Student Profiles

Make the most of your summer 

Ben EstensBen Estens

Year: Senior

Major: Fine Art

Hometown: Vancouver, WA

What courses did you take during the summer?
Art 499 Constructing Communication and Art 416 Art For Teachers II

Why did you choose to stay in Corvallis and take summer courses?
As an art major, my studio classes are generally three hours long, two times a week. That amount of time coupled with the expected effort outside class makes it difficult for me (and most other art students) to take more than three studio classes per term. I took advantage of the summer classes because it would lighten the load my senior year, allowing me more time to focus to each class, as well as some time to volunteer in the community.

What did you think was the best aspect or benefit of OSU Summer Session?
There are so many good things about Summer Session. I think the best part was that the classes were offered consecutively rather than simultaneously.  This was nice because I could focus 100 percent of myself to one class at a time, rather than try and take multiple classes at the same time, like during the normal school year. Also, the classes are much shorter in duration. I could take eight credits of senior studio classes (400 level) without breaking a sweat and I still had from the middle of July to the end of September to go on vacation.

How has taking Summer Session courses helped you catch up, speed up or jump ahead in your course requirements or degree program?
Because I took those courses last summer, I don't have to take four studio classes per term this year. I have seen much improvement in my work this year, and I think it has a lot to do with not being pulled in more directions than I can handle at the same time.

What would you tell someone who was interested in taking courses at OSU during Summer Session?
I'd say go for it! It's true that it isn't a lot of fun to be inside during the best time of the year to be outside, but if you can make things a little easier for yourself tomorrow, by doing a little more today, it will be worth it.

Do you plan to take courses again this upcoming summer?
No, not this year, but only because I will have graduated by then. This summer I'll be in grad school at Western Oregon University working toward a teaching degree to teach art and mathematics at the high school level.

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