May 2nd 2017
CGS: Freshman Year (2016-2017)
While at CGS, I have established a base knowledge that has helped me in my other non-CGS courses and extra-curricular lectures I have attended. CGS has also provided me with a newfound confidence, by rewarding my hard work with a place on the Deans list, Deans circle, and Deans committee. Throughout all my classes, I use my CGS social science, humanities, and rhetoric knowledge to enhance what is being taught.
My rhetoric class has shown me a format of writing that has been key when trying to communicate ideas. My humanities and social science classes have also taught me the value of being well spoken, and presenting to an audience information in an original engaging manner. In my first and third papers in rhetoric, I demonstrate a successful use of argumentative writing that helps me communicate my thoughts on the different exhibit sources. Being able to communicate effectively in writing has also made it easier to read scholarly sources. Because, I know what format these scholars are writing in and their information is easier to parse out.
Social sciences taught me how to conduct research for a research project that is a thinly veiled version of the upcoming sophomore capstone project. This was helpful because I had to use several different research techniques and find ways to integrate each of the sources into a group presentation and an individual essay. Some research I had to do it both on and off-line. I learned how to use different databases to find scholarly sources. For example, I learned very quickly how to navigate both the library's website and the actual library. Then I had to learn how to translate all the articles and books I had into helping me with my topic, and also contributing to a larger group project. This was further emphasized in my humanities 102 course when we did our service learning project. Because once again, we had to do a group project with an individual essay.
I have demonstrated my knowledge in literary movements and historical context in extra-curricular lectures and discussions I have attended. I recently went to the BUPH Q&A Lecture on “Democracy in Crisis? Greece, Europe, and America.” During the lecture, the speakers made several references to people we learned about in social science, such as Walter Benjamin, Max Weber. Knowledge of these scientists not only enhanced my appreciation of the complexity of their arguments, but also made them understandable. Some of the historical events and literature have also allowed me to deepen my thought process in terms of contributing to an academic discussion. An example of this would be when I attended the Cavafy history class with my roommate and referenced the usage of stichomythia as a poetic tool that harkens back to Greek drama.
In my CGS rhetoric course I have learned rhetorical conventions in terms of grammar and writing. Some examples of these conventions are the standard introduction, skeleton outline, and basic grammar conventions. Whereas in my humanities courses I have learned more aesthetic conventions along the lines of artistic movements such as Modernism, Impressionism, and Realism.
All the CGS courses have provided me reading material that I would not have otherwise sought on my own. This has expanded my horizons in terms of viewing different problems and historical events through different lenses. An example of this being Anzaldua’s double consciousness which I used as a theory source for my paper 2 in rhetoric 102. It opened my eyes to a new way of thinking and looking at ethnicity in America, and also made a really cool lens in which to view one of my favorite movies, My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
The ability to reason quantitatively, which CGS has laid the groundwork for, are evident in my writing and contributions to group discussions. When participating in group discussions, no matter what the class, I always find connections from the question we are discussing and past research and information I have been taught in the CGS core courses. An example of this would be when writing a short reflection on Greek vase painting for an in- class assignment. I used the information from the Art History class, my Humanities class, and information from outside sources to enhance what I was writing.
I have not done any quantitative reasoning this year, I have been taking a humanities heavy course load and also, I will be going into the School of Communication. So, so far, I have not done math since my senior year of high school.
For my first year at BU, CGS has proven an interesting and unique experience. I have been given such a broad range of readings and writing skills that can be applied to any other class I take at BU, and for me that is one of the greatest things CGS could have taught me.