Summer Plans Go Beyond Blue Skies and Sandy Beaches

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By Vincenza Di Maggio
Contributing Writer
Published: March 31, 2011

Picture this: you are lying on a beach, your back feels warm against the soft white sand that molds itself to the shape of your body. Your eyes are closed but you hear the crashing of the waves and with every “swoosh” of the water, another paper, another exam and another presentation from the past semester slowly washes away. As you let it all go, you can feel your skin soaking up the sun and your last thought just before you slowly drift off into sleep is “Ahh… summer!” Sounds good, huh? Well, apparently not to the incredibly ambitious Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) students we spoke to.

Tommy Kang, FCLC ’12, lies in his dorm room yearning for summer. (Photo Illustration by Mario Weddell/The Observer)

This summer Fordham students are trading in their flip-flops and bathing suits for books, pencil skirts and backpacks. If you are still contemplating what you should do with your free time this summer, look to these students for suggestions and decide which plan suits you best.

Mr. Studious

Rather then use his time off to relax on a beach, Sean Patrick, FCLC ’13, is hitting the books this summer. “I’m  enrolling in a French and a philosophy course at Fordham this summer. I’m just focused on getting through my core as fast as possible,” Patrick said.

Fordham’s summer session offers over 200 courses to choose from. It is a great way to fulfill some of those pesky core requirements, get ahead in your field of study or experiment in that other major you have always had a curious itch for. It can be a torture to have to study during the warm summer months, but if it will eliminate some stress during the year, it is worth it.

Ms. Ambitious

Giovanna Montepaone, FCLC ’12, has not only enrolled in an introduction to art history course at Fordham this summer but will also be taking advantage of Fordham’s Study Abroad program by taking a creative writing class at the University of London with Professor Christina Baker Kline. Montepaone, who has never been to London before, is excited to visit museums, take trips to Paris and walk through the parks of London, absorbing the scenery.

“It’s boring to stay at home. I’m someone who loves to learn new things and if I spend the summer at the beach, after two weeks I’m bored and I just want to learn something. I love the arts and I love expressing myself through creative writing,” she said.

In addition to her studies she will also be interning at Girls Write Now, an organization that focuses on young girls who come from low-income classes. She is responsible for setting up workshops and fundraisers. No wonder she calls herself “Ms. Ambitious.”

Mr. Humanitarian

Brandon Jackson, FCLC ’14, will be using his time off to help others in need by making frequent visits to Honduras and the Republic of the Congo.

Jackson is a humanitarian and political advisor to the government of San Pedros, Honduras. His two main pillars of focus are education and economy. In Honduras he is interested in “educational reforms and bringing in new technologies to create a surplus of funds for educational programs.” Jackson said he will be also visiting the Republic of the Congo because “there is a certain economic system I have created that I want to flesh out.” Jackson said, “To explain it as simply as possible, it involves being able to find funds for educational purposes without spending money.” His incredible dedication and determination to make a difference abroad are enough to inspire anyone to volunteer this summer.

Ms. Workaholic

We all know how expensive it can be to live in New York City, but with a hectic class schedule it can be difficult to fit in time to work during the semester, not to mention being able to handle a job without compromising one’s grades.

Hannah Reile, FCLC ’13, said, “I will be using my time off this summer to work full-time at a hospital filing papers. I need money for the school year.”

Ms. World Traveler

Shirin Lalezari, FCLC ’11, an aspiring doctor and soon-to-be graduate, has a thirst to see the world. In her opinion, the best way to spend the summer is to travel. Lalezari has spent her last few summers in London and in Israel but says that since she will be graduating in May and will soon be entering the adult job-world, she wants to soak up as much of the European sun as possible. “Backpacking through Europe this summer is definitely the thing to do. I’m all about seeing the world because once I’m in medical school my summers are limited.”

Whether they are enrolling in summer classes, saving the world one educational reform at a time or roughing it in Europe, it seems like we just can’t get these highly motivated FCLC students to sit down and relax this summer.