Friday, February 1, 2013

Honors Program = Magic

By Fern Whyte

A wave of disappointment washed over me when I got my paper back. I had gotten used to getting A’s and was totally unprepared for this latest grade of A-minus. I couldn't wait for class to end so that I could approach the professor about this tragedy. A-Minus, I just hate them.

As my classmates rushed to exit the lecture room, I gingerly made my way between rows of chairs to speak with the professor who was still packing her stuff. “I don’t understand how I got an A-, this is an A paper,” I whined. Totally disregarding the fact that blatantly ignored the professor’s recommendation for changes to an earlier draft, I still thought this was A-work. We argued about the grade for a few minutes, she was kind, but firm “no grade change.” As I turned away in a disappointment, she said, “you know what, it’s great that you are so ambitious. Keep it up. It’s a good thing.”

Outside the room, curious classmates, who I thought were long gone, were waiting to see what the fuss was all about. “What happened, did you get a C? I was incredulous! “A ‘C,’ are you crazy? I got an A-minus! “The four girls looked at each other and started laughing. One girl wanted to know if I was crazy. “Can you believe her, she got and A-minus and she’s complaining, another derided” “I wish that was me,” one chirped. “A-minus!” someone chimed, as they turned and laughingly walked away.” I wasn't going to get any sympathy today, I was upset.

Fast forward two semesters; and I have been invited by the Honor Program to be a Presidential Honors Scholar for the 2012/2013 academic year. As an honors student, we have access to courses dipped in magical potions called all-honors classes. I’m in love. All honors classes are filled with students who are even more ambitious than I am. Therefore, instead of feeling like I am some geeky freak, I now have to bring my A-game to keep up. Honors classes are a meeting of minds, great minds that keep ‘whirring’ even five minutes after classes should have ended – and it is a beautiful thing!

 Before honors classes, I had a feeling that I was just going with the flow. But these classes forced me to challenge myself, encouraged me to think independently, question concepts and come to exciting conclusion. Last semester I took the plunge and signed up for two all-honors classes, for a third class I signed an honors contract with the Professor. I ended up with an A+ (love those), an A, and an A-minus (yes the dreaded A-).

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My First Day - Presidential Scholar Seytervin Seytgaziyev

My first day of college appeared to be exactly what I expected it to be because my older brother explained what it means to be a college student. Because I had some background knowledge about what I may experience, I attended my first day of school full of good spirit. I was slightly nervous because you're changing your environment, to a higher level of education and quality and so you have to respect it. To make my day even more difficult, the fact that I am a honor student adds even more weight to my shoulders.

In the morning, when I took my first steps into the Kingsborough campus, it was too crowded. The campus seemed as if everyone was walking purposefully and knew where they going. Being a freshman on his first day I didn't know where anything was located and ultimately became confused. Luckily I saw a staff member, passing by, and asked him where a certain class is located and if I was on time for the class. My first class, Critical Issues(Health), was similar to classes I saw in movies: students laying down on their desks with, professor sitting in front of the class and doing nothing but telling some random stories of his life. At first I got scared because, I feared all my classes would turn out like this one or worse. Afterwards, I realized that it was just the first day, the first class, and the first encounter - so I tried not to jump to conclusions. In general, my entire day was really interesting and I'm really excited about living the college life.

I'm proud of being a Presidential Scholar representative. This opportunity provides tools that maybe useful for the future in achieving success. Also, this program gives me the option of covering the parts of my schedule I don't have class with productive work. The Honor Lounge is another benefit of this program where students can relax while listening in on the waves break into the cool sand. The lounge also provides a convenient location for me to study and converse with my peers if I am having any issues in the school.

I was really excited about my first day in college. Although the work volume wasn't as much as I had expected, I had a great time exploring the place I'll spend my coming two years. Finally, this experience will hopefully lead me to say that I will never regret attending Kingsborough College, despite the opinions of others.

Presidential Scholar Rizwana Din Shares her First Day Experiences...

The night before my first day of college, I was really scared and nervous. I was worried about how will my first day will go. I felt nervous before I entered my first class. I was trying to make sure that I was all set for my first day of classes. There were a lot of students in my regular classes. The professors had a lot of knowledge and it was just as I thought. I was lost in trying to find my classes, but the class that I was really looking forward was the honors classes. It was a relief for me to have some people from the Honors program are in my English and History class. There was 25 students in each of my honor class and I was grateful for that because I can get to know my classmates and I get more personal attention. I was shocked to find out that I survived my first day of college. I didn't have any break during the day, so I was going from one class to another class. I went to the Honors Lounge after my classes ended and it's a very peaceful view just sitting there. I felt like I was at home. I was happy that I have experienced what is it like to be a college student.

