What Should I do Mid-way Through?

compassSome students report not being sure if they are on track in the middle of Div II — actually some aren’t even sure what the track is! It is time to think about where you came from and where you want to go. Div II is all about making sense of your disparate courses and experiences to answer your questions. It takes reflection, discussion with others (including peers and your committee) and it takes re-evaluating what you are doing and revising your plan. Here are some tips for making meaning across your experiences and setting the course for the second half of Div II.

First, go back and read your contract. Remember your questions that motivated your Div II. Are your questions still the same? Have you made progress on them? Do you have new questions that are shaping your direction? Don’t wait until the end to reflect on the meaning of what you are doing. This is a perfect time to do a little free-writing. It might even become part of your retrospective. Think about and write about what has changed in your thinking. Consider the experiences that have had the greatest impact on your thinking and on your skills. Why were they so important and what does this say about your interests?

Then, go back and read all your course evaluations — one after the other, good or bad or excellent. What do they say to you about your strengths? About your areas of growth? Write down a couple of things to be working on this semester and next. Consider the resources on campus that can assist you. Have an action plan (e.g. meet with one of my professors after the first paper is handed back to talk about what they would like to see in the next one; go to the quantitative skills help sessions in Cole; meet with a friend to give each other feedback on our work and revise it before we even hand it in).

You can also pull the work together that you have done so far and organize it in a binder to begin to represent the different ideas you have been working on. Or you can start to build an electronic portfolio.

Lastly, you can edit your contract to capture the changes in your thinking. Share it with your committee and with friends.

Talking to Potential Chairs and Members

office hoursIf you are a 3rd semester student, this is an exciting time – perhaps a little daunting, perhaps not. You have been asked to list faculty who you would like to chair your Division II and been assured that you will have a Div II chair in early November. It can feel like theHub takes care of the rest. But that is only a part of the story.

You want faculty to know who you are and what your interests are. They will learn a little bit about you from your request form. They would learn a whole lot more if you went and spoke with them!!!

Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to a faculty member you have not met. You can find out their office hours (they might be posted on their doors or on Hampedia, their school administrative assistant might have them, or you can email them) and make an appointment. There are also events to meet faculty. Faculty are actually expecting you!!!

Welcome to Div 2 at Hampshire

Welcome Div II at Hampshire!

Div II is an exciting time – you create, along with your committee, your program of study. You take courses and pursue other out-of-class activities that move you along according to your goals for your own learning. It is a time of learning deep content knowledge, developing skills and abilities, honing your questions, and taking advantage of all there is to offer at Hampshire, in the Five Colleges, and beyond.

Div II comes with its own challenges – finding resources and putting your ideas together across experiences are the main ones. Of course, you will also want to find like-minded people who share your interests and who might help lead you to resources.

This blog and these pages are designed to help you do all of that – giving periodic tips about how to engage in the reflection and integrative thinking that helps you find direction, announcing events, pointing you towards resources, etc.

Visit regularly as content will change!