New Students

Countdown to Orientation - 72 Days and Counting*

So, this week, you all have (virtually) arrived in my office.  Your files were just transferred from the Admissions Office to the Dean of Students Office.  If you take a close look at this image of my office, you will see seven black containers that hold all of your folders.  See them on the second shelf - labeled with sections of the alphabet - below my scientific antiques, molecular models of testosterone and estrogen and glass bird collection?

Your virtual presence is palpable.  The class of 2017 starts with Alifayaz A. Abdulzahir from Jacksonville, FL and extends through Anton Zykov from Vienna VA.    There are currently almost 463 of you in between.  I see at least two pairs of twins, and someone with the longest name I have ever seen at 30 letters!  Your folders will be  spending the  summer in my office, eventaully they will get transferred out to the main office once we have cleared space from the folders of the graduated class of 2013. 

 Welcome Alifayaz and Anton! Kelci, I taught your sister, Kristin '13.  Alison and Meredith, can't wait for the first women's bball game.  Connor and Morgan, we'll be ready for you!

* For those of you who are confused by the sudden drop in my countdown to orientation from 85 days last Friday to 72 days this Friday, no, there wasn't a time warp.  It seems as though my calendar counting was a bit off.  I decided to actually use a widget that calculates the number of days between dates, and realized that Orientation is in fact just 72 days away!

Countdown to Orientation - 85 Days and Counting

What a week it has been - massive demonstrations in Turkey, upsets in the MidEast, killer tornados in the Southwest US.  In Amherst, we have nothing to complain about.  It's a bit dreary and rainy as a tropical storm winds its way north.  I hope all of you in the South East did not get too wet.  

For this week's post, I would like to share some words of wisdom with you from the graduating class of 2013 -  in particular, the graduation speech of Reilly Horan, the senior speaker.  You will learn that as commencement draws near, students choose their own speaker based on sample speeches delivered by seniors in the month or so before graduation.  Reilly was chosen by her peers and chose to talk about the Good Days and the Bad Days of her last four years, but in particular, she focused on advice for finding happiness at Amherst that I thought you would enjoy.  Her speech can be found here.  

Reilly graduated with a major in Theater and Dance, and has decided to spend her post graduation year working as a fellow in the Theater and Dance department.  She is anxious to meet up with you and we will try to find some time for her to share her wisdom and wit with you in your first semester at Amherst.  

Countdown to Orientation - 92 Days and Counting

Orientation 2013 postcardAmherst College is taking a breath between Graduation and Reunion and it is in this moment that I first turn my thoughts from the Class of 2016 to you, my new Class of 2017.  There is so much I want to say to you and so much I want to share, my problem will be in being succinct and relevant.  

Perhaps for this, the first post, I can recognize that most of you received your first email from me yesterday, and that it contained almost too much information for you to process.  My advice would be to take the information one point at a time, and to do the best you can to stay attuned to the deadlines for submission of the many forms.  Print out the email and put it in a prominent place in your home.  You will receive a postcard as well early next week with important dates and deadlines.

It is my goal to have you arrive on August 25th with some outlines of the academic and social landscape already in place.  You will have some details, but not all.  You need to know that we intentionally want some of your choices to be made on site with guidance from faculty and staff. Some of you will be chaffing to get more information, but we ask for your patience. 

So, enjoy browsing through our Orientation Site, reading through the description of our First Year Seminars, and checking out some of the optional activities such as Foot Trips, CEOT Trips, and a new Faculty lead program MyAmherst Too!.  Get your summer read by one of the many options avaialble to you and start reading "Field Notes from a Catastrophe" by Elizabeth Kolbert about Climate Change and Global Warming just as out temperatures are expected to climb to the 90s in the Northeast this weekend.