If there is one thing I absolutely love about Hollins, it is the community. Sometimes you find yourself stuck in cycles of never-ending work, which can get frustrating.  But, when you have people to share the stress with, everything becomes much more manageable.

Spending three nights in a row cramming for a biological psychology test would’ve been awful if I hadn’t studied with some other Hollins students. In class we formed a study group, which quickly turned into a family. Tuesday night we spent at the library. That night when the library closed at mid-night we ventured to Pleasants (another academic building), staying there until around three in the morning. We actually didn’t study for BIO-PSYCH all that much. But it seemed to equal out because we all had fun and got done what we needed to do for that next day of classes.  I am not sure if we stayed up til 3 am because of work load or if we were all just having such a good time we lost track of time. The next night we all met back at the library and played some study games that were extremely helpful. Finally the night before the exam we staked out a spot in a Pleasants classroom where we drew neurons and action potentials all over the white boards. It was great because when you didn’t understand something you could ask someone else in the group and they would help you. Everyone had a strength and a weakness; a strength they could teach others in the group and a weakness someone could help with from that person’s own understanding. But when none of us knew what the answer was we turned to YouTube and watched funny videos about neurons. Here is one of the funny neuron video we used to study. The morning of the test we played it in class for everyone including Professor Bowers and they loved it!

I love how easily you can make new friends at Hollins and how Hollins women are all so friendly, helpful, caring, etc. We can also be pretty creative when it comes to our study methods….



All right so I promised y’all a taste of the sociology department and that is what I am going to attempt to provide.

First of all there are four faculty members currently in the Sociology department. I am attaching a link to the faculty page of the Hollins website. http://hollins.edu/academics/sociology/faculty.shtml

  1. SJ Creek: One thing you have to know about her is that she does a great Sarah Palin impression. Cracks me up every time “You just have to pull yourself up by your boot straps…”. Well now that I have gotten that out-of-the-way I can continue on. Most of her students call her SJ, I do anyway. She just asks that when you are speaking with someone important such as Dean Hammer you say Professor Creek instead. Prof. Creek is new to Hollins (Fall 2011).As of now she is a visiting professor (2-year contract), and fresh from grad school: full of energy and enthusiasm. Honestly she is the best professor I have yet to have at Hollins. I’ve spent Friday nights in her office talking to her about paper topics, to which she then proceeds to throw books at you for. I am also bias because she is my advisor. Currently I am taking Sociology of Sexualities with her. I also took Race, Class, and Gender with her last fall, and Sociology of Deviance in Film over J-Term
  2. LeeRay Costa:  I have yet to have a class with her. I know she has been here for several years and really enjoys teaching at Hollins. She teaches all of the anthropology and some gender and women’s studies classes. Everyone who I know that has had a class with her raves about how excellent she is, and how much help she provided. I am planning on taking a class with her either next year or senior year.
  3. Eberle Smith: Prof. Smith teaches the social work classes. She works with student’s in the sociology department as well as other departments who are interested in doing social work. She is also in charge of the Senior Social Work internships. I have yet to take a class with her but have heard that she is very funny and relatable. She doesn’t teach any classes outside of social work to my knowledge. She does a lot of teaching on family and children relationships.
  4. Aurthur Poskocil: Oh –  Professor Poskocil! Let me just tell you he is a character. Poskocil knows Hollins in and out, he has been teaching here since the late 1960’s. He offers a real life perspective of the changes that Hollins has gone through over the years that other professors just do not have. This is particularly interesting in my Current Social Problems class that I am taking with him this semester. Poskocil is able to give us multiple perspectives on what women thought were social problems in the late 60’s – 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and today.  It had been fascinating. Professor Poskocil expects a lot out of his students. His 200-level class is more in line with the work load of a 300 level. He has pushed me to focus deeper on course readings. I often leave his class thinking what did I just learn  – because now I am more confused about my political beliefs than ever. I will leave you with a quote that Poskocil said on the first day of class: “Many of you are going to leave this class thinking, gosh my professor is a communist radical…. And I am okay with that.”

I hope this made the Hollins sociology department seem more like real people rather than just a face you see on the Hollins Web site. I am sure if you have any questions about the department they would be more than willing and even excited to answer your questions! Also don’t forget you can e-mail me! My e-mail address is on the blog – in the about me section.

