We are now in the third week of classes this Spring Semester, and things have been going well! The students in the LLC have all survived their first semester, the majority of them very successfully. Every student in the LLC has returned to the University this spring, and thus far they have been doing well. The community is very strong, and socially integrated (with each other, at any rate). As we reconvene this semester, I have several intentions and hopes for the LLC.
Last semester was remarkably successful on an academic level for the great majority of LLC residents, however, I would like to reiterate the importance of strong academics. College is not nearly so novel an idea now, and as the novelty from our first semester wears off it is all too easy to relax into bad academic habits. This relaxation coincides with raised difficulty in classes; professors stop pulling punches in second semester. To encourage further academic excellence, I'm hosting more frequent controversy vaults, a successful recurring event from last semester. These events take a central topic of uncomfortable nature and presets a forum for students to share their perspectives and listen to others. I have also began a recurring event called Spitballing Sundays, which will take place each week on Sunday night at 7. It is essentially a quiet time during which students are encouraged to bring writing for any class at any stage of the writing process to workshop with peers or to work on independently. Writing is similar to exercising; the hardest part is working up the courage to begin. But having an exercise buddy or writing group makes that initial stage easier. This will be my emphasis for the first quarter of the semester
As we progress, I have several other ideas that I hope to share with residents. Among these: encouraging residents to explore Milwaukee more fully, continually striving to better understand oneself, and always reaching higher. I want residents to realize all of the wonderful benefits that are in the big city; only a 10 minute bus ride away. I plan on creating an Amazing Race-type event to showcase cool secrets of the city. I also want residents to better understand themselves, and to develop a greater sense of independence. I want them to consider their strengths, and to be aware of their weaknesses. I'll consider events that consider major selection. As the year wraps up, I want students to finish their first year feeling like their best days are still ahead. They will continue to grow and reach ever higher in their college careers. First year is an enormous transition; they've survived a difficult time. However, it's just the beginning, and that's not something to be frightened of, it's something to be excited about.