Category Archives: Academics

Favorites and Challenges. A question from a Zinchers.

I have been getting some really good questions from you awesome perspective students on my Zinch account. I thought it would be a good idea to post some of these questions every so often. Here goes a good one.

Please let me know about the campus life at Skidmore, your favorite things about it and challenges you had to face while adjusting to this college.

Hmm campus life. Is there anything in particular about the campus life you would like to know? Overall the campus dynamic is quiet vibrant. Students at Skidmore are happy and get a long well. They are also very diverse with multiple interests and passions. We all respect each other for our individuality and often learn from each other by bouncing ideas back and forth. Students work really hard but also know how to have a good time. This is an academically rigorous campus but not cut throat. Students help each other before a test, they don’t try and kill the competition.

My favorite thing about Skidmore is the diversity in interests and passions. This is in no way a cookie cutter school. Everyone is different and it shows. I think this has made my experience both rich and fun.
Most of the challenges I have faced have been in the classroom. Just about all the classes I have had have challenged the way I think about specific topics, leading me to see things in ways I have never seen before. the challenges were always rewarding.
The adjustment was not too harsh because everyone here is so welcoming and friendly.

I hope these answers help.

Last Registration

So earlier this week I registered for my classes for next semester. Let’s take a second to stop and think about this. I just registered for the last time ever at Skidmore. WOW!

Since I am a senior I had the first registration slot, 7am on Monday morning. Freshman year I set my alarm just so I could register on time for my 7am slot. This year I didn’t do that. I registered for 300 level courses and as a senior, with the first time slot I knew there was no way I would not get into the course I wanted. So I glanced at my degree audit which can be accessed on the Skidmore website. The degree audit is basically a review of what you have done at Skidmore and what you need to do as far as fulfilling general requirements and fulfilling requirements for majors and minors. Its cool seeing the check list go from red to green as you fulfill requirements. I realized all I pretty much had to do by this point was finish up my minor with one course. Not too bad. But there were some really good 300 level Psychology course I wanted to take so I may have created a heavier load for my self next semester than necessary. I could not take all the courses I wanted to because two courses I really wanted to take , Christian Scriptures and Clinical Psychology, conflicted. That does not happen often but since I added my minor last semester there are 200 and even 100 level course I want to take and those may conflict with some of the 300 level courses in my major that I want to take. Either way, I got into courses I know I will enjoy; Beginners Racquetball, Applied Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Adult Development, and Feminist Theologies. A total of 16 credits !!


I could not fit the entire degree audit on one page. But this is a sneak peak as to what it looks like. There are different sections on the check lists and you can have an extended look at each by clicking on it.


The red shows that I have not completed 120 credits(for all 4 yrs yrs) And I need to take at least 12 credits worth of 300 level course in all of my senior yr.


Mediation Training!

This past weekend while most people were catching up on overdue homework, friends, and sleep I was in mediation training. Meditation Training is a one credit, 30- hour training, split in to two weekends, eight hours per day. Yes, eight hours (10am- 6pm) of learning effective conflict resolution skills. The first day, Saturday, was long. I mean, very long. I think I may have put too much thought into the eight hours bit. Once I got over it time flew. Take a peek at the course description.

ID 141.    Mediation Training    1
Mediation is a conflict resolution process that is used in close cooperation with the courts. Cases such as small claims court disputes and parent/teen conflicts are often referred by the courts to mediation by trained volunteers. The mediation training is a partnership with Mediation Matters, a nonprofit agency in Saratoga Springs that provides mediation services and receives its funding from the New York court system. This training will certify students as volunteers enabling them to mediate campus disputes through our own peer mediation program as well as cases referred to Mediation Matters by the courts. This is an intensive 30-hour training using film clips, role plays, readings, and discussion that focuses on building facilitation skills.

D. Karp

I am sure the thought of having to be in the same room with 30 people for eight hours straight, four days, may turn people away but I am so glad I did not shy away. Many of the students take the course because they would like to mediate for Fight Club, a conflict resolution/ mediation group on campus. I decided to take the course because my post- college plans involve counseling, I also thought “state certified mediator?, well that sounds super cool!” So I get that often times there is an end goal to taking the course but the skills learned in the course I just really great to have for well, life. I kind of feel like once I am done with the course I am going to feel a bit like super woman wanting to resolve all of my friends minor disputes “Let me see if I get what you are saying, so you are upset because she ate your last box of cheesy mac, and you think he is a jerk because he leaves his socks in the living room?” So maybe I will make the relationships around me flow better but what I look forward to most is being able to use these skills when working with at- risk youth; disputes between troubled teens, or between parents and teens. And I know that a 30 hour training is not all, this stuff truly takes years of practice; of listening mediating what can be some pretty intense and emotionally draining disputes. Listening to Duke Fisher and David Karp share some of the disputes they have dealt with in the past, I would stop and think how I could hardly imagine being in a room with two people that upset at each other. But I would like to get to that point.

I am really looking forward to the next/ last two days of training. I will keep you posted on how they go !


P.S So upset I could not get into the Life Guard and CPR training course. I could have been a mediating life guard!

You Asked: I remember hearing about a freshman seminar. Can you tell me more about it?

