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Project 17, "Our Story," Prof. Shadi Ganjavi's class: this project is a collage inspired by the freshman common reading, One Amazing Thing, and depicts one amazing experience, which helps define each member of our class. The collage tells the story of who the students are individually and collectively. These amazing experiences range from meeting a mentor to visiting a place of inspiration. Student comment: "I loved the letter cutouts and the pictures that were used to depict every individual's story. It makes me want to get to know the people to whom the pictures belong."
Project 15, "Beyond the Cover," Prof. Marnie Eldridge's class: While reading One Amazing Thing, we arrived at the importance of resisting the urge to judge one another based on our "covers," for each of us has a rich story to tell when given the opportunity to reveal ourselves. Hence, our display acknowledges our external covers and hints at the depth of our inner stories. Student comments: "I like how they related ones's appearance and judgment to One Amazing Thing. Each of us has a story to tell but others might not want to listen to us based on our outward appearance." "Really creative: 'Don't judge a book by its cover.'"
"A Critical Examination of Four Propositions from the 2012 California State Ballot." Prof. Terry Hatkoff's class. Our class chose four propositions from the 2012 California State Ballot to critically examine. Each proposition was researched and evaluated in terms of the pros and cons for the people of California; who supports the proposition; and the impact each would have in California."
"Learning, Growing, and Celebrating at CSUN." Prof. Christopher Aston's class. YouTube video: "Regularly through the semester our class connected through a 'weekly weigh-in' forum, allowing us to post and comment on pictures and images that represent our personal interpretation on various topics....Stemming from this, and linking to the theme of our Freshman Common Reading book, One Amazing Thing, we showcase our many different styles, personalities, struggles, and pathways toward finding solutions through our first semester sat CSUN."
"Karma," Prof. Donal O'Sullivan. Video. "In this video we show one of the challenges of being a new student in an all-new school, especially such a big institution. Feeling alone, without help or any guidance in college is one of the dilemmas we as freshmen face, whether that involves asking for directions around the campus, or making a whole new set of friends. In the book One Amazing Thing" by Chitra Divakaruni, there is a chapter, where Malathi looks out for the servant worker of Mrs. Balan. Mrs. Balan is so self concerned with her own way of life and her son's, that she will not allow her son to be romantically involved with a servant. Mrs. Balan finds her servant a new lover in order to ensure that she stays away from her son. In our video, we recreated and transformed the Malathi chapter with Andrea playing the role of a new freshman seeking out the help of Megan, an upperclassman. Andrea is rudely turned down when asking a question and this just adds to the nervousness and loneliness she already feels at college. When Megan rushes to the elevator to try and get to class on time, Kathy; a freshman who witnessed the way Andrea got treated, takes karma into her own hands and closes the elevator doors before she can get in. Like Malathi in the story, Kathy looks out for someone who she thought was treated unfairly. This small action demonstrates unity within the freshman community. Although we might feel lonely and at times even helpless in such a big school with new people we do not yet know, we as freshmen can stick together and look out for each other. It's a relief and reassuring to know that we are not alone, and there are other freshmen feeling the same way. In addition, this was our way of interpreting One Amazing Thing as a story of unity. People of different backgrounds, different nationalities, and different histories come together to build a team and resolve their dilemma through teamwork. Just like them, we as freshmen can build a team, if we just stick together.
"Following Your Dreams: The College Connection." Prof. Lori Baker-Schena. "College is the perfect place to pursue a dream career. Through music, art, dance, and drama, our class--all members of the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication--shares how we are pursuing our dreams at CSUN." During both days of the Freshman Celebration, students from this class sang, danced, acted, and made music. (Members of this most energetic group are just visible at lower left in front of the bright window.)
The first Freshman Celebration at CSUN took place in 2006 with participation limited to Freshman Connection students. In 2007 the Celebration was open to all students enrolled in a fall U100 class. As enrollment has continued to grow, so has the Celebration.