My name is Lena McCain and I am a Weekend Student here at Shimer College. I am currently in my fourth and final year where I hope to graduate with a Bachelors in Liberal Arts and a focus in Social Sciences.
Since this is my first post in a blog about Shimerians and what we do, I suppose I should begin by telling you a little bit of who I am. I was originally born in a small town of Illinois, but raised in Phoenix, Arizona. I love dancing, acting, book pressing, crafting letters, and doing my hair. My passion is working with and for youth of all ages, whether it is through tutoring, mentoring, or caring for them. Currently I work for a small sushi café as a cashier/server and for my Federal Work Study, I work at Assist Her, Inc. as a Program Assistant. The last bit I will leave you with about myself is that I am an active participant in the Shimer community via the Administrative and Financial Aid Policy Committees as well as the Weekend Student Representative for the Board of Trustees.
Like most people that come to Shimer, I have spent the last three years of my life struggling and conquering what it means to be a part of Shimer. And I’ll admit, it hasn’t been easy. When I first arrived I was enrolled in the Weekday Program, which I think most people (if not all people) who have appeared on this blog are in. The Weekday Program is your typical college program with a twist. It has everything most people want- a strong social setting, classes that meet at least every other day, community events, and so much more! It is the foundation of Shimer and is truly an amazing program. However, I soon learned that even though Shimer as an academic institution was right for me, the Weekday Program was not. I thought this meant I was going to have to give up everything I loved about this school, that I would have to transfer. But with the help of the faculty and staff, I learned that Shimer College doesn’t just give up on its students. In fact, Shimer College works very hard to make sure that every student is not just challenged here, but is supported as well. For me, Shimer decided that I should try out the Weekend Program during my second year. And with much gratitude, that is where I’ve been ever since.
The Weekend Program is very unique in its kind. We meet on average, one weekend every three weeks. We still do the same amount of work as the Weekday students but without the daily time limits. I might even say it's more difficult, especially since you have to retain all that information for three weeks and then discuss it all in one or two days. Right now we’re on a block schedule, which means that my Integrative Studies Five class meets on Saturday for six and a half hours while my Child Psychology and Education class meets on Sunday for three hours. Sometimes it's exhausting, but I wouldn’t trade it for any other type of education in the world. The Weekend Program caters to my lifestyle and challenges my intellect in the most perfect of ways.
Honestly though, I think that’s what makes Shimer College such a beautiful and wondrous place. If you feel like something isn’t working, whether it is your class, your social “status”, or even your program, Shimer works with you to find the place where you fit in. Shimer has a place for any and every person that walks through its doors. I believe this is because Shimer College is exactly what it advertises- it is supportive, challenging, loving, motivational, community driven, and inspirational. It is a place for book lovers, for people who thirst for knowledge…and most importantly, it is a place for people to evolve.
Until next time –L.