Every student is required to take a freshman seminar. Prior to coming to Skidmore, everyone submits their top choices for freshman seminars they would like to take. Students often time get a seminar that was amongst their top three choices. The classes are often no more than 15 students. There are many sections taught by professors from all departments. The professors teaching the seminars are teaching the course on a topic they themselves are passionate about, so the seminar can be a lot of fun for professors as well. All courses are given a summer reading. I feel like the freshman seminar is the course that helps each student develop into a college student, it helps to leave behind the high school mentality. The students within the course often times become good friends especially since all students in the same seminar section live in the same building; not necessarily the same suite, but they will all live in the same building. Which is cool because a solid set of 15 students develop a tight bond which can make things easier freshman year.
I really enjoyed my freshman seminar. I became friends with people I may have not otherwise and I the professor is also a great friend of mine. He and I catch up with coffee all the time.

Ask me anything

You Asked: what happens if you fail a course in college?

If a student is doing poorly in a class, Student Academic Services is notified. SAS then will set up an apointment with the student. During this appointment the SAS staff member tries to figure out why the student is doing poorly. From there, with the student’s input, a plan for improvement is developed. This may include a new study schedule or study method, and or meeting with a tutor.
A failing grade will harm a student’s grade point average and the credits will not count.
There are tons of resources on campus to help with any academic struggles. Everyone should take advantage of these resources.

Ask me anything

You Asked: Is there pressure to be talented? like in the arts.

Absolutely not !! I can not sing, play an instrument, draw, paint, and I only think I can dance. I never felt left out. There is a great creative scene here. I really like that about Skidmore. I can enjoy the creativity of students without feeling like I have to be talented in the arts.

Ask me anything

A Week in My Shoes.

Monday* (“Oh no its Monday again!”)

Religion and Culture 11:15- 12:10

Tuesday (“Am I really supposed to get all this done by the end of the week?”)

Evolutionary Psychology 8:10-  9:30

Religion and Culture 11:10- 12:30

Psychology of Religion 2:10- 3:30

God/Body/Beauty 3:40- 5:30

Wrk.Annual Fund 6:30- 9

Wednesday* (Yey, HumpDay!”)

Wrk.Annual Fund 6:30- 9

Thursday (“So Happy Its Thursday; So close!”)

Evolutionary Psychology 8:10-  9:30

Religion and Culture  11:10- 12:30

Psychology of Religion 2:10- 3:30

God/Body/Beauty 3:40- 5:30


Wrk.Admissions Tour 1- 2:30

Saturday* (“To homework?, or to rest and fun?! “)

Direct Ujima Fashion Show Practice 1- 3

Sunday* (“Wish weekends were longer”)


*There is a great chance that during some part of the time I do not have work or class on this day I am baby sitting for a Skidmore professor or coach.

Why did you choose Skidmore?

I thought it would be a cool idea to start a few video series. The first one being on the question “Why did you choose Skidmore?”

So every so often I will collect video responses from students on campus, make a video, and upload it. Here is the first of this series. Some people I totally threw off guard so excuse their awkwardness.

Enjoy 🙂


You Asked: Hey, I am wondering how are the pre-professional clubs on campus? For example, do you know of any Pre-Med/Pre-Law clubs on campus that can help students who are pursuing careers in those fields? Thank you

As far that I know we have a Pre- Law club. It actually is new; just got chartered by the Student Government Association and will be up and running next semester.
For students interested in Pre- Med and such we do not have a major. However, we do have a focus. Skidmore has HPAC, the Health Professions Advisory Committee, which assists students interested in pursuing medicine in the future. They will advise students on which courses to take in preparation for Medical, Dental, or Veterinary Schools. I think about 70-70% of the students at Skidmore who are studying Chemistry and or Biology go on to Med school. This statistic is equal or better than that of the top liberal arts school in the country.
Don’t bee fooled. A liberal arts education is still a great way to go even when interested in Medicine.

Ask me anything

All- Nighter

All- nighter a period from night to day which involves all work and no sleep. All- nighters often involve many cups of coffee and or energy drinks. They are often pulled prior to the day a major assignment is due or an exam is scheduled and often are a sign the individual taking part in the all- nighter has an unmanageabale schedule or is much too good at procrastinating. Most all- nighter end like this:


Last night I pulled my first all- nighter of the semester. Fortunately, I did not end up like the girl above (she forgot coffee). I use to pull all- nighters often sometime around my freshman and sophomore years not because I procrastinated but because I am always way busy. So busy that my days then and now tend to end around 10p which is when the homework begins. I am not the only one. Many students at Skidmore have so much on their plate, by choice. So one is never alone staying up all night.

This semester on top of having a full time schedule I am working three campus jobs and I baby sit off campus here and there and I am a director for the Ujima Fashion Show. I promise I am not complaining. I like being busy. I feel like I make better use of time when I am busy. Last night I stood up all night to get ahead of my work as oppose to catching up. I want to make sure I have all my reading done this week and get an early start on a big assignment due next week Tuesday. I surprisingly do not feel too bad right now but I am sure I’ll pass out as soon as I see anything that even resembles a bed.

Staying awake at work