In this post, Leya, a sophomore at Wheelock, discusses the benefits of being a part of the Colleges of the Fenway.
There are so many amazing opportunities here at Wheelock but, one of the greatest opportunities is the close relationship the school has with the other five Colleges of the Fenway (COF): Emmanuel College, Simmons College, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and Massachusetts College of Art and Design. All of these schools are in close proximity to each other and allow students to branch off of our Wheelock campus and engage with students from other schools. The six schools share a lot. Wheelock shares Simmons’ gym, which is close by. You can eat at any of the other school’s dining halls (when you use your Colleges of the Fenway card) and the rumor is that Emmanuel has delicious food. The biggest opportunity that COF offers is cross-registering for classes and clubs.
As a Wheelock student you can cross-register at any of the other COF schools. This is a great way to take some classes that Wheelock does not offer. You get to meet new people and make new friends at other schools. A large number of students from the other five schools come to Wheelock to take American Sign Language. Students here go to Mass Art to take more art classes. If a class at Wheelock is full and you really wanted to take it, there is a possibility that another school has something similar. The opportunity of branching out and taking classes at another school is a great option.
For me personally, my favorite part is that you can participate in clubs and organizations through the COF. I have been dancing for the past eleven years and coming to school that was something I really wanted to continue. The COF offers dance classes with a show wrapping up each semester. There are a handful of classes offered by instructors that you can sign up for. You can also join student pieces. Students choreograph their own dances, which is always a lot of fun to join in on. The COF also has a theater project, an orchestra, a jazz band, and a chorus. If there is something you want to do you can always find it somehow at Wheelock or in the community.
If you want to explore more about the COF and what they offer check out their website. The opportunities at Wheelock are endless!
In this post, Kelly, a sophomore at Wheelock shares her thoughts about her involvement with Jumpstart.
When I first got to Wheelock I was signed up for a regular semester-long field placement just like the majority of my first year peers, but that all changed when I heard about Jumpstart. As soon as I found out that I would be in a preschool for 8 hours a week I was sold. Though many people said that Jumpstart was too much of a time commitment, working with these kids makes every single second worth it. The fact that my first year in college I was already in a preschool for so many hours a week getting real experience was beyond anything I could have ever asked for. Beyond that, the kids that we’re working with really need an extra boost before starting kindergarten and Jumpstart is totally committed to giving it to them. I adored my year in Jumpstart so much that I just had to be a Corps Member again this year.
Jumpstart has an incredible mission: working toward the day that every child enters kindergarten prepared to succeed. Jumpstart is a national early education organization that recruits and trains college students to serve preschool children in low-income neighborhoods. Our proven curriculum helps children develop the language and literacy skills they need to be ready for school, setting them on a path to close the achievement gap before it is too late. Here at Wheelock we have 78 Corps Members who go into classrooms in the Dorchester, Mission Hill and Roxbury communities to work with children on early literacy.
From the minute I started, I was always a huge fan of the Jumpstart program and the work I was doing with my kids, but there was one specific moment that completely changed the way I looked at Jumpstart forever. My partner child had been really struggling to learn the letters in his name and I could tell he was getting really frustrated with himself. After tracing his finger over the glittered name card I had made him, he told me each letter in his name. I was so excited I didn’t know what to say until he looked up at me with the biggest smile I’ve ever seen on his face. I hugged him and told him how proud I was of him and for the rest of the day he stayed by my side just repeating his letters to me over and over again. I’ve never seen such joy and pride in a child in all of my years working with children. When his mom came to pick him up he was so excited to tell her and the tears in her eyes said everything she couldn’t say. This life-changing moment will stay with me for the rest of my life and I have Jumpstart to thank for that.
Here’s a picture of Kelly with her red Jumpstart t-shirt.
I hope you all had a relaxing Thanksgiving break. It has been awhile since my last admission tip post. As I prepare to read applications for the early action deadline, which is December 1, I thought I would write a post that focuses on the essay portion of your application.
