My entire education prior to college was spent in the small town of South Haven, Michigan. I had lived in the same small town my whole life and finally decided when the time came for my application to college, I wanted to go to a big school and get out of the small town feel, so I applied to Michigan State University, got accepted, and planned on moving there. In the late spring, I got a realization that the small town feel was for me, and a friend encouraged me to go to Fort Lewis, because she loved it so much here.
I looked out of my dorm window at the snow-covered ground, blue bird sky and frosty trees. The sun was shining, illuminating the snow with brilliant clarity as it sparkled in this early February morning. I smiled at how foreign yet beautiful this wintery landscape was. Gone were the sandy beaches, the 80 degree weather, the rustling palm trees and breaking waves that I had grown up with in Hawai’i. What would I do today?
Sitting in a Chemistry 150 lecture at 8:00 am on a summer morning was the last place I thought I would ever find myself. When I started at Fort Lewis College, being a history major, I waited a long time to fulfill this general education requirement, a science with a lab. Despite my apprehension, I found the hands-on problem solving in chemistry invigorating and the panoply of research topics riveting. In the two following semesters, I took chemistry classes “just for fun,” and they led to a life-changing decision.
During my Junior and Senior years of high school, as I started looking for colleges, I wanted to find a school where I would never be bored and could always find something exciting to do. Durango is probably the most exciting and challenging place to explore that I have come across. Year-round, there are all sorts of different adventures to embark on. I’ll try to explain at least some of what I have come to love doing in Durango.
Fort Lewis College is the place to experience truly life-changing opportunities. Just in my senior year, I was afforded two once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. First, I was the only student selected to testify on a congressional level in support of a bill that would benefit the college if it passes. It was an amazing experience and allowed me make connections with legislators including an FLC alumnus who now works for the Obama Administration.
I love the outdoors, but I am not that experienced at camping. Therefore, I was very excited to find out about Outdoor Pursuits, or OP, as it is known around campus. OP is a co-op kind of place; once you pay the fee you can rent equipment (for no additional charge) and use their rock wall. They have all the equipment one needs for camping, kayaking, biking, and many other things.
Organic chemistry is known to be one of the most feared undergraduate classes by students nationwide, the gatekeeper course for of all pre-med and pre-veterinary students, the weeder class for biology majors. Organic chemistry is defined as the chemistry of carbon compounds. It’s a difficult course because unlike most chemistry classes it’s not mathematically based; rather, it focuses on visual interpretation and the ability to spatially arrange molecules and elucidate the synthesis of compounds.