While I was considering what I should do with my 2 extra credits during my first semester at USC, I realized just how many different options I had in front of me. I could take anything from golf lessons to dance. However, I wasn’t quite sure that I wanted to do something that extreme during my first semester. I had been advised several times, from several different people, that given the opportunity I should take advantage of a Freshman Seminar. I was told it was a great way to meet people and it seemed like a low stress class that would help me adjust. So when I saw that a seminar actually fit into my schedule I was excited and quickly signed up for FSEM 180. Well, if I thought I was taking the normal route, I could not have been in for any more of a surprise.

After four weeks of class, I am quickly starting to realize just what an experience I signed myself up for. We have only had four classes and have already made mudbricks and various things with clay for our later activities. Not to mention I have discovered the hard way (literally the hard way; my hands have begun to form calluses where my blisters once were) that I have absolutely no future in old school fire-making. Let’s just leave it at I do not think I will be getting my own show on the Discovery channel anytime soon. My hands over the last three weeks or so have been a physical reminder of how much easier things are today. Make fire once in 4000 BC, feel it for 3 weeks. Make fire once in 2012, takes more time to find a lighter than to actually make a flame.

As a result of the first weeks, I find myself with a new found respect for people in ancient times. But furthermore, I find myself with a desire to be able to successfully complete some of the activities in the coming weeks. I look forward to each of the challenges ahead.

Beren Chandler