When I applied to college, I remember this was the most stressful part of the application for me. How do I write about myself in just 500 words? Where do I start? What would impress the admissions staff reading my application? If you are still working on your personal statement, perhaps you might find the following tips to be helpful:
1. Please read the question.
After reading many essays from applicants who I think glossed over the question or did not read it, I think it would be a good idea to remind everyone to read the question. Some schools you apply to may not be part of the Common Application, so you definitely want to make sure you do not submit the same essay you would for the Common Application. If you are going to apply to a school that uses the Common Application, make sure to read all 6 options. Before writing a response to the question, take a minute to analyze the question. What is the question asking? For example, if it asks you to evaluate an experience, make sure that you "evaluate" rather than tell your readers about an experience.
2. Write and re-write.
When writing your essay, I recommend writing a first draft and then re-write a second draft. It was difficult for me to adhere to the 500 word limit. As a result, I wrote a first draft and then went through my essay and deleted sentences that I thought were not necessary in answering the question. I kept going back to my essay and re-read it several times to find places where I could shorten my sentences. This will also help your essay become more succinct.
Before submitting your application, make sure to proofread your essay for grammatical and spelling errors. Although the spell check feature on Word is very helpful in catching errors, it does not always catch all mistakes. I read my essay aloud and that helped me catch more errors. You can even ask a friend, teacher, or sibling to serve as a second pair of eyes. However, make sure that this person is only proofreading your essay for grammatical and spelling errors. Their job is not to rewrite your essay. In many cases, it is apparent if the essay was written by you or by someone else.
4. Ask yourself: Did I answer the question?
As you write your essay, ask yourself if you answered the question. It is easy for a writer to go off on tangents or not answer the question. One thing that worked well for me was I wrote my essay using a Word document and included the question at the top of the page. As I wrote my response, I went back to the question to see if I answered it completely and to the best of my ability.
5. Write about something that is meaningful to you, not about a story that will impress readers.
Essays where applicants have taken the time to come up with a meaningful response are more favorable than essays where applicants tried to impress readers with their achievements.
This post is part of a series of posts about fun activities and places to visit during the weekend. In this post, I will focus on a neat place to visit in the South End: the SoWa Open Market. One of the great things about this activity is that there is no entrance fee.
Recently, I visited the SoWa outdoor market on a warm Sunday afternoon. The market is located South of Washington Street, which is why it is called SoWa. There is the SoWa Open Market, which sells artwork, handmade jewelry, clothing, household items, and many unique products. That is also where they have food trucks you can visit and purchase delicious food. For those of you who enjoy antiques and vintage items, the SoWa Vintage Market is located next to the SoWa Open Market. Also, they have the SoWa Farmers’ Market, which sells a variety of locally grown fresh produce.
When I arrived at the SoWa market, I was a little overwhelmed. There were so many vendors and I didn’t know where to go first. But, I decided to take a look at the SoWa Farmers’ Market. I enjoyed perusing through the tables of fresh fruit and vegetables. Another booth that caught my attention was the one that had buckets of fresh flowers. Don’t they look so fresh?
As I was leaving the Farmers’ Market, I noticed a sign that pointed toward the food trucks. I decided to follow the crowd of people to the where the food trucks were stationed. There were so many food trucks to choose from. They had food trucks that sold ice cream, cupcakes, ice cream sandwiches, gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, lobster, hot dogs, and the list goes on!
Each food truck was crowded with people standing in a line and waiting to place their order. I decided to wait in line to try the lobster slider from the Lobsta Love Truck. Surprisingly, the line went by quickly and I only had to wait about 15 minutes before it was my turn to order. My lobster slider was delicious! I wish I had ordered a few more sliders!
The SoWa market is open every Sunday from May until the end of October from 10am-4pm. I took the T and walked to get to the market since it was such a nice day. But, you can also get to the market via bus. It was nice to spend an afternoon outdoors and I hope to make another trip when it opens again in May.
