Students took advantage of Wednesday’s Day of Learning in Community (DLC) – even if it wasn’t in the manner Northwestern was hoping.
There are many reasons to look forward to the annual event, whether it’s for extra chapel credits given at each keynote address, attending the sessions to learn more about balancing our faith in the world or even catching a few extra “zzzs.”
Some students chose to attend one or two of the day’s activities and spent the rest of the day catching up on other pressing issues. While NW faculty firmly encourage students to attend sessions and some professors assign written activities based on sessions most students have the option to use the day as a learning experience or a resting experience—both of which are valuable to students.
“Since I knew I didn’t have any scheduled classes on Wednesday, and neither did any of my friends, I decided that staying up until 4:30 a.m. sounded fun,” said senior Ashley Larson. Tuesday night she “did some homework until the time I normally would’ve gone to bed and then watched movies, made food and hung out with my friends until the wee hours of the morning.”
After sleeping in until noon the following day, Larson “got some extra odds and ends done, went to three o’clock chapel with a friend and then spent the rest of the afternoon catching up on homework.
To justify her activities on Wednesday, Larson admitted, “Last year, I looked into what seminars were being offered, but this year the Day of Learning snuck up on me, and I didn’t get the chance to plan very well.” Larson has been attending Day of Learning activities since her freshman year and, along with many other students on campus, thinks that it is beneficial for students.
Some students in West Hall deemed it Day Off Learning and spent the day playing video games, catching up on sleep or spending quality time in with their friends. “I didn’t think there were enough controversial topics to make it interesting,” junior Joel Koster claimed. “Plus, I’m a computer science major and there were not any sessions geared toward us.” Because of this, Koster used his free time to get ahead on – or catch up on – his homework assignments.
Some students were thankful for the opportunities for which DLC was intended. “I got so many chapel credits,” beamed sophomore Becca Reints.
“I enjoyed all the sessions I went to. It’s fun to learn about things you’re not going to be tested over,” sophomore Elisa Banninga stated. “The media fast in Steggy encouraged me to find different ways to spend my free time, too.”
After admitting to attending the keynote sessions solely for the chapel credit, sophomore Nathan Mastbergen said, “I went to seminars that I felt would help me learn things that are applicable to what I am trying to learn here at Northwestern. I feel like some of these seminars are great opportunities to learn something you maybe wouldn’t in your regular classes.”
Sophomore Nate Johnston used the day partially as intended and partially for himself. “I went to Bibek Karki’s seminar about diversity in the workplace. I really enjoyed that seminar.” After this session, however, Johnston headed downtown to spend time with friends at the Old Factory Coffee Shop.
The question is, if professors didn’t require their students to attend sessions, would DLC still be as successful as it appears to be?