The Path to a Major

Guess who declared their major!?? That’s right this girl. Say hello to the newest addition to the sociology department at Hollins. So today with all of you I would like to share the story of how I decided my major.

I came to Hollins University in the fall of 2010 just a wee first year, full of high hopes and expectations. As most first year students ask each other when introduced to someone for the first time people would ask me “So what is your major?” To which I always excitedly reply Biology/Pre-Med. I am going to go to medical school after leaving Hollins and become a pediatrician. This is what I had planned on doing my whole entire life. I had always thought of it as just being what I was going to do. But then something magical happened. I came to Hollins and had to take lots of classes outside of my comfort zone in order to meet my perspectives (if you aren’t sure what these are I believe I have a post about them somewhere or search it on the Hollins website). Because of these perspective I have taken physics, pottery, art history, creative writing, and so much more.  Another thing that this perspectives all led me too were questions, and lots of them at that.  One of the best parts about Hollins is getting to expand your own worldly view of what you think about yourself.

I remember the first day of my physics class here I fell in love with its approach to interpreting the world. I came home and told my girlfriend at the time “Maybe I should be a physics major?!!” I am fairly certain all of my friends thought I was going insane, but that is beside the point. In the end the idea probably lasted about a month until I realized all of the math courses I would have to take (which terrified me), but for that month I was incredibly serious about taking the physics department by storm. After the physics incident came the art history and pottery incidents. The Art History idea came quickly after the physics major had died. I loved the idea of writing about modern art and being an art critic but I soon realized I would have to become a much better writer and that would take a lifetime. A lifetime I wasn’t willing to give. Pottery was the most fun. Although it also came with the moments of panic. I would freak out and think maybe I should transfer to Art School, and then the I would think how am I going to afford art school, what am I going to do with a degree in pottery? I can’t eat Ramen forever. Well after a lot of thinking I decided pottery wasn’t the best option for me. Then there was the Environmental science talk, and finally I thought I had really found my major when I started taking psychology classes. My friends all told me that I would make a great counselor or teacher some day because I was so easy to talk to. I even was looking into the education department (and by looking I mean creating my whole schedule around the requirements of the program). If you read earlier posts from the academic year you will see how I came really close to education being a reality.

And then I woke up one morning and realized it was all wrong, and I had ignored the one subject that I had been the most passionate about at Hollins and outside the classroom: sociology. In my next post I will tell you more about the sociology department and how I realized it was the major for me, although I am still getting a minor in psychology.

I suppose the reason I decided to make a post about my path to finding the right major is to let all of you know that it is perfectly fine if you don’t know what you want to do. Figuring out what you want is what college and Hollins specifically is all about. Hollins is truly one of the best places a girl can go to become a woman who knows what she wants.

Short Term

Hello Readers!

First off I would just like say Happy New Year to everyone who is reading this! Is it just me or does it seem strange that it is already 2012?  Well I suppose whether we like it or not it here to stay! I hope everyone has had a great first month of the new year because I certainly did!

This year for January term I stayed on campus and took a class. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this J-Term as most refer to it, is a special time at Hollins before the Spring semester when all students take roughly three and a half weeks to expand their horizons! During J-Term students are given a few options, stay on campus and take a class, internships, study abroad trips (some through the school and others not), or you might actually choose to do an independent study. Just to clarify, first year students usually take a class on campus, some do competitive internships in the valley, and others that have special circumstances might be able to do something else with the approval of the Dean of Academic Services.  But back to my experience. This year I took a class in the Sociology Department called Hoolagins, Sluts, and Ne’er-do-wells: Sociology of deviance in Film. Honestly this was one of the most interesting and exciting classes I have taken while attending Hollins. The class met three times a week, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays for three hours. That is another thing I would like to point out about J-Term you generally have a lot more free time to do things in Roanoke, on campus, etc. that you just normally wouldn’t. It is fantastic! The deviance class was set up with readings everyday, a discussion for the first half of class over these readings, and then we watched a movie that pertained to that day’s subject. Some of the topics we discussed in the class included but were not limited to prostitution, labeling, sluts, racism, mental illness, child molestation, and the list goes on. As you can infer a lot of these were very controversial topics, so it made for some heated discussions. One of things I looked forward to every time I went into class was knowing I would be uncomfortable. Now, this might sounds a little odd but this is one of the key aspects of the class. You went in everyday expecting to disagree with someone or watch a movie that would shake you to your core. I left this class as a whole, thinking before “I took this class I knew what I thought, and now I have no idea what I think.” It was a very challenging class, that has made me a much more analytical person.