Monday, September 12, 2011

My First Day at KCC - Presidential Scholar Elor Kahalani Recounts his Experiences

My first day of college was exactly what I expected. Same as High School, just with a private beach! Usually society tries to view the first day of college as such an amazing and irregular day. According to some movies there should be cheerleaders jumping all over, basketball team members showing their tricks, and many more unrated performances and shows by the various clubs and organization the school habits. That was definitely not my first day of college.
The morning of my first day of college was just like any other morning, hard to get up, don’t want to go to school, too tired to listen to anyone, etc. I think what woke me up was not driving in the pouring rain, but hearing Professor Gordon Young’s voice. His voice woke me up like no magic could! Luckily I have his class every morning so at least ill be more focused during my day.
Next in line was health class. The Professor showed up ten minutes late, I already considered leaving when it reaches 15 minutes! Unfortunately I didn’t get to leave but at least I met Professor Raasch, who is most likely the coolest professor I have ever seen. Wearing his nice sports jacket and his huge gold pendant shaking by his chest, he seemed like a very nice teacher.
Up next was an hour and a half break in which I hung out in the honors lounge! That pretty much was the “bomb” of my day. I was less bored in the lounge than I was in any of my classes, ironic isn’t it? Oh well, right after the break I had English and to my surprise I had a whole bunch of honor students from the Presidential Honors Program there, so I made the best out of it.
Today was a day which I would normally prefer staying in my bed until late, drinking hot chocolate milk and watching TV but I made it to school and fortunately did not regret it! If it wasn’t for the Honors Office, I would have been lonely the whole day! Thanks to the Honors Office and staff I really felt like I am doing something in school today. Whether if it was hanging out with friends in the Honors Lounge, or just bothering Tzila and Navila, I had a great time and I am very thankful and happy I was accepted into this great program!
My first day of college was less exciting than was my first day of High School. I believe once you grow up you don’t really get excited of things, just like I don’t get excited of my birthday anymore. Even though today was practically a waste of about 6 hours, I still had a good time and I am not regretting showing up. I hope the rest of the week will be just a pinch more interesting and challenging.

Remembering Cost Rica - Farin Kautz's Account of his Time at LIU's Global College this Summer

In July of 2011, I spent the summer studying abroad in Costa Rica. Through the Honors department at Kingsborough Community College, I was offered the DeWitt Wallace grant, a scholarship that would help pay for the majority of my trip. The opportunity was one that I could not turn down, and has since been one that I will never forget. A total of eight students participated in the trip, two of us from Kingsborough, four from LIU, and two from Queensborough.Together we studied Sociology in the Communities of La Carpio, Sarapaquii, Santa Ana, Manzenillo, up and down the east coast of the country, and in San Jose.
This course, Sociology of Cultural Development, was one in which I was blessed to have two outstanding professors, Gail Nystrom & Ilianna Moralles. Our classes consisted of studying the roots and effects of poverty, the influence of international corporations on indigenous and nationally owned lands, the culture of the indigenous and their view on development, and also the ecological and spiritual connection between the individual and the land. These studies were facilitated through on hand experience, countless group discussions (both formal and informal), journal logs, and travels. All of which culminated in the final term paper: “What is Development?”
The second portion of our studies was in La Heredia. At the Global College center, we studied Spanish in unison with the culture of Costa Rica. We were split up into groups, usually of two, depending on our skill in speaking Spanish. Our classes were intensive and fulfilling. Studying almost exclusively with my professor Eric allowed me the opportunity to learn a sizable amount of Spanish in only two weeks. In conjunction with the Spanish classes we were exposed to the culture of Costa Rica. We traveled to a dairy farm just outside Heredia, went to a hilarious play titled “Papa Chullo” in San Jose, visited a mask maker and his shop , and also walked through the city of Heredia on numerous occasions.
Today, I fear that what I took away from these travels is incommunicable. Despite this, I am proud to say that I experienced all that I could while in Costa Rica. Zip lining in Monte Verde, hiking with the indigenous chief Tim Mateo, dancing awfully to Costa Rica’s most famous band Malpais, and seeing the country side of Costa Rica, have all made an unprecedented impact upon my life. My time there now exists as one of my favorite chapters in my life and I fully intend on going back to visit all the amazing individuals I met along the way.

Monday, September 20, 2010

My First Experience at KCC...

I guess becoming a college student didn't hit me until it was Monday around two o’clock in the morning; mind you I start school in less than six hours. The first day was not bad and my teachers are very nice so far. You could definitely tell that I was a freshman because the Kingsborough map was practically glued to my hands. It was great and I felt better once I saw there was a coffee shop available so that just brightened up my day! I got lost so many times, but managed to make it to class on time, I had to have lost about five pounds alone because of all of the walking I did. The scenery is unlike anything I have ever seen at least in a school I am ashamed to say that I have not gone to the beach yet, but I hope to go sometime soon.

-Junie Joute
Presidential Scholar Honors student

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Where are our Honors Graduates Going?

Congratulations to all of our 2010 graduates who will be moving on to accomplish great things at these top universities and colleges!

Good luck; we are so proud of all of you!

Justin Booth – Binghamton University
Kistal Gordon – Brooklyn College
Jenna Diomede – St. John’s University
Dana Sherwood – Smith College
Olivia Derks – Mount Holyoke College
Kieshorne Dennie – City College
Raquel Hudson – Florida Institute of Technology
Laura Molinari – Hofstra University
Lillian A. Perez – Mercy College
Daler Lattif- Zade – Hunter College
Anvar Diabbarkhodjaev – Brooklyn College
Danyal Qureshi – Baruch College
Donovan-D Charlemagne – Columbia University
Anne Tram – John Jay College
Toni Johnson – Columbia University
Patria Daher – Hunter College
Greg Grinberg – Brooklyn College
Nikia Brown – Albany University
Pollak “Alex” Tang – Baruch College
Dorothy Frances – Brooklyn College
Nino Katsia – Baruch College
Pyi Kyaw – Baruch College
Rosalyn Gabon – Hunter College

If your name is not on the list, please feel free to share your news with us!