Friday, June 16, 2017

A Reflection

As I quickly approach student teaching and graduating in December, I look back at the years I spent at Hofstra and how many amazing and challenging experiences I had during my years here. I walked onto Hofstra’s campus as a freshman for what would be my first long-term stay away from home, and my family. I was determined to be the coolest and most mature person I could be, but let’s be honest, I was so nervous to meet everyone, and a huge klutz. As my parents and I got out of the car a huge grin and some strawberry blonde hair greeted me with a huge hello and, “Welcome to Hofstra!” This was the first friend I met here at Hofstra. His name was Kilmer, and he became the older sibling I never had. He was there for me through everything. He helped me adjust to life at Hofstra, telling me who the best professors to take were, where to eat, and most importantly, he was there when I needed a hug.

As I started my second year at Hofstra, I walked in more calm, cool and collected, ready to take more education classes, and ready to commit to the five-year masters program. My sophomore year was my year of discovery. I tried new things and explored all of my interests. I was the assistant costume designer and soundboard operator of Masquerade Musical Theatre’s Assassins, I took a history class, a subject high school Emma hated, and I got to spend some time observing in local schools. This year was also a year filled with challenges. I remember I was taking Human Biology, and it just wasn't clicking for me. So I went to see my Biology professor, and after working with him, I got an “A” on the paper! I was so proud of myself and so grateful to Adam, I still make a point to go see him each semester to say hello.

My junior year at Hofstra has just come to a close and I can honestly say it has been the best and most interesting so far. My first semester was spent in a school that I fell in love with that I hope to work at someday. I still go back and see the fourth graders I taught from time to time. I also took an amazing Human Geography class which really opened my eyes to the incredible world we have. I even decided to take another geography class the second semester. Although, I would have to say my favorite classes from my junior year were both with Dr. Jase Bernhardt. Jase is one of the most brilliant and awesome professors I have encountered here at Hofstra. 

As I look forward to my last semester as an undergraduate here at Hofstra, I am excited to be in the classroom student teaching full time, and being able to do research on a topic I am passionate about at the same time. Jase and I even discussed presenting my work at the American Geographical Association’s upcoming conference. Also, some advice to students who are looking into coming to Hofstra or any other school for that matter: you are your own best advocate. Talk to the mentors and professors around you, they are full of knowledge and wisdom, as well as connections that can help you in the future and get you where you wan to be. The people around you are the people that will help lift you to the stars because that's where we are shooting for here at Hofstra.

-Pride Guide Emma Vaccaro

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