Unofficial Orientation Series 2015: First Year Classes

This is an update of skorn‘s post from 2014. Which was an update of DaPope‘s post from 2013. So there.

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Shoutout to this post in WesAdmits 2019 that I have shamelessly stolen. I am a real and good journalist.

Good afternoon, froshlings. Or morning, or evening, or whenever it is that you’re reading this. You’re probably bubbling with excitement right now — and you can’t wait to finally be on campus getting oriented and all that shit. (BTW, orientation is pretty fun. You should be excited. There are also parties. So that.) But, of course, part of being interested in Wesleyan means also being interested in the classes that you will take at Wesleyan, and as a Real Life Wesleyan Student, perhaps I can help you on that front.

First things first, or at least required things first.  You’ve already chosen (by ranking choices) and been assigned your First Year Seminar, or FYS (or you’re confused about why you’ve been assigned an FYS for spring semester), as well as a second course. First Year Seminars are small (15 people maximum) discussion-based classes on a variety of topics, ranging this semester from “Single Combat in the Ancient World” to “Jewish Graphic Novels.” You can find the full FYS list here. These classes are meant to raise the level of your thought from the dank depths of high school drudgery to the glorious, shining majesty of the ivory tower. Maybe not quite that dramatic, but you get the idea. They will all make you think; they will all make you write. Like I said, you’ve been assigned them already, so you know what they are. If you don’t like what you got, you can always talk to your advisor about changing it when you get to campus, but keep in mind that not liking a subject is, in fact, a perfectly fine justification for taking a class. Expand your horizons. Do something you wouldn’t ordinarily do. Have an academic adventure. It’s no accident that you’ll be hearing things along those lines well into and beyond your freshman year.

Apply for a Masters Class with Richard Blanco

richard blancoFrom the Shapiro Creative Writing Center:

Award-winning poet Richard Blanco is coming to Wesleyan this semester for an exclusive masters class! Blanco’s works have focused on his heritage and identity as well as the impact of national tragedy. This series includes three 2.5 hour workshop-style classes with the inaugural poet, and one dinner after class.

The class is open to anyone who can commit to all three classes (September 23, October 28, and November 18). The course is not for credit, and has no additional cost. To apply, send a cover letter and sample of 3-4 poems to abloom[at]wesleyan[dot]edu. All applications must be submitted by SEPTEMBER 15, but the sooner the better! Take advantage of this chance to work closely with a professional poet.

Application Deadline: Tuesday, September 15

Applications are being accepted as they come in, so it’s best to get yours in as early as possible. The classes run from 6-8:30 p.m. each day. Click on the flyer if you wanna see the whole thing.

Unofficial Orientation Series 2015: Student Groups

This is an update of alt‘s 2014 post, which was an update of Q‘s 2013 post, which was an update of Syed‘s 2012 post

student activities fair

this is the annual student activities fair, where you can schmooze or, more likely, be schmoozed to your heart’s content

By the time classes start in just nine days, you’ll likely be successfully moved into your dorm, blissfully free from your parents, and finally finding the time to figure your shit out. Soon, you’ll realize that you have a little too much time on your hands — and you might want to fill that time with Organized Social Activities.

Thankfully for you, there are about 300 student groups at Wesleyan, so you have many, many options. Joining student groups is one of the best way to meet people outside of your dorm and in different class years. You could find best friends! Mentors! Something new about yourself! It’s all up to you.

As your Orientation Leaders, advisers, and basically everyone else including me will tell you — stick to the Rule of Seven. Each class you take, group you join, job you have, and any other thing you might do counts as one commitment, and you should try to have only seven full-time commitments per semester. With a standard four-course load, that leaves three spots for you to fill with whatever the hell else you want. That’s what this post is for.

Unofficial Orientation Series 2015: What to Pack

This post is a repost of Frizzly’s post from last year. Which was a repost of Samira’s post in 2013. As it turns out, the shit you need to pack doesn’t change much over the years.

arrival day

At first glance, this post might seem like the most straightforward of the Unofficial Orientation Series. But scoff not, freshman or unadjusted upperclassman. Packing for college is anything but a piece of cake. You’re placing some of your most prized and cherished possessions into flimsy boxes and suitcases, making difficult choices about what you’ll keep with you for the next nine months of your life — how could it not be stressful?!

By now your mom has probably found Wesleyan’s official packing list and, much to your chagrin, has begun scrounging around your garage for old milk crates and pillow shams. While mumsy dearest probably knows what you’ll need best, you might also benefit from a list compiled by a person who’s actually your age.

Of course, everyone needs the basics: toiletries, bedding, school supplies, and clothes. But at Wesleyan, as you’ll quickly learn, we tend to do almost everything a little bit differently.

Unofficial Orientation Series 2015: Middletown Eateries

This post is a repost of a repost

Note: This is by no means an exhaustive list of eating options in Middletown. Feel free to add your own recommendations in the comments. 

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Middletown has so many fantastic dining options that at first you might feel like this turtle: faced with an almost insurmountable mountain of deliciousness. Much like the above turtle, though, you’ve got to start somewhere. We’re here to give you a head start.

From coffee-shop casual to awkward-family-dinner upscale, there’s food in Middletown for every occasion. This is Part 1 of our guide to some of the best places to eat in town, to be continued tomorrow.  Prices are on a $ to $$$ scale. Also worth noting is that a lot of Middletown restaurants accept Middletown cash, so save up some of that laundry money for your dining excursions. Read all of our food list after the jump!

Unofficial Orientation Series 2015: Wes Music Scene

This is my update of Q’s post from last year, which was an update of his post from 2013. Some things have changed, but  the scene here is still ‘unique, zealous, and sweaty.’

