Thursday, January 23, 2014

New York Is My Campus, Fordham Is My School

The Cloisters Museum and Gardens
is located in Fort Tryon Park in northern Manhattan
New York is my campus, Fordham is my school. As you complete the core curriculum, you will find this saying to be true. You are likely to have an assignment that requires you to visit a museum or zoo exhibit, attend a musical or theatrical performance, or travel across the street to the New York Botanical Garden. Not only do these experiences enhance the lecture material by applying hands-on learning outside of the classroom, but they propel you to take advantage of the wide variety of opportunities available right in our own backyard!

Medieval architecture at the Cloisters
My freshman year, I ventured to The Juilliard School at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts for my Music History class, a fulfillment of my Fine Arts core requirement. I watched and listened to the Julliard Chamber Orchestra perform the music of renowned composers, such as Stravinsky and Mozart. I also visited the Cloisters, the branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe - a trip prompted by my Medieval History class, a fulfillment of my Understanding Historical Change core requirement. Other students, from the Gabelli School of Business and Fordham College at Rose Hill, frequently visit The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in midtown Manhattan for core classes such as Art History or Texts and Contexts. During the fall semester of my sophomore year, Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History became a destination for my Astronomy class, a fulfillment of my Physical Science core requirement. During the spring semester of that year, I walked five minutes down the street from campus to the Bronx Zoo (free admission on Wednesdays!) to construct an ethogram of the Coquerel’s Sifaka in the Madagascar exhibit. This was part of a lesson on the study of animal behavior for the lab portion of my Foundations of Biology class, a fulfillment of my Life Science core requirement.

The Coquerel's Sifaka at the Bronx Zoo
Though some of these assignments slightly challenged my comfort zone as an inexperienced city navigator, they encouraged me to make connections with my classmates and ultimately led me to gain a greater understanding of and appreciation for the course material. Each was an interesting learning and cultural experience and another way in which New York is my campus and Fordham is my school.

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