Macalester Today Spring 2011

4 firsts
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TAKING A FOREIGN LANGUAGE has been the biggest challenge for Ben this year. He particularly dislikes getting up early for his 8:30 a.m. Spanish class. However, he’s enjoyed all his other classes, even the ones he didn’t expect to. “My happiest discovery at college,” he says, “is that even the areas of study I thought would have no redeeming value are actually pretty fascinating.”

Although he came to campus expecting to major in English or political science, it’s the psychology classes that have interested him the most, says Ben. He calls “Psychology: Distress, Dysfunction and Disorder” a course “so fascinating and well taught I can’t even bring myself to skip it when I’m sick.” He also likes comparative politics, largely because of “extremely engaging teacher” Andrew Reiter.

But as for choosing a major, he hasn’t yet, adding, “Hopefully inspiration will strike before the end of sophomore year rolls around.”

Like Kiah, Ben has found a lot of camaraderie in his residence hall, and reports that many of the guys from his floor hope to stay together next year. They burn off energy doing construction projects, including building a snow fort in the quad and a water pong table out of boards purchased at Ace Hardware.

As for summer plans, Ben would love to take a meandering road trip with high school buddies, but allows that “I’ll have to work pretty much all summer to keep myself in late-night Domino’s pizza next year.”

Read more about Ben's first year: Fall 2010 \ Winter 2011