Posts by Caterina
- So You Think You Can Learn a Language? on March 21st, 2014
Everyone at some point ask themselves…I want to learn [insert desired language]! The problem is…where do you begin?
If you’re not busy this summer, it would be a great time to start. This year, Arabic (ARB 101, ARB 211), Turkish (TRK 101), Persian (PER 101), as well as Russian (RUS 213) are being offered. These are pretty cool languages to start learning! You can find more information here: https://llrc.stonybrook.edu/language-institute. I find the Turkish poster particularly interesting:
I am more of a European language person, and if that is the case for you, then look into these languages this summer: German (GER 101, 112), Italian (ITL 101, 201), French (FRN 101, 201), and Spanish (SPN 111 – 321; both EU and LA Spanish!).
If you are more into learning an Asian language (by the way…Japanese is awesome!), then you can take: Chinese (CHI 101, 201).
You can even take beginner or intermediate Sign Language courses! (SLN 111 – 212) – that is pretty cool!
If you are busy or planning to relax this summer – never fear! You can always add on a language class to your course load for the Fall or Spring semester (especially if you have not completed your language requirement yet). Some languages to think about:
Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek (Modern), Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin*, Persian, Russian, Sanskrit*, Spanish, Swahili, and Turkish!
*Of course, Latin and Sanskrit will not be spoken, but they are really important languages. I took a couple years of Latin and it changed my life!
One language that has not been offered for a while is Portuguese (Brazilian or “Brasilian”), but it may be offered in the future!
Also keep in mind that there are also “Uncommonly Taught Languages” offered through Linguistics, so if you’re interested, there may be a language being taught that is not on the above list! And for our non-native English speakers, there are always ESL and English classes available as well.
So that is my language-spiel…if you have any questions about a language, just ask me, but if you need actual guidance on what language to pick or what level, please see the appropriate department! [Note: obviously the European languages would be part of the European Language, Literature, & Culture Department, and the Asian languages would be part of the Asian & Asian-American Studies Department]
About My Language Experience(s):
My mother is fluent in English, Tagalog, and Italian, but her native language is Tagalog (or what others incorrectly call “Filipino”), which means I hear it all the time (but I only know how to speak a few words). I grew up taking Latin and Italian in Montessori school, and I took Spanish when I went to Catholic school. For public high school, I continued on with Spanish. While in high school, I tried teaching myself Japanese and Russian, but I can only speak and understand a few words. Next, I met my (current) boyfriend and his family speaks Portuguese (EU, not Brazilian) – it is similar to Spanish, but so much harder! I finally got to college (with intentions of taking Italian or Spanish) and I ended up taking Latin once again! Since I loved the classics, I couldn’t wait to learn some Greek, so I spoke to a professor and I did a year-long independent study in Ancient Greek! Last summer and I took an intensive German course, then I went off to Berlin, Germany to use my language skills and I took intermediate German while I was there. Now that I am graduating in May, I am sad to leave Stony Brook, but I know that languages will still be out there for me to learn…what’s next: Norwegian!?
Yes my story sounds crazy and ridiculous, but who cares…I love languages (and you should too)!
- Leading is Believing on February 10th, 2014
For students who want to be leaders:
“Good leadership consists of showing average people how to do the work of superior people.” -John D. Rockefeller
When it comes to leadership at Stony Brook University, I believe anybody can do it. There are so many resources on campus to help any student, a freshman or senior, to acclimate and lead the community. An awesome link to check out is: http://studentaffairs.stonybrook.edu/nexus/. From Undergraduate Fellow to Orientation Leader to RHA Member, these opportunities are open to anybody who seeks them. With a lot of effort and focus, anyone can become a leader.
The first step is to reflect on your experiences and see what you have learned about yourself already. If this is your first thought about leadership, then you may need some help along the way. You might want to talk to someone in the “Getting your foot in the door” program: http://studentaffairs.stonybrook.edu/studentlife/involvement/foot_in_door.shtml or even to someone who you admire as a leader. The Stony Brook community is very friendly and definitely loves to help any student achieve the goals that they shoot for.
