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Search Results for 'Post by Stephen Taylor'

  1. 7 Reasons to Try Summer Courses

    June 2, 2016

    SVU091815_0182To all who take the occasional college course: If you like to learn all year long, if short-term, concentrated courses fit your learning style, if you have too much free time in the summer and if you just want to hurry up and graduate, you could do worse than to take some summer courses. Here are a few reasons to consider it for future summers.

    1. Summer classes offer better chances of fitting a work schedule. It’s a lot easier to juggle a part-time job with a summer class or two than with a handful of fall/spring classes scattered throughout the day. Summer courses allow you to keep a fairly consistent schedule Monday through Friday, where fall/spring terms might require something different every day of the week. Participating in Southern Virginia’s new online classes makes this even more manageable.

    2. Summer classes speed things up. Because both required and elective courses are available during the summer, you could shave a semester or two off your graduation timeline. This could mean that you earn an entire year to live your post-graduation dreams while your peers are studying for final exams. Think about it. But don’t rub it in your friends’ faces, because that would be mean.

    3. Summer classes speed things up. Yes, these are the same words I used before, but summer classes have a shorter duration than fall/spring courses. If you’re the kind of learner who thrives on focused, short-term study, these courses will fit you like a glove. Maybe that’s a bad simile for summer. Summer classes will fit you like a whitewater rafting life-jacket.

    4. Some courses are only offered in summer terms. Take Dr. Cluff’s “How to Read a Film” course as an example. A typical day in this class includes watching, analyzing and discussing an entire film in the same sitting. A course like this could only meet once a week without barring students from other important courses during a regular semester. During the summer, on the other hand, it can meet several times a week for 2-3 hours at a time.

    5. “Topics: World of Harry Potter.” You can literally get credit to study and write about your favorite character in Harry Potter.

    6. Campus is beautiful in the summer. Yes, it’s also beautiful in autumn and spring, but if you want to watch the fireflies illuminate all of Chandler Field on a June evening, you have to be here in June.

    7. Summer classes don’t stop summer from happening. The same year that I took my first two summer classes, I went on a 5000 mile road trip, worked two new jobs, performed in a musical theatre production, made several close new friends, went on a first-date with the woman who would later marry me, AND still got to sleep in.

    Long story short? Even with summer classes, it can still feel like summer.

    A summer Book Arts class at Southern Virginia. #svuedu #books #bookmaking #summerschool #artist

    A video posted by Southern Virginia University (@svuedu) on

    (Post by Stephen Taylor ’15. Video by Bronwyn Himes ’17. Photo by Jonathan McBride.)

  2. Photos: Commencement 2016

    May 26, 2016

    Commencement is a bittersweet word to me. On the one hand it reminds me of goodbyes, daunting new challenges and the end of an era. But it literally means ‘a beginning.’ What could be more encouraging or beautiful?

    Congratulations, class of 2016, on your new beginning this month. May every graduate, past and future, remember fondly the day of their own Commencement. Hopefully a few photos will bolster the memories. Check Facebook and Google+ for a few more!

    (Post by Stephen Taylor ’15. Photos by Brinn Willis ’07.)

  3. Imitation and Exaggeration at the Lip-Sync Battle

    April 21, 2016

    As a person who likes laughing at things, I appreciate those who have the technical skill to imitate and who understand the arcane art of exaggeration. These are two of my favorite things to laugh at. So, I had a blast attending last week’s lip-sync battle and watching so many of my friends exaggerate and imitate well-known singers and songs. My compliments to everyone who performed and to the intramurals staff for the work they put in to this event.

    The above video with selections from the winning performance gives you a sample of the strange skills last week’s performers exhibited.

    (Post by Stephen Taylor ’15. Video by Rex Winslow ’16 and Matt Anderson ’18.)
  4. Beauty, Bubbles and Bird-Watching

    February 22, 2016

    Last Saturday I went bird-watching, which was a first for me. Although my ornithological skills were so undeveloped that I didn’t even know ornithology refers to the study of birds, I enjoyed myself and was reminded of a few things.

    First, it’s satisfying to recognize something, like a bird, and to know something about it. Maybe this is just because knowledge is self-satisfying. Maybe it’s because life is satisfying, and identifying birds is a way to recognize forms of life outside the little bubble in which I usually confine myself.

    Speaking of bubbles, I was reminded that it’s rewarding to expand, or even to leave, the little bubble of me-world. Thinking outside the box is great, and stepping outside of it to try something new might be even better. I was a little intimidated to go bird-watching with several students who already knew a lot more than I did, but it was actually fun to test the waters outside my comfort zone.

    I was also reminded that birds are kind of beautiful. “My heart in hiding / stirred for a bird,” to quote the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins. Actually, a lot of my favorite literature employs birds in beautiful and symbolic roles. For example, in James Joyce’s “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,” a strange bird-girl provides a medium for divine inspiration. In William Butler Yeats’s poem “The Wild Swans at Coole,” a group of swans embody the poetic speaker’s musings on change and permanence, youth and age. In J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, the snowy owl Hedwig’s appearance almost always conveys feelings of friendship, both in her loyalty to Harry and in the form of messages she delivers to and from other friends. My favorite novel—”A Wizard of Earthsea” by Ursula Le Guin—uses birds as balanced fusions of Jungian shadow and light. This novel also has wizards, so it’s not just cool because it’s Jungian.

    In sum, you might consider trying out a new club, or reading a poem about birds. Expand your bubble. Observe something you haven’t seen before. Find beauty somewhere. If bird-watching is where you want to start, contact Professor Scott Dransfield. If not, try something else. The sky’s the limit, and that’s not a bird joke.

    (Post by Stephen Taylor ’15. Photos by Hannah King ’13.)

  5. The Fifth Annual Honor Ball

    February 7, 2016

    There’s some old saying about how a picture’s worth 1000 characters on Twitter, or something like that, so I’ll keep this short and refer you to the pictures.

    Last Saturday’s Honor Ball was a classy shindig: Lots of sharp suits, dresses, ties, dinner jackets and ornate hairdos; fancy dance cards; somewhere in the neighborhood of 12,000ish delicious cream puffs, which might be exaggerating; live music from Virginia Military Institute’s Commanders Jazz Band; an impromptu snowball fight near the end of the dance; snazzy black and white decorations; great company.

    If you missed the Honor Ball, you can do two good things. You can take a look at the photos. And you can make a point of coming next year.

    (Post by Stephen Taylor ‘15. Photos by Sarah Bench ‘19.)