The Impossible Year

When I was in high school, I received spectacular grades without studying, and most things came with ease. I had taken several advanced placement (AP) courses and did well on the exams. When I arrived to college, I felt as if things would not be as difficult as they became. I am truly the first in my family to have the real “college experience.” The getting accepted, going away, dorming and having a suite of my own so I could have a taste of living without my mother for the first time.
Despite my excitement and how movies portrayed college life, the first semester proved to be harder than I anticipated. My social life was thriving but academically, I thought I was more ready. Having a very detailed syllabus with all assignments throughout the semester and way more weekly online assignments than in high school was a shock.
I had never done well with mathematics and the sciences. I never had an aptitude for the subjects, but I began to despise them as soon as the common core was implemented in my high school. I was silly enough to sign up for contemporary biology during orientation thinking it would be like my high school living environment class which I passed with ease. I began to struggle with a major required class as well: microeconomics. I feel as if no one told how hard or math intensive it would be. I did not know how to really ask for help because I had never needed it in high school. I felt almost scared to ask for help because it was my major, I thought I should be handling it. If I could not handle it, I felt as if I did not deserve to be in this major. If could not get past a small obstacle like this how was I supposed to travel abroad and help others?
The truth is, because of my actions, I was placed on Academic Probation this semester. I was so ashamed initially. I felt as if I failed myself, my family and the college. When we began modifying the academic probation letter and trying to connect with how the recipients would feel when they received the letter, it was not difficult for me. In a way, it hurt to see the letter again but changing its language and the presentation of the letter became sort of rewarding for me.
I do not want others students to feel the failure and shame I felt when I received it. I do not want them to feel alienated from the other students, to be on a different “status.” Modifying the letter so future students would not feel inferior was crucial to me. I felt like this whole semester I had to keep the secret that I was on academic probation from all my friends. I am really close with my suite, but they had no idea. I felt as if I had to hide everything because people would be shocked and act differently towards me. I imagined they would say: “you? This must be wrong” or “how? You’re such a smart girl” or “you’re joking, right?”
My story however is not a sad one; it is one of resilience.
I worked as hard as I knew I could and put forth my best effort to change bad habits that had nearly dragged me down. I recall us discussing in class intelligence is not a set thing rather it is something that grows with you. My GPA by the end of this semester will be well above the required 2.0 and it has not been an easy road.
When I was first introduced to GLOBE, it meant little to nothing to me. I did not really see the significance and I did not think it would really impact my life. Throughout this semester I believe I have found out the true purpose of GLOBE and how it will stay with me for the rest of my life. I had to realize GLOBE did not ask us to be flawless robots incapable of error, and it does not demand perfection of each student. They want individuals. GLOBE emphasizes the growing process. The growing process is certainly not without fault, and it is full of mistakes and lessons, but the most important part is learning from the experiences and obstacles.

The Truth Behind College

Most students enter college with the goal of earning a bachelor’s degree and continuing their education beyond high school. But are students actually developing and gaining any real-world skills by attending college? The content taught in college-level courses can be quite difficult to master and most students don’t retain much of the information that they learned in their college courses. That late night cram session, where you had to memorize the whole general education Biology class material taught in the semester seem as though they have no significance in your life once you have finished taking the final exam. However, the critical thinking skills and experiences gained from the class will have impacted students beyond the classroom. Developing these skills is crucial for success in the workforce. Geneseo’s GLOBE claim that “Geneseo prepares students for twenty-first century challenges through the development of intellectual and practical skills that transcend boundaries and are applicable throughout our lives.” Geneseo is a liberal arts college and students are required to take different general education course that can allow them to explore the variety of courses offered at Geneseo. I think if a student is undecided or unsure of what to major in, Geneseo allows for students to dip their toes in the water and experience different course that can assist them in choosing a major. Continue reading “The Truth Behind College”

Consent and the Classroom

I recently was rereading part of Octavia Butler’s “Bloodchild.” It reminded me of our classroom discussion earlier in the semester of consent. When we hear consent I think we automatically consider it in a sexual manner, and this course changed my perspective on this. The formal definition of consent is: “permission for something to happen or agreement to do something.” Yet I had never considered it in my education.
There are many new rules, regulations and programs that are implemented throughout ones primary education. In high school I recall when common core was introduced in my Freshman year. No one ever asked about how the students felt, whether the common core or the old method is better for students. I realized I had little to no control over my education. Everybody in my high school despised the common core, and even the teachers were scrambling learning how to teach the new and hasty program. Several teachers expressed their dissent with the program with the students and yet, it was implemented in my high school although no one seemed to like it. This reminds me of my point in my “Bloodchild” essay that there is an education hierarchy. In this hierarchy, each person is hounded from those above. Although teachers may not believe a program is the best for the students, they have a duty to administrators and institutions. Teachers often must listen to those above them because they have no choice. I argue that institutions are flawed in my essay and the weaker groups must have a voice for a more efficient system.
It reminds me of “Bloodchild” because the Preserve was established years before Gan was born, a system that he forced into. He did not consent to participate in this institution however it is expected of him to follow the rules and be a willing participant. T’Gatoi represents the “teachers/faculty” in this system. She has power however she is still subservient to the Tlic officials above her, as faculty are to administrators. “Bloodchild” is not only a commentary on the relationship between students and faculty but their relationships to institutions as well.

