The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Summer classes: friend or foe?

(Cloud Gamble)

It is now that time of the year — the sun is staying out longer, the weather is getting warmer, and most are thinking about Serendipity and summer. Summer is about sun block, flip flops, the beach, and class.

Wait, class? Yes, at Guilford the summer is the time for students to continue taking classes if they choose to do so.

“I feel that I have had very positive experiences with the summer session and I’d recommend them to people, provided they know what they’re getting into,” junior Benjamin Sepsenwol said in an e-mail interview.

Just what are students putting themselves through when they decide to take summer classes? Having taken four of them last summer and survived, they are not as bad as they seem.

“I took a fiction writing class this summer, and we spent a lot of time writing outside and sharing our work,” said junior Devinne Melecki. “The whole experience was awesome, and I felt like we really developed a classroom community, while also embracing the summer.”

Everyone I interviewed commented on the positive community of their classes. That community is one of the key elements of summer classes. This is in alignment with Guilford’s core values and brings out the best performances in students.

Assistant Professor of English Traci Connor believes that community is what drives the energy of her creative writing summer class.

“The experience is more intense, but that is the best kind, the immersion into the material every day is really great for a community of students,” Connor said.

This outlook is echoed by Associate Professor of English Heather Hayton for the demanding five-week session.

“I regularly teach Queer Studies in the first summer session because the intensity of the subject is rewarded by the deep community developed as 18 people spend so much time with each other in five weeks,” Hayton said.

As every college student does, I complain about homework. However, in the summer, homework isn’t much different than a regular semester. The five week classes are more intensive because they condense 15 weeks of work into five, and some teachers do not find it necessary to change their classes at all.

“For my classes, there is no difference between summer and regular semester classes,” said Binford Professor of Biology Frank Keegan.

However, students do not feel that the workload over the summer is overbearing.

“I would say I probably ended up doing the same amount of work I do during the school year, but it felt more leisurely in the summer,” said Melecki.

It is also common for CCE students to take classes during the summer.

“I’m a CCE student, and juggling family, work and school is constant,” said senior Brian Smith. “If a class is offered in the summer, I’d prefer to take it then, at its most direct and concentrated dosage.”

Even tedious work in the summer can have benefits. Students can find their favorite classes in the summer.

“Taking Introduction to Creative Writing with Traci Connor was the best decision I have ever made,” said senior Austin Shriner. “It’s the best class I’ve taken at Guilford. I wish other people could take it.”

Unfortunately, there are some drawbacks in taking summer classes, because … it is summer.

“During the summer semester, the campus is a ghost town,” said Sepsenwol. “Hardly anyone is there compared to a normal semester. Also, with having no cafeteria available, everyone on campus has to fend for themselves.”

These are the only negatives I can find with my experience spending summer at Guilford because I am not a chef. And since there are not a lot of people on campus, it gives you the opportunity to explore Greensboro.

“Tell everyone to get off campus,” said Shriner. “I can’t stress that enough. Don’t go to the Quaker Village, either. Get on a bus and ride it somewhere you haven’t been before.”

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