"From Knox, I learned about the world." Alumni Achievement Awardee Rebecca Hollmeyer Ullman '70 discusses her...
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LOOKING BACK: Thinking about coming to college and your experience so far, considering academics, co-curricular activities, and the personal side of things.
What barriers or difficulties have you dealt with in coming to college and/or in your life here at Knox? Have you been able to overcome these difficulties? How so? What difficulties are you currently coping with?
It was hard to be so far from my family at first, but I adjusted rather quickly. Now it’s hard to try and balance both worlds that I want to be a part of, but I just keep working and focusing on who and what are important to me. Sometimes I don’t feel inspired or academically challenged by my courses, but I push through and do my best. When a course doesn’t meet my expectations, I search the material for something that catches my interest, something to keep me motivated to do my work until the end of the term. If the structure of the class seems too slow or disjointed, I work at the material at a steady pace, learning and absorbing the material in a way that meets my needs best. There is no particular pattern of courses that fall short of my expectations; usually the focus the professor takes is different from what I expected in a way that doesn’t excite me. I just have to get used to the individual professor’s style and find something that motivates me.
What has helped or facilitated your success so far at Knox?
The accessibility of most professors.
What have you enjoyed the most?
Meeting new people, particularly those interested in the things I am interested in, such as movie history and trivia and liberal politics; taking political science classes.
What has had the biggest impact on you?
I don't know yet.
What talents or skills have you discovered here? What talents or skills that you already had have you developed further?
A penchant for researching for papers. My self-motivated study skills -- sometimes it’s really hard to keep working on something that I’m not completely interested in.
What connections can you see between different parts of your experience?
between your interests before Knox and your interests at Knox:
My volunteering in politics and my international relations major; my interest in history and my history minor.
between your academic interests and non-classroom activities:
My political science interests in more vigorous volunteering for political campaigns
between courses that you find engaging:
History and political science, some of the English classes and history classes. This term in particular some of concepts and materials we’ve covered in my history of England class and comparative politics classes have overlapped. For example, while we were discussing the development of the British political system in my comparative class we were discussing the emergence of an organized political system in my history class. Also, the same day we began discussing post-communist countries in poli-sci (and the basis for the communist regimes), we discussed Marx and how he developed his theories based on English history.
Is there any pattern that emerges from these reflections? Any signals of subjects and activities that are likely to engage your interest into the future?
It seems that for the most part, I’m engaging myself in the appropriate ways academically and I’ll keep doing what I’m doing academically in the future. The political science and history courses dig into all the things that my mother emphasized to me while I was growing up. My grandfather was a history teacher and raised my mother with an emphasis on history (they would go to historic places on vacation instead of “traditional” vacation spots -- an Indian reservation in Arizona instead of a theme park) and the impact that he had on my mother, my mother transferred to me. She has been politically active my entire life and would include me when she would volunteer for campaigns. Both history and political science allow for my own interpretations. Whereas in science and math, the lines for interpretation are rigid, when studying events or theories in political science and history, every person can chose their own meaning. In political science in particular, it feels as if there’s a real potential for changing societies, to change perceptions. I want to help make the world a better place for people, even if the scope of my individual influence remains rather small.
Your next two years at Knox:
Are there additional subjects and/or skills that you would like to explore, either because they will help you develop the interests you have or because college is a "last chance" to explore some of these?
I want to become more fluent in French, and I would like especially to study in Besançon. I want to continue on my academic path (international relations, French, and history), because these courses are what engage me the most academically.
What special opportunities might you want to explore? (E.g., internships, study abroad, independent study, summer work). See list of “Special Opportunities: Academic and Co-Curricular.”
I hope to intern both in Madison over the summer and in London next fall on my study abroad experience. I would also love to study in Besançon if financial and academic requirements are met. I had not yet thought about an independent study, but it is certainly something that I will consider.
Do you have a dream of what you might be doing five years after you graduate from Knox?
Not particularly, right now I’m considering graduate school for international relations. I would like to work in the international relations field, maybe doing some type of sociological or political research. I’m trying to keep my mind open to possibilities and suggestions in an effort to find something that fits my personality best.
And can you think of some other possible visions of the future as well?
I want to travel more.
Are there other things you could be doing during your years at Knox that might help you move successfully into these visions?
None that I can think of that I’m not doing at the moment.
PLANS FOR COMPLETION OF GRADUATION GOALS:
|Arts||ENG-207 Beginning Fiction Writing (FA13)|
|History and Social Science||PS-227 Women and World Politics (FA13)|
|Humanities||ENG-332 Shakespeare: Tragedies & Romances (SP13)|
|Natural and Physical Sciences||PHYS-167 Astronomy (SP14)|
|Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning||STAT-200 Statistics (WI14)|
|Writing||FP-100 Exploring Human Identity (FA12)|
|ENG-207 Beginning Fiction Writing (FA13)|
|Possibly PS-227 Women and World Politics (FA13)|
|Information literacy and|
|informed use of technology||None yet designated|
|Speaking||None yet designated|
|Mathematics Proficiency||SAT score of 640|
|Second Language||FREN-210 Conversation (FA13)|
|Diversity||PS-227 Women and World Politics (FA15)|
|GWST-101 Women, Culture, and Society (SP15)|
Potentially: an internship with either my US Senator or US Representative during summer of 2004 or an internship while studying in London.
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