Education Program

About two weeks about I had a meeting with a professor named Anna Baynum, from the education department. The meeting went well and she was able to explain as well as answer my questions about the Hollins education program which was super great. I learned that there are two different programs at Hollins, a four-year track and a five-year track. The four-year track leaves you graduating with a bachelor’s in something other than education (I’ll explain this in a second). While the five-year track sets you up to graduate from Hollins with your master’s. I thought that was awesome. But as I was saying before the education program here at Hollins is simply a program, that is actually how it is everywhere in the state of Virginia, you graduate with a bachelor’s in something else and a certificate in education. The certificate is basically all of the same work as a major program, so you essentially end up double majoring.
After the meeting I received a copy of the program requirements which was really handy. I strongly urge you to visit the education department if you are at all interested in education right when you get to Hollins. You’ll be much more prepared for their program, which basically begins the second semester of your first year here. You can also work requirements for the program to satisfy general education requirements.

I’m going to post a link to the education requirements PDF so you all can take a look at the program yourself. Seriously if interested in the program shoot someone an email, they are all super sweet people.


It just seems crazy to think that a little over a year ago I was embarking upon my journey here at Hollins. Who would’ve thought that after such a small amount of time, a place could feel so comfortable and warm: a home. This year I am living in the apartments with my friends Emma and Laura. They are both people that I met last year on the Hollins Wilderness Orientation Program Trip, and lived with in Randolph (one of the first-year dorms). The apartment is so wonderful! We have a full kitchen, living room/dining room, fenced-in patio, one double bedroom, one single bedroom, a full and half bath, as well as central heat and air (one of my favorites). It is incredibly nice to have a place away from the bubble of hollins to call my own. Soon I will post some pictures.

On to the land of academia! This year I am taking 16 credit hours. I’ve enrolled in chemistry 101, along with its lab, a sociology class about race, class, and gender, an intro to Psychology course, and finally I am am taking an online computer course to get a skill out of the way. Chemistry isn’t going as well as I would’ve hoped, currently we are working on learning conversions. We’ll see how it all works out, I’ll keep you updated. However my sociology class is going well, I think it is my current favorite. It is a 200-level course but the readings are that of a 400-level course and it is extremely difficult, but so interesting and worth the effort. Right now we are discussing racism, and reading the book Racist America by Joe R. Feagin. So far it has been really interesting, and very thought provoking. The class is also super fun, and discussion-based. The professor is new to Hollins and has a lot of energy. Well that is all for now!

Alright readers so today I am going to give all of you the low down on Spring Cotillion!

Every year at Hollins a board of students (activities) organizes what is called Spring Cotillion. Cotillion is a formal dance that takes place as a final farewell for all the Seniors who are graduating in May. This year Cotillion took place in Boones Mill, Virginia at the Sundara. Unlike other years when the dance had been in Roanoke, students were not allowed to drive personal vehicles to the location, all had to ride in a charter bus. Cotillion festivities took place underneath a beautiful white tent outside. The location was green and blooming with flowers it was truly a sight to see and reminded me of a fancy spring wedding.  Cotillion started around 6:30pm for Senior Cocktail hour which ran until around 7:30pm. Underclassm students are allowed to attend the cocktail hour but if you aren’t a Senior there really isn’t much for you to do. The official dance started at 8:30pm, with most showing up around 9:30pm. There was lots of dancing, eating (gourmet food!), drinking cocktails/mocktails, and there was even a Photo-booth as well as flip book section. The last two in particular were really cool. The flip book section consisted of taking an approximately 30-second long video and then composing it into approximately 100 stop motion shots, which was bound together to create a book! The Photo-booth was also cool, it gave you several different options for effects. Overall, I would say if you come to Hollins you have to go to Spring Cotillion, it was some of the most fun I have had all semester.

Photo Credit: Brett Denfeld