Vol 4 Archive

About The Study FYS Instructor Miranda Zent Alex’s poetry reflects a sense of frustration familiar to many students in their first year of college. During this time of intense change it’s not surprising if students experience an almost total reordering of their sense of self—a strong shift in values and beliefs, the assumption of...
View Study Even in the beginning weeks of class, Rose was instinctively drawn to write from fairytales. She knew they were powerful, she was attracted to them, and when she shared her writing with the class we were immediately able to experience the ways these myths, these archetypes, affected her. They beckoned her, they...
  For many First-Year Seminar students, the first topic study—Self and Community—culminates in some kind of self-portrait. These projects tend to depict the array of roles they assume in the course of their daily lives or a laundry list of their diverse and sometimes-dueling character traits. Kacie Monroe, however, strove to reconcile her past...

Gravity

The early weeks of First-Year Seminar at Columbia are typically devoted to an exploration of self. In my class, what begins with a round of simple and uncritical first-day introductions—“Hi, my name is Michael and I’m a film major from the suburbs”—grows into a rigorous exploration of questions about identity and self-representation. A pragmatic...
FYS asks students to uncover new knowledge in a variety of ways, melding methods of discovery that are typically thought of as separate and self-contained. Anna’s project is an excellent example of the uniquely insightful and meaningful work that can be accomplished when the boundary between “academic” and “creative” work is breached. This kind...