For students who are experienced leaders:
As an experienced leader myself, I remember trying very hard to get involved and it allowed me to learn more about how I am as a leader and a member of SBU. The problem with being an experienced leader is that you often take on too many leadership opportunities. If you are an experienced leader and want help managing stress and your time, I think the best policy is:
“[...] to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.” -Nelson Mandela
I believe what Nelson Mandela is saying is that sometimes leaders need to take a step back – not to take all the opportunities available or to receive all the credit; being a leader is an exercise in teamwork and community, so for experienced leaders…try to take a step back and help to grow other students into the leaders of tomorrow.
- You Don’t Have to Go Far to Enjoy the Arts on November 14th, 2013
Isn’t it great that you don’t have to leave Stony Brook to see new Movies, Operas, Comedies, Film Festivals and more! So where do you go to see these films and events? The answer is: the Staller Center!
Don’t graduate from Stony Brook without first taking a peak inside this great center for the arts. If you are a freshman or transfer and you have not used your “first on us ticket” yet, you should do so as soon as possible. I remember my first time going to a Staller show (and I even used my “first on us ticket”!). I went to see Cirque Eloise – an acrobatic show that was great for the entire family and was very similar to Cirque du Soleil – and I was able to get the tickets for half off!
Be on the look out for cool movies and events – every student can get discounts on tickets purchased. Why wouldn’t you go to the Staller Center? You can see people like: Midori, Bill Cosby, The Emerson Quartet, Wynton Marsalis and even more famous people (and you don’t have to be a music whiz to recognize their names).
For those of you that need to take a class over the summer or you are just looking for something fun to do – be on the look out for CCS 204 which is offered every year during Summer Session II. CCS 204 is a Film Festival class and meets to watch all the films during the 10-day film festival held at the Staller Center as well as meeting times for midterms and finals. The class consists of: watching films, talking about films, writing about films, and you get 3 credits…so what’s not to like?
There are so many great things to go see at the Staller Center and do (if you are into Theatre, Music, or Art) it would be silly not to go. So take advantage of the Staller Center before you graduate…the discounts only last while you’re a student!
- Study, Work, Live…Abroad? on October 17th, 2013
I always thought that people exaggerated the importance of studying abroad. You hear people, even worse – your friends, coming back from their AMAZING study abroad experience and you feel mainly two things: 1. Happiness (for your friend) 2. Jealousy. You begin to think why you aren’t lucky enough to study abroad or if it’s even worth going through with the process at all! But all the while you are thinking…will financial aid even cover this?
My advice is: GO! Seize the moment while you are still an undergraduate and have the opportunity to explore. But please take my advice and pick a program that you think will change your life or academic experience. I know a lot of people doing the study abroad programs just to boost their resume or to just get DEC’s finished. Don’t do this! With a little bit of planning and good luck, you can get your DEC’s finished and have an awesome resume without even leaving the country.
Go to another country with your eyes open to learn and immerse yourself in another culture. If you love marine biology and wildlife – go to Jamaica! If you love the humanities and foreign language go to Rome or St. Petersburg! For example, I went to Berlin over the summer (as I’ve said in my previous posts). I knew next-to nothing about the culture besides an intermediate knowledge of the country and geography, but I was open to learning about the culture, literature and history. Now all of you don’t have to apply to Berlin just because of my high praise, but all I’m saying is choose wisely and grasp your life in your hands.
Other than studying abroad, another great opportunity to work abroad! What can be a better way to learn about a culture than to work in a foreign country! Even if it is for a short-term, there are so many options and possibilities. One great internship program is a program hosted by Cultural Vistas (http://culturalvistas.org/). Most of their programs are in Germany, but they hold some in England, Argentina, and Chile. If you are more academically inclined then apply for a Fulbright Scholarship (http://www.iie.org/fulbright/).