The Disillusion of the Underprivileged


“Why are you talking in a British accent ?” When I was in the 5th grade, I was suddenly asked this question. At first, I confused as to why I would be asked this. I was most certainly speaking American English just as plainly as one would hear anyone speak in the northeastern United States. I asked my classmate what he meant by “British accent,” although I was sure I already knew what it meant. He was implying that because I am a minority, as opposed to being white, I could not be well spoken let alone educated. It was one thing when I was underestimated by people of a different ethnicity, but it was particularly disheartening since he was a fellow Hispanic. He was trying to say that because I am not white, I am therefore not educated. In his eyes, the only way to be educated was through the color of my skin. As if the only criteria that qualified being educated was being white, implying that the two terms were interchangeable and synonymous with each other. That level of ignorance and prejudice truly opened my eyes to the society we live in today, where we are taught self-hate and are criticized for the things that make us unique. I was terrified of that dangerous mindset and, although it was disturbing, that clash of ideologies gave me greater insight into my future prospects. I would not let my self-worth be defined by the misconceptions of the weak-willed, who would allow these stigmas reign with unrivaled deference. Even so, I could not find myself feeling any malice or ill will towards this boy. He like many others, fell victim to a lack of self-regard, belittling others due to lack of their own self-esteem and shortcomings.

“Stop acting white,” he said as if to clarify, further justifying my beliefs. I later found out that his bigoted views are clearly shared amongst many, as this was not the last time I heard a similar sentiment. People often assume that my culture and socioeconomic background tether me to racial stigmas. I am perceived as “ghetto”, “uneducated”, and “inarticulate”, simply because of where I come from.

Once I became cognizant of my situation, I began to resent the overarching stigmas that set limitations on my success. As a child, I was always taught to be proud of my heritage, but I was disappointed to discover that others viewed it as a hindrance to my education. It was upon this realization that the fanciful idealism of childhood, was shattered. I grew to be cynical about humanities fixed views. I made it my mission to become the aberration that would not only supersede, but prevail societal stereotypes. Education would be the vessel in which I overcame this societal mandate.

Through the accumulation of knowledge, I was able to edify myself to the point at which failure was no longer an option. This, in turn, has given me the drive and determination to overcome any obstacle and or barriers that attempt to deter me from accomplishing my goals. Education would give me access to a world of limitless possibilities. No longer, would I be restrained by the false barriers and platitudes of those who would condescend me?

           The more experienced I become, the more I realize that life is a continuous learning process and, that the quest for education is a lifelong journey. I firmly believe in the power of education. It is my personal mantra that if armed with the proper knowledge we are capable of achieving any goal we can imagine, and or reach any level in society that we dare to aspire, despite the expectations of others. I would not have come to this realization, if not, for the boy in 5th grade, who asked me, to “stop acting white”.

Reflecting on the Blogging Process

When I first entered my INTD 105 class, I was apprehensive towards the blogging requirement that Dr. McCoy assigned. When we were told that we would have to write ten posts without a set deadline or a prompt, I was presented with risk. I was unsure of how this process would turn out. Although after reflecting on it, I have recognized the rewards that have arisen from this task.
Beginning the blogging process made me nervous because I did not know where to begin. I had never written a blog before and did not how to format it. Taking the writing advice of Beth, I decided to consider my academic standing and write about coming to college as an undeclared student in my post “The Positives of Being Undeclared.” As stated in Geneseo’s Mission Statement, the college “community works together to advance knowledge.” This took place in the form of feedback from my professor on my posts. Based on the feedback that I received for my first post; I needed to learn to connect my writing to textual evidence and fix grammatical errors.

Continue reading “Reflecting on the Blogging Process”

Word Count

For a large part of this semester, Dr. McCoy has been teaching us to focus on creating a concise piece rather than shooting for length. This was a highly discussed topic toward the beginning of the year. How were we supposed to write an entire essay based on a single question, no outline, and no word count? In reality, there really is no significance to having a set word count for an essay or a blog post. Continue reading “Word Count”


Growing up I always had a belief that my siblings and I would end up at the same college. However, all five of us chose to go to separate colleges. Although some of us are only a short drive from each other, I miss them like crazy. I always feel like I am missing out on something involving my siblings. I don’t know exactly what it is, but I assume it’s my subconscious telling me that I miss my siblings and family. It’s important to mention that I am a quadruplet (meaning I am one of four, all born at the same time) and I have an older brother as well. Splitting up with my two sisters and brother of the same age was the hardest part of going to college for me. I thought it was going to be the classes that proved to be most difficult, but splitting up with them is a constant struggle for me. My entire life changed the day we said goodbye to each other. I was no longer just an “Amico”, I somehow became an individual. I was now, “Gianna Amico”(the individual) and it is still hard to believe. 

Continue reading “Support”

Solving the Dilemma

As an economics major, I’ve learned that business is all one big game. It’s about who makes the first move, who cheats the market, and the risks each firm takes. We’re taught this game as a “Prisoner’s Dilemma,” in which looking out for one’s self-interest results in lower profits for all firms in the market. By trying to get ahead while the other firms suffer, the results are worse off for everyone involved. Ideally, cooperation is key. However, because we are human, complete cooperation is not realistic. Sometimes, it may even be involuntary.

Our INTD course has shown me the “dilemma” that exists between students and their college institution. It’s opportunistic to believe that each party will uphold their responsibility in partnership. For the student, they put trust into the college to provide a valuable education and support throughout their time in school. The college, in return, expects students to follow the rules on campus and uphold their standard for academic excellence. But what happens if one part falls short of their respective duties? What’s the risk in that? Continue reading “Solving the Dilemma”

The Importance of the SOFIs

As part of our final class period, we filled out the SOFI for Dr. McCoy. She asked us to take time to think about the feedback we give her, as she has spent so much time giving us appropriate feedback to better our class experience. Last semester I mindlessly filled out the SOFIs, not spending too much time on them, since I knew little of their purpose. Continue reading “The Importance of the SOFIs”