Here’s the address:
460 Harrison Ave
Boston, MA 02118
Even if you feel that the schools you plan to apply to would be a perfect fit, it is always a good idea to visit each campus. Some high schools even allow seniors to miss a few days of school to visit college campuses. The purpose of your visit is to see if you feel comfortable on the campus and can picture yourself as a student at that school. Thus, you want to make sure you spend an adequate amount of time on the campus rather than just taking a quick tour.
I recommend that you make a list of the schools you are interested in visiting. Map out a schedule to see if you can visit more than one school on the same day. Wheelock is part of the Colleges of the Fenway, which comprises of five other schools that are in close proximity: Emmanuel College, Simmons College, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Thus, you might be able to visit Wheelock and a nearby school before you make the trip home.
When you schedule your visit, see if you can meet with an admissions representative and tour the campus. If you are not able to schedule a guided tour of the campus, ask the admissions office if they might have a map for a self-guided tour. Try to meet current students and ask them about their experience at the college. If possible, visit a class to see if you like how the classes are taught. In addition, try to see what extracurricular activities are offered.
Also, you may want to take notes during your visit. Keep all of your college visit notes together. When you are working on your applications, refer to your notes to see what you liked about each school. This will help you determine if you would still like to apply to those schools.
If you are interested in visiting Wheelock, you can register for your visit here or contact the main office at (617) 879-2206. I hope to see you on campus!
Here is another post about a fun weekend event: the "What the Fluff?" festival in Union Square. It is an annual event celebrating the invention of Marshmallow Fluff.
On Saturday, September 29, 2012, I attended the “What the Fluff?” festival in Union Square, Somerville, Massachusetts. The festival celebrated Archibald Query’s 1917 invention of the Marshmallow Fluff in Union Square. Marshmallow Fluff is a sticky marshmallow spread that you can add to your s'mores, peanut butter sandwiches, and other snacks.
The event began at 3:00pm and when I arrived at the festival around 3:30 pm, there were already a couple hundred of people in attendance. While I walked around, I noticed there were many activities that involved Fluff. One activity I liked, but was not brave enough to try, was Fluff Fear Factor. The activity consisted of volunteers preparing crackers topped with Fluff, Tabasco sauce, pickles, tuna, and other items that probably should not be combined with Fluff. People stood in line and waited their turn to try the unappetizing combinations that had been prepared in front of them. I enjoyed watching from the sidelines and maybe one day I will participate in Fluff Fear Factor.
When I stopped at another booth, I noticed that the Somerville High School band members was selling Fluffernutters. At first I wondered why so many people were buying Fluffernutters, but then I quickly realized why they were so popular. They are sandwiches made with peanut butter and marshmallow fluff. Yum!
I thought it was neat that so many people came together to celebrate the invention of Fluff. I feel much more knowledgeable about Marshmallow Fluff and plan to add fluff to my desserts from now on. This is an event I recommend you attend with your friends and family. It can be a great study break and Union Square is accessible via public transportation.
This is a t-shirt I purchased as a souvenir from the festival. It's the Marshmallow Man from the Ghostbusters movie with his container of Fluff.
When you provide your email address to a college, that is the address the college will use to send you messages. I strongly recommend that you use a professional email address. You can create an email address that incorporates your first and last name. Consider the impression your email address would make in an admissions office. After all, you do not want admission representatives to be alarmed because of an inappropriate email address.
In addition, make sure to check that email account frequently. You don’t want to miss important messages from colleges because you forgot to check your email address. Also, check your junk mail because it is possible that important messages might have been filtered and sent directly to your junk mail instead of your inbox.
Stay tuned for more admission tips!
This post is a part of a series of posts about local activities you can participate in and neat places to visit during the weekend. I will highlight fun and affordable activities. In this post, you will learn about a fun fall event: apple picking.
During one of my recent visits to a high school in New Hampshire, I passed by an orchard that allowed people to pick their own apples. I thought that was a cool concept and decided to search for places to pick my own apples in Massachusetts. After a little research online, I chose to go to Honey Pot Hill Orchards in Stow, MA because it was not too far from Boston and it seemed to be a popular place for apple picking.