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New Jersey punkers Titus Andronicus at Eclectic, 5/1/2015

The more I talk to college kids at other schools, the more I realize how much the music scene at Wesleyan sets itself apart. Though we have them, we are not confined to house parties and bars — there’s music nearly every day, all week. Often, there’s so much music that you can’t possibly go to it all, but you try anyway.

Once things get going, there are 3-5 concerts every weekend, sometimes even multiple shows a night. I’ve seen more bands than I have the energy to count with more variety than I can quantify simply  by wandering around at Wesleyan on a given weekend. The folks who book shows at Wesleyan work very hard to bring in all kinds of groups, well-known or just emerging, from punk to dance, and usually put one or two solid student bands on the list.

Many student bands have gone on to greater things, like Henry Hall ‘14 of Grand Cousin (RIP), the Rooks (who are playing The Mash this year, fyi), Novelty Daughter, Overcoats, Heems of Das Racist, AND MORE. Wesleyan is also home to a unique brand of jazz/hip-hop fusion, as showcased by bands like Sky Bars and junior band Chef.

Seriously. It’s very special. What’s even better is that 95% of this stuff is totally free.

Unofficial Orientation Series 2015: WesTech

This is an update of alt’s update of pyrotechnic’update of lesanjuan’update of Syed’s 2010 post.

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This entire post strikes me as wildly ironic, as I’m posting it from my phone in a tiny Internet café in Paris, through the web browser because the WordPress app is awful and also because we’re afraid to update Wesleying to the latest version. Internet addiction clearly runs deep, and since you, dear prefrosh, presumably have a computer/probably other electronic devices you’re bringing to campus, here’s some info for you on how to connect and do other technical things at Wesleyan.

The first thing you should know: WesTech. It refers to the kindly people who provide “technical services and support to all faculty, staff and students,” you might think. No, that’s ITS and how they describe themselves. Here’s what a previous WesLingo post says about WesTech:

WesTech is a word that will pop up every once in a while (via the ACB): “WesTech refers to everyone not DKE/Beta* or mostly the ‘very Wesleyan’ population. It comes from the idea that Wesleyan has unattractive girls and bad sports and thus might as well be a technical school: WesTech.” Apparently, however, this is a term used mainly by other schools to make fun of Wesleyan, and has been appropriated by the sports teams as a label of pride (sports teams doing the ironic appropriation? Only at Wesleyan). A Techie was a term generally used by athletes to describe a “typical” Wesleyan student (artsy), or a “Techie.”

Now that you know what it means, this is required viewing: WesTech State of Mind.

If you’re confused, don’t worry: I’ve never heard anyone use the term WesTech, which probably means I’m a techie. Huh. Anyway, for instructions on how to be technologically savvy at Wes, read on.

Apply to Be a Stethoscope Press Editor

stethoscopeFrom Rebecca Brill ’16:

Stethoscope Press, Wesleyan’s only student run publishing press, is looking for a few more editors! As an editor, you will work one on one with a writer to create a beautifully published book by the end of the year. If you love the process of writing, editing, and designing, consider joining us for a rewarding and collaborative experience. In the past, we’ve published graphic novels, poem collections, novellas, memoirs, and short stories.

To apply, please send a 5-7 page writing sample to stethoscopepress[at]gmail[dot]com and a few sentences on why you’re applying and what kind of writing excites you. The deadline is Sunday, September 20 at 4pm.

Don’t hesitate to email Rebecca Brill (rebrill[at]wesleyan[dot]edu) with questions.

Deadline: Sunday, September 20 at 4 PM

Wesleying Unofficial Orientation Series 2015: Dorm Living FAQ

This post is a repost of a repost of a repost of a repost of a repost. Dorm Life never changes much. Unless Fauver becomes Bennett.

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Dear frosh,

At this point in the summer, you are probably fretting over things like college. A sense of melancholy (or jittery excitement and increased WesAdmits activity, if you hated high school) has creeped up on you. Are you making lists of toiletries and getting boxes from Staples to pack your life into? Wondering how much action your soon-to-be bed has gotten in the past? A lot, probably.

But don’t be too frazzled. Last year’s Unofficial Orientation Series Dorm Living post  Wesleying‘s here to answer your 40ish most pressing questions related to waking-up-and-instantly-having-200-or-so-of-your-peers-to-hang-out-with.

The pertinent FAQ doesn’t change much from year to year, so we tend to repost much of the original guide by Norse Goddess Holly-and-Xue ’08 (cuz it’s still damn good and we’re still damn lazy). This re-vamped guide is up to date and full of Wesjargon:

Wesleying Unofficial Orientation Series 2015: Getting There From Here

This is an updated repost of daniphantom’s 2014 post, which was an update of her 2013 post.

Yes, this is from Björk's video for "Triumph of a Heart."

Yes, this is from Björk’s video for “Triumph of a Heart.”

If you have a car — lucky you. Most of today’s installment doesn’t apply to you, except that we’re all very jealous of your ready access to transportation. If you don’t have a car, consider making friends with someone who does.

As any current Wes student will tell you, one area in which Middletown is seriously lacking is its ability to help you get out of Middletown (not that you would ever want to of course). The closest train station is in Meriden, though your best bet for getting out of town is to go to Union Station in New Haven or Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks (near Hartford). Getting there, though, is quite the challenge. At one point there was even a campus organization strictly dedicated to improving transportation. Lucky for you, we at Wesleying, and our friends at the Peer Advisor Blog, have attempted to compile a list of the car-less ways to get to Connecticut’s two main transportation hubs to make your lives easier.