Exploring the Explorations Program

The Explorations program, run through the ExCollege, is one of the many exciting opportunities on the Tufts campus that allows you to share your interests and contribute to the active learning initiatives that are so strongly stressed in our greater educational goals. The program brings a pair of upperclassmen together to teach a classroom full of eager, excited, and intelligent Tufts first year students. As Explorations Leaders (the official title) you also serve as student advisers to the incoming freshman class.  My co-leader Laney and I taught our class, titled Sustainability Redefined: Lessons from Uganda, to fourteen incredibly unique and engaging first year students. We began the semester welcoming them to Tufts and helping them navigate the crowded dinning halls, sleepless dorms, the stressful process of registering on SIS and the growing pile of readings and problem sets. We then dove into our teaching topic and continued to serve as advisers throughout the semester.  We had students from California, Massachusetts, Nepal, Morocco, and India. Continue reading

The View From Way Out Here

Part One in an Ongoing Series of Observations on the Current State of Filmmaking and the Film Industry.

The music industry figured it out, albeit kicking and screaming. But the movie studios refuse to see the handwriting on the wall. While they spend millions attempting to devise and disseminate protection schemes in their war against the internet, they’re fighting on the wrong front. The long-term threat to their hegemony — the highly centralized production and distribution system that we’ve known for nearly 100 years now as Hollywood — won’t be our ability to download studio films. Far more dangerous is the fact that Hollywood’s stranglehold on professional-level production and widespread distribution is withering away, bit by bit, inch by inch, day by day.
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TuftsFilmWorks Alum, Jason Moloney, is getting noticed and getting work in LA.

Since graduating last spring, filmmaker, graphic artist, and writer, Jason Moloney, has been, as he puts it: “really busy lately.” After doing a great deal of networking all last year, Jason made the move to LA over the summer, and he hit the ground running.

Jason landed his first gig as an Assistant Production Coordinator on Ex-Free, the indie feature produced, written, and directed by veteran African-American actress, Troy Beyer Bailey. He must have been doing something right, because once shooting wrapped, he was asked to stay on as Assistant Editor. After Ex-Free, Jason joined the team of the Fallout: Nuka Break web series as a Production Supervisor. And from there he served as a Production Superviser/Coordinator on Stuck, a new feature with Madeline Zima and Joel David Moore. As I write this, Jason has recently started work as a Production Coordinator on a new — and as yet unnamed — feature that’s in preproduction and will be shot in March. Continue reading

Apply to Join the ExCollege Board!

I must be losing my mind.  For the second year in a row, I sought and obtained an appointment to the ExCollege Board.  I mean, everyone knows that  “board meetings” always become “bored meetings.”  Who could possibly want to sit through more meetings than they absolutely have to?

I could.  In fact, I always look forward to my ExCollege board meetings.

They are one of the few times when I know I’m having a direct positive impact on the learning opportunities offered to my fellow students.  In fact, the ExCollege Board is the only board I’ve encountered in which faculty and students to work together to guide an academic department, and student participation on the board is part of what makes the ExCollege special. Continue reading

The Best Part of the Job

Every now and then, my friends ask me what I “do” at work at the ExCollege. As usual, it’s much easier to tell a short half-truth than to explain the whole story. So, I usually say something like, “I enter course proposal information into a database.” That sounds pretty dull, but of course, that’s not the whole story. Proposal processing is definitely the biggest part of being an ExCollege office assistant, but it’s far less dull than I have the ability to make it seem. Sure, it’s tedious typing up countless names and addresses and phone numbers, but all of that stuff gets me to the good part: the proposal itself. Every proposal is full of ideas from some extremely smart and creative thinkers. Summarizing all of those ideas into our database can be fascinating. It’s like learning a little bit about every ExCollege class offered each Continue reading

Conception of the Taste of Tufts Lecture Series

I was in the bookstore last fall, dodging freshman who don’t know enough to check Amazon first to see how much textbooks are elsewhere, looking for a programming book. On my way towards the engineering section, I stopped to eavesdrop on a pair of students who were talking about the books. I quickly realized that they were not speaking about the authors with an undeserved familiarity, but that their professor had written the book on conflict due to climate change in Sudan that one of them was wildly gesticulating with. Of course, as an engineering student, it’s not unheard of for a professor to write a textbook. But I’d never really stopped to consider the vast amount of what I was missing at Tufts. I haven’t taken a history course since high school. Not because I particularly dislike history, but because I just never had time.
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Drumming, clapping, and singing with Prof. Locke

Over twenty people attended A Taste of Tufts this past Friday and heard about Prof. David Locke’s research. As an ethnomusicologist, Prof. Locke has learned with and from the Dagombe people of Ghana, in particular regarding their culture of drumming. Check out the Tufts Daily article at http://www.tuftsdaily.com/a-taste-of-tufts-david-locke-1.2699611 for more information.

Join us this Friday, February 17th for Prof. Hugh Gallagher’s talk about neutrinos!

The ExCollege: A Freshmen Perspective

Becoming a freshman at Tufts is an experience like no other. Your script for the first few days consists of three questions and then three answers: 1. What’s your name? 2. Where are you from? and 3. What dorm you are living in? Then you would move on to meeting the next person. This is the taste of Tufts during orientation week. If anyone is interesting enough you continue the dialogue; if not, on to the next person! Then you worry about who your roommate really is and whether or not you’ll be surviving the chaos once the rest of the university steps foot on the hill. I was lucky enough to have chosen the Perspectives advising option, and had two upperclassmen as my professors in a class offered by the ExCollege. Continue reading

ExCollege Social Media!

The ExCollege is now increasing it’s social media presence at Tufts!  With our newly revamped blog, Facebook page and new Twitter account we’re hoping to help provide you with an inside look at how everything works here at 95 Talbot Ave!  Like our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/tuftsexcollege and follow us on Twitter @ExCollege.  We’ll be having different members of the ExCollege community blogging about the various happenings and events going on here and we look forward to hearing from all of you!