Feb 12, 2021 | LIFE | By Mahnoor Rehman | Illustration by Bibi Powers
The Block Plan, which allows Colorado College students to take one class at a time for three-and-a-half weeks, is something new and challenging for students who came from high schools where they were expected to study several subjects at the same time. Students at CC study their course in a much shorter time frame than in a semester program, and therefore have to remain focused on a particular subject.
As a winter-start student, I experienced the Block Plan for the first time this past week. In Blocks 5 and 6, I am taking my FYP course, Construction of Social Problems. The most demanding aspect of the course for my classmates and I is the quantity of readings that we have to do almost every. Depending on your reading and annotating skills, it can take between two and five hours to complete the homework.
However, most of the readings are quite interesting, and as we get to discuss them in the class the next day, the process becomes much easier. The course is designed to focus on the construction of social issues and how that construction is affected by various factors. The class discussion is probably one of my favorite things about the course. The presence of international students in the class also provides space for diverse and distinct ideas.
My first impression of the Block Plan is that it is definitely rigorous but also prepares you for critical thinking and in-depth discussions. As students are immersed in studying a specific course, they use a certain type of lens to analyze the events happening around them. It is especially important to explore your choices and find the courses that you are interested in and are willing to take since they are the only thing that you study for three-and-a-half weeks.
In the Block Plan, you are placed with the same group of students for almost a month. This provides a great opportunity to make friends in your blocks and communicate with each other about the challenges that you and your peers are facing. You can also contact your instructor, advisor, or staff members if you need the assistance of any sort. The Writing Center also acts as a resource for students so they can receive help while doing their assignments, especially in the first few blocks.
It is really important to manage your time effectively in order to ensure that you’re getting your work done on time. Moreover, time management is also necessary to find some time for yourself outside of the course so you can indulge in some other activities on campus. With remote classes becoming the main component of most of the courses, it is essential to take some time off-screen for self-care and mental health purposes.
There is no doubt that the Block Plan takes students out of their comfort zones. Students need to remain focused and efficient throughout the course. One of the best things to do if you are struggling is to communicate with your classmates and instructors so you all can figure out the reasons behind the challenges and come up with a solution together.