Monthly Archives: September 2013

A Day in the Life of an RCLC member

An update from Tien, a member of the Residential Commons Leadership Corps and a second-year student majoring in Advertising and Public Relations. Tien shares a day of her life in the Residential Commons. RISE AND SHINE!!! It's Test Day! Having breakfast with some last-minute study time Walking through this Meadows maze to get to class Creativity is over! Using my downtime to look ahead to events in October. IS IT FOOD TRUCK TUESDAY!?!? Skipped out on lunch at Umph today for some delicious Crawfish Etoufee! Enjoying the beautiful weather and scenery on my way to bio lab!  We are looking at bacteria samples from last week.  Lab is over and it's time to head to the Diversity Committee weekly meeting. 8 hours have [...]

2013-10-22T10:13:46+00:00 September 27th, 2013|Residential Commons Leadership Corps|

The RCLC and Me

An update from Meaghan, a member of the Residential Commons Leadership Corps and a second-year student triple majoring in Environmental Science with an Earth Science emphasis, Geology, and Chemistry, while triple minoring in Math, English, and Environmental Engineering. “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” -Mahatma Gandhi Meaghan enthusiastically supports her community wearing hear Mary Hay Commons T-Shirt For a first year coming to a new school, leaving home for the first time without knowing anyone at school, a new school can be terrifying. For me, the first few months were no different. My roommate last year already had her niche when she came to SMU, fitting in with her friend-group from high school. I, however, didn't have [...]

2013-10-22T10:14:12+00:00 September 26th, 2013|Residential Commons Leadership Corps|

Diary of a FiR: Week 2

An update from Ann Batenburg, Faculty in Residence (FiR) for the Virginia-Snider Residential Commons: August 27 Fire drill. 6:30 a.m. ‘Nuf said? They warned me ahead of time, so I did have advance notice. And it’s not like I haven’t been through this before; after all, I was an undergraduate myself in the distant past subjected to this state-mandated form of torture. More recently, I was a “House Counselor” (Read: “RA.”) for a boarding high school for girls in North Carolina. The building was very old and dusty, and its particle-sensing fire alarm system was very new and sensitive: a tragic combination. It was unfortunately common to have two or three fire alarms go off in a single evening. So, it’s [...]

2013-10-22T10:21:16+00:00 September 24th, 2013|SMU Faculty in Residence|

Oxford Recap: Sherlock Holmes Style

An update from Jamie, a member of the Residential Commons Leadership Corps and a second-year student majoring in accounting in the Cox School of Business. Jamie observed the residential commons model in Oxford first-hand. When I got on the 7-hour flight to London, I had no idea what to expect. I’d never been on a trip where the entire purpose was to observe your surroundings and learn from other people. (Actually, I’ve never been abroad before, either.) Vacations are all about relaxation or sightseeing. Study abroad is for actual classes and internships. Some trips are to visit old friends, or to make new ones. This trip was merely for comparison and social research. And the scariest part was that it [...]

2013-10-22T10:23:20+00:00 September 21st, 2013|Residential Commons Leadership Corps|

Diary of a Faculty in Residence

An update from Ann Batenburg, Faculty in Residence (FiR) for the Virginia-Snider Residential Commons: Week 1, August 12: First Impressions The Boulevard is my front lawn. Before I completely moved in, I quickly decided that I am never leaving. Virginia-Snider Residential Commons I feel like I’ve moved into a fancy hotel. My apartment in the residence hall, carved out of the space in which several student rooms used to be, is swanky by my standards: beautiful hardwood floors, granite countertops, a larger kitchen and pantry than my cooking skills deserve, top of the line appliances and cabinetry, two bedrooms, and 2.5 baths in roughly 1,400 square feet of space. I am swimming in luxury. One of the resident [...]

2013-10-22T10:22:33+00:00 September 19th, 2013|SMU Faculty in Residence|

Tell the truth: A lesson to revisit

This sentence is false. If "this sentence is false" is true, then the sentence is false, which is a contradiction.  Conversely, if "this sentence is false" is false, then the sentence is true, which is also a contradiction. The liar’s paradox has been around since the ancient Greeks; unfortunately, so have liars. It wouldn’t be incorrect to say that lying is the root cause of the “Great Recession” that has cast such a dark shadow over the U.S. economy for the past several years.  Bernie Madoff lied.  So did Allen Stanford, Peter Lombardi, Nicholas Cosmo, James Nicholson, Joanne Schneider, Brian Smart, and many, many others.  Liars.  All of the aforementioned individuals were entrusted by normal people just like you and [...]

2013-09-20T16:59:08+00:00 September 17th, 2013|Nayeem in Fort Worth|

Follow Up

As promised, I’m catching you all up to speed on my second class today and my week last week. Today’s course, "Unreformed Scotland: Older Scots Literature to 1560," was introduced by a rather delightful professor. I am also relieved to find that this course includes a final exam worth only 30% of my final grade, compared to the 50% in my other class… It’s also funny how this class is made up of almost all American students, minus two. I’m looking forward to reading old Scottish literature by some of the greats, including two of St. Andrews' very own: William Dunbar and Gavin Douglas. We’ll see how quickly I can catch on the original Scottish tongue, maybe add a little [...]

2013-12-20T14:11:25+00:00 September 17th, 2013|Jordan in Scotland|

Catch Up

I’ve been playing catch up this past week in order to prepare for the first day of classes, which was today! I was excited to begin, simply because I need some semblance of a routine schedule to begin after nearly three weeks of none at all. But first, to get me in school mode, I attended a lecture a couple days ago titled “The Future of Universities.” Four academics related to the university made up the panel of speakers, including the principal herself, Louise Richardson.  Each of the four speakers discussed at least one important issue facing the future of tertiary education. I found the lecture quite interesting, particularly one segment that discussed the war between the humanities and the sciences. [...]

2013-12-20T14:08:56+00:00 September 17th, 2013|Jordan in Scotland|

Impact matters

In 2011, American individuals, corporations and foundations gave an estimated $298.42 billion to charity. Americans, more than any other population in the world, give to causes around the world. Giving to international causes is especially high for first- and second-generation Americans who still have strong ties – real or sentimental – to their motherlands. Bangladesh has a thriving civil society. Non-governmental organizations provide critical goods and services to poor populations. From educational support to water wells, NGOs impact millions of lives annually. This is the narrative that those who donate follow. But, very rarely does anyone follow up on a more important question: What's the return on my charity? Some organizations are run more efficiently than others. Some organizations are [...]

2013-09-11T22:27:42+00:00 September 11th, 2013|Rahfin in Washington|

Behind the scenes at the State Department

Tragedy struck Bangladesh in April 2013. More than 1,200 garment workers perished in a building collapse in Rana Plaza. Workers, already being paid the world’s lowest wages for their type of work, were told to work in a building with structural safety problems. Without a voice — formally known as a right to organize — workers did not rise up against management who told them to continue working even when it was clear that the building was going down. The building owner, who had ties with the ruling political party, was held accountable. But, in the eyes of many, the international retailers who had commissioned the factory were just as complicit. Calls for reform and boycott followed. Some companies, like [...]

2013-09-11T22:15:33+00:00 September 11th, 2013|Rahfin in Washington|
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