I arrived at the orchard around 10:30 am, but it was already packed with a few hundred people who had the same idea as me to go apple picking on a sunny fall morning. Before I picked my apples, I made a pit stop to the bakery for some warm cider doughnuts and fresh apple cider. It was the perfect breakfast and I had to stop myself from eating half a dozen of those delicious doughnuts.
While on my way to the orchards, I had to make another pit stop. This time it was to the new hedge maze called The Big Green Monster. I’ve never been through a maze and thought it would be a neat experience. One thing I promised myself not to do was to call 911 if I got lost in the maze. There were 6 bridges and it was extremely challenging! I kept taking wrong turns, but about an hour later I made it through the maze.
After my maze adventure, I made my way to the orchards. There were several varieties of apples to choose from. I tried to just pick a few apples from different trees. Unfortunately, I couldn’t tell the difference between each kind of apple once I placed them in my bag. But, it was a fun experience picking my own apples. It was also nice to see other people with bags and bags of apples they just picked. If you are looking for a fun and relatively inexpensive activity, I definitely recommend spending an afternoon apple picking with your friends and families. Now that I have a whole bag of apples, I have to decide what to make with them. Maybe it’s time to bake an apple pie…
This is the first post in a series geared toward helping you through the college application process. Fall is a time when college admission representatives spend a large portion of their time traveling to college fairs meet prospective students who may one day enroll at their school. In this post, you will learn how to make the most of a college fair.
1. Bring a backpack or lightweight bag with you to the fair.
You will find that there will be plenty of brochures and handouts on tables at college fairs. It will be easier for you to carry all of the new information you received if you put everything in a backpack or bag.
2. When you complete an inquiry card for a school, please print legibly.
Students typically complete multiple cards during a college fair. But, writing legibly will ensure that your information entered accurately into a database system. We want to make sure that you receive all of the information we send to you.
3. Bring preprinted labels with you to college fairs.
When you visit a table at a fair or meet a representative from a school you are interested in, you can just remove a label and place it on a card. You might need to fill in a few additional fields, but this will certainly save you time. Some basic information you can include on your labels are:
- Your first and last name
- Mailing Address
- Email Address
- Phone Number
- High School
4. Try not to limit yourself to visiting representatives from colleges you plan to apply to, but also look at other colleges.
You may find that your dream school is a school you discovered at a college fair and you had a great conversation with an admission representative. At college fairs, you will find that there are college representatives from various locations offering a wide range of majors. You may also have picked up material (brochures, viewbooks, bookmarkers, etc.) that helped you learn more about a particular school.
5. Prepare questions that you would like to ask admission representatives.
By preparing questions in advance, you can spend more time asking admission representatives questions rather than trying to think of questions on the spot. There may be students waiting in line to speak to a representative. You can write down your questions in a notebook or print them out. I recommend bringing a notebook with you to the fair. This way, you can write down the answers to your questions in one place. When you get home, you can then easily review your questions and answers.
What questions do you like to ask admission representatives at college fairs or during their visit to your school?
Last month, I attended the convocation ceremony at Wheelock College. The ceremony took place in the Wheelock Family Theatre. When I arrived at the theatre, I was pleasantly surprised that it was packed with students, faculty, and staff. A convocation ceremony is a gathering where the campus comes together to celebrate the new school year.
President Jackie Jenkins-Scott gave the opening remarks. It was exciting to see the faculty in their academic regalia (caps and gowns). In addition, the authors of Wheelock’s summer reading book were invited to attend the event and speak to the audience. This year’s summer reading book was Picking Cotton. Both of the co-authors, Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton addressed the audience. I felt that was a special treat for authors of Wheelock's summer reading book to attend the convocation ceremony.
At the end of the ceremony, the senior class received their tassels for the cap that they will wear during the commencement ceremony. I thought that was neat because receiving your tassel becomes a rite of passage rather than something that is included with your purchase of a cap and gown.
This was my first convocation ceremony at Wheelock and I am already looking forward to next year’s ceremony. I wonder which authors will participate in the ceremony next year…