Because of the help from the Simple Gifts Scholarship, I am able to attend Wofford College. Wofford, also known as WOCO, is strong in academics, has an outstanding faculty, and is dedicated to a holistic liberal arts education. It was founded in 1854 and is still located on its beautiful campus in downtown Spartanburg, South Carolina. When I visited the college during my senior year, I knew this is where I wanted to attend.
Not only have I enjoyed my small classes and the special interest the faculty takes in each student, but I especially enjoyed the interim. Interim is one of the many things that sets Wofford apart from other colleges. Interim takes place during the month of January, between first and second semester. It is a time students can study abroad, do internships, or take “special interest” classes on campus. It is a time students can explore countries, careers and/or topics they may not otherwise have a chance to do. Students get credit for interim but it is pass/fail. The classes on campus are three hours a day, Monday through Friday. Interim is beneficial in many ways, but its main benefit is it broadens one’s horizon.
If a student does not want to go abroad for an entire semester, they can travel abroad or in the United States during this month. Some of the study abroad classes include: Intensive Conservatory Training in Dublin; In the Footsteps of Van Gogh: Amsterdam, Paris, Provence; South Africa; Backpacking Belize and England: A Cultural Tour.
If a student decides to take a course on campus, they have a difficult decision deciding what to take! So many courses are offered, ranging from Beatles History, Functional Beauty: The Art and Craft of Pottery, Rock Climbing & Yoga, An Introduction to Dental Medicine to Becoming a Certified Medical Emergency First Responder. Because I am a freshman, the upperclassmen got first priority on choices. I did not get my first choice, but I took Chinese Leisure Activities which surprisingly, I really enjoyed.
In Chinese Leisure Activities we did a variety of things. I learned the art of tai chi, tasted various types of hot tea, played Mahjong, cooked authentic foods, and ate at various Chinese restaurants in the Spartanburg area. It was interesting to learn that what we think is Chinese food is not even close to authentic Chinese dining. They do not use any measuring instruments and they eat more tofu, mushrooms and vegetables. They eat more vegetables than meat. We also conducted mock cross cultural communication and learned how to do things appropriately in China. This class taught me a greater appreciation for the Chinese culture.
Interim is just one of the many things that make Wofford College special. I am very glad I have had the opportunity to attend a liberal arts college. It has been a great experience so far and I look forward to my next three years at Wofford. Hopefully I will be able to study abroad during one of my interims.
Harrison Butler is a 2012 graduate from Lakewood High School and is studying at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C.