- Freaking Out About: Classes, Major, Life? on September 15th, 2013
When thinking of Autumn, I always remember how I felt during my first semester at Stony Brook. To most people’s surprise, I came in as an Environmental Studies/Biology and Political Science major and I had wanted to be pre-med but also focus on health and environmental policy. Though I still have a passion for science and politics, I am extremely happy with what I changed my major to. New and returning students should not feel pressured about their major choice – pick something you love and make sure that whatever you pick, you do your best. When people ask me what my major is and I reply: “Comparative Literature,” I mostly get a blank stare and the response: “So…what can you do with that?” Though some students know and are passionate about the fields of nursing, engineering, etc. it is oftentimes difficult as a humanities, social science, or even science major to describe how you will be able to get a job.
As an intern at the Career Center, I have learned that any student with any major can practically do any entry-level job out there (with the exception of intense computer science/medical/finance jobs). Most companies do not care about your major, but simply care about what kind of skills you have: communication skills, teamwork ability, independence, writing skills, timeliness, neatness, organization skills, etc. So while most people may tell you that majoring in “[Humanities/Social Science/etc.]” is a bad idea, let them know that you are in a good position because you have transferable skills that will allow you to obtain any entry-level job.
When it comes to your classes and your major, you should only take courses that are interesting to you but also fill requirements. Do not take random DEC’s or electives because this will often waste your time and cause you to be unhappy. If you are concerned or have questions about your major or classes, remember that the “Academic Advising Day” will be this Wednesday at 11:00 am in the Academic Mall. Also, on October 23, 2013 at 1:00 pm there will be a workshop called “Freaking Out About your Major” at the Career Center. At any point in your college career, issues of majors, career paths, and life in general will come up – make sure you look around at the resources you have to make the most out of your college experience.
Comment or contact me if you have anymore questions or visit me during my office hours at the Career Center!
All my best,
- Willkommen Studenten: Back at SBU! on August 20th, 2013
Hi everyone! Hope your summer has been fantastic! I’ll just tell you a little about myself before I explain why I tend to sprinkle German words here or there. My name is Caterina Reed, and I’ll be a senior this year (it’s actually really crazy when I think about it). I’m majoring in Comparative Literature, with (3) minors in Classical Civilization, Medieval Studies, and English - basically all the fields that most people don’t think actually exist at Stony Brook. But I’m here to tell you that anything is possible if you put your mind into it, and that you can succeed here at Stony Brook…even as a non-science major To learn more about the wonderful world of humanities and literature visit the Cultural Analysis & Theory department, as well as the departments of English and European Languages & Literature.
Anyway, this past summer I studied abroad in Berlin, Germany. I have always been in love with Greece and Rome (as a self-proclaimed Classicist), however Germany became more and more interesting to me throughout my time at Stony Brook. I realized that most of the authors that I enjoyed (Goethe, Wedekind…) were in fact German and that there is a rich German culture that immersed itself into our own culture (wurst, beer, Bauhaus…). If you are interested in having an amazing and life-changing experience abroad in Germany, or another country, visit the Study Abroad website. To learn more about the specific program that I attended click here. I had a great time – I enjoyed my classes and made many international friends. I took a class in German Language and in Youth Cultures of German Literature (which was a very cool class for a Comp Lit person like me!). Interestingly enough, all my classmates were English and Comparative Literature majors as well, but from other countries like Canada, Spain, and Austria!
Another cool fact about my trip was that I celebrated my 21st birthday (on July 27th)! My new friends and I walked around Weimar, ate Vietnamese food, and had amazing ice cream! Hier ist ein Foto von meinem (erdbeere) eis!
Ein cooles Foto von Marienkirche (sehr alt!):
Ein cooles Video: KleinGeldPrinzessin – Öffentlicher Nahverkehr
ah, und ein Foto von mir in Prenzlauer Berg (ein Stadtteil in Berlin) mit ein Kind und seine Oma:
That’s all for now…message me with any comments/concerns/questions/etc. Tschuss!