my pathway experience

Know Your Neighbor

Mary Francis '10, a Business Administration major from Steuben, Maine who is a member of the tennis team and the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, discusses her Pathway, “Know Your Neighbor,” led by Exercise and Sport Sciences Assistant Professor Greg Austin. Pathways, the foundation of Colby-Sawyer's Liberal Education Program, are a group of theme-based, interdisciplinary seminars that students choose for their first and second years. Know Your Neighbor explores the many facets and perspectives of the global neighborhood and views the global neighborhood geographically, historically, politically, culturally, racially and ethnically. This Pathway also explores what it means to know your neighbor and the responsibilities that are the present reality of the global neighborhood.

Why did you choose this Pathway, and what are some of the important things you've learned through the course?

I decided to enroll in Know Your Neighbor because I thought it sounded interesting, and I think it is important to take a look at other cultures' current events. I learned so much about other cultures, as well as how much America is a guide for other countries and is constantly looked at to fix problems around the world.

Pathways are designed as theme-based and interdisciplinary. What do you see as some of the major themes discussed in the course?

Major themes I encountered were being aware of cultural events here on campus, current events in countries around the world, problems that are going on in the world, and the situation with the war.

Please describe some of the resources used in the class

We used a variety of texts, a lot of films, and web sites to bring current situations of people in different countries to our attention. We also capitalized on the fact that here at Colby-Sawyer the cultural events committee brings musicians, movies, and other cultural events to campus, and we attended as many of those as we could.

What kinds of projects have you completed for the course?

We focused on projects pertaining to other countries such as acting as a tour guide and "selling" a particular country to the rest of the class; doing a presentation on a significant historic event and writing to a pen pal from another country.

We were also required to read a book written by a foreign author and conduct a round table discussion. Also, we brought in current events news pieces which then led to a class discussion.

The name “Pathway” suggests a journey. How has the course and you and your classmates evolved from one year to the next?

I think that as a whole our pathway class came out of this two-year class with a relationship unusual than ones you get in other classes. We have learned to respect others opinions, along with learn together the importance of cultural events, and situations that are happening throughout the world. The new place of understanding was learned together as a whole in Know Your Neighbor, and was achieved by other classmate's opinions on varying topics along with the teacher's knowledge of such topics. I do believe we learned and were taken on a two year journey together, which gave us a better understanding of unexplored topics that should be brought to everyone's attention.