the system. The five School Deans (of our Schools of Thought) are always happy to advise students in finding prospective faculty to collaborate with. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
  • Focus on what you want to get out of your academic program. A Hampshire education is what you truly want to make out of it, not what your academics are ‘supposed’ to be or what classes you are ‘meant’ to be taking. Independent planning of your personalized curriculum is tough for everyone, but you should try to focus on what really interests you at an academic level.

It was fantastic talking with Anne Downes, and I would encourage all transfer students (and ending Div IIs and Div IIIs!) who are struggling with their academics to reach out to her at CASA. She also welcomes any new ideas or suggestions for her from transfer students, and encourages you to give her feedback!

You’re free to schedule an appointment with Anne by calling CASA at 413.559.5498, and she also welcomes drop-in visits to her office. Have a question that may not need an appointment, ideas or a suggestion for Anne? Feel free to email her at

Still have questions? Want more information? Email us at We’re happy to help!

win this week’s care package!

Care Package FrontHappy Thursday, friends. It’s time for this week’s care package giveaway question!

All first and second semester students are eligible to win a care package – just post an answer to the following question in the comments before midnight TONIGHT to be included in the drawing for this week’s care package. The winner will be chosen randomly from all of the respondents tomorrow morning. Ready? Let’s go!

If you could see only one movie ever again, which would you choose?

life management 101

Life ManagementOn Monday, November 4 from 3:30-4:30PM in the FPH Faculty Lounge, Joel Dansky, disabilities services coordinator and academic support skills specialist, presented a special time management workshop for an 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 presented a brief Powerpoint which addressed the many challenges that students face with regard to time management, 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. 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.
  • Do you write best in the morning? Can’t get any work done in your room? Consider what times of day and where you do your best work, and plan accordingly!
  • 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 He’s happy to help!

Questions? Let us know! E-mail us at for more information.

win this week’s care package!

Care Package FrontHappy Thursday, friends. It’s time for this week’s care package giveaway question, and we’re giving away TWO this week!

All first and second semester students are eligible to win a care package – just post an answer to the following question in the comments before midnight TONIGHT to be included in the drawing for this week’s care package. The winner will be chosen randomly from all of the respondents tomorrow morning. Ready? Okay!

If you could suddenly possess an extraordinary talent in one of the arts, what would you like it to be?

preregistering for spring 2014 classes!

Written by program assistant Xavier A. Torres de Janon 12F

photoFall is truly here! The campus is even more beautiful than normal, and the change of seasons reminds us of the passing of time. As time goes by, so does your first semester at Hampshire. Remember those forms you had to fill online during the summer regarding course registration for your fall 2013 semester? Well, it’s now time to choose courses once again: November 11 marks the beginning of spring 2014 preregistration.

What is this preregistration thing all about? During a period at the end of each semester, you have the opportunity to preregister for up to 4 academic courses, including a maximum of 2 Five College courses, for the next semester. This allows you to have an idea of the classes you will be taking your next semester, as well as accelerating the registration process for everyone. It also permits you to ensure classes that you are certain about; by preregistering, you secure a spot in a class; if a course is full, you can add yourself to the waitlist. Remember that preregistering does not mean committing yourself to any class, as you can still freely add and drop courses during the regular Add/Drop Period. Preregistration for spring semester for Hampshire courses will take place between November 11 and December 6; the Five College request period ends on November 22.

In my experience, preregistration is a very exciting time of the year. Hampshire’s academic structure and affiliation with the Five College Consortium allows you to pick from literally hundreds of absolutely fascinating classes. It’s also fantastic because it lets you plan your next semester ahead. Figuring out your schedule for the semester is super hard, and having a head-start in having an idea what courses you’ll be taking is really helpful. That being said, I would advise you to be thinking about your Div I requirements before picking any class for your next semester. Try to have fun while doing so!

Now, how do you go about preregistering? First of all, your advisor needs to authorize you to do so. Before preregistration begins, Advising Week takes place. You should absolutely plan to meet with your advisor either on Advising Day (Wednesday, November 6) or anytime during the week. You might want to have some idea of what courses you’re interested in taking before you meet with your advisor. They will want to know this before giving you authorization to preregister, and they can provide you with great insight into what classes better fit your needs. Courses are now up on TheHub, click on ‘Search for Courses’ to check what will be available for the spring 2014 semester during this time.

Once you receive authorization, head to TheHub, log in, and click on ‘Approvals and Holds.’ Here, you will be able to see if your advisor has authorized you yet (if they said they would but haven’t, you should e-mail them!) and your preregistration time. Each student at Hampshire receives a time to begin preregistering. For example, you will see something like this: “You may register for spring term on 11/11/2013 at 4:00PM.” This would mean that you can begin registering for courses for the spring 2014 semester at 4:00PM on November 11. Different students get different times. Don’t freak out if you get a later time in the day, though — preregistration doesn’t even begin until mid-afternoon. If you’re pretty sure of what courses you’re interested in, you will more than likely be able to get a spot in them when your time to preregister begins. Also remember that being in a course waitlist is not the end of the world. At Hampshire, professors will often let you in if they realize that your passion, interest and/or commitment to the class is real.

So, once your preregistration time arrives, start registering for courses! Central Records has extremely helpful step-by-step registration instructions. When Hampshire preregistration begins, so does the Five College Request Period. Thus, you can also go ahead and submit requests for Five College courses at this time. Here are Central Records’ instructions on how to do this: .

If you have any questions regarding the preregistration process, you should contact Central Records by calling 413.559.5421, e-mailing, or stop by their office in Lemelson. Like all Hampshire staff, they are always happy to help!

Still have questions? Let us know! Email us at