May Term, Play Term

Lesley Goodaker

It’s that time of year again! Spring has (finally) sprung, finals are near, and the end of the regular semester has come. In between rigorous study sessions and time spent enjoying the sunshine, whispers of May term can be heard throughout campus. But, what exactly is May term? Only the greatest thing ever (next to August term of course)!

Transylvania’s academic calendar operates on a 4-4-1 schedule. This means that from September to December and January to mid-April, students are enrolled in four courses of their choosing. As for the 1, well, that’s the best part. May term is a four week period beginning at the end of April and running to the middle of May when students concentrate on one class Monday through Friday, generally for two hours a day.  While this might sound pretty daunting, I assure you it’s quite the opposite.

Photo by Joseph Rey Au

Many May Term classes take advantage of the great spring weather and hold classes outdoors on Transy’s gorgeous campus.

A lot May term courses are team-taught by professors of differing disciplines which makes for a great opportunity to get to know professors outside of your area of study who you might otherwise never meet. However, one of the most notable things about  May term classes is that many take place on campus for only a week or so at the beginning of the term, and then move to destinations in the U.S. and all over the world. Course offerings change from year to year, but recent travel courses have included trips across the Western United States, New York City, Peru, Ireland, and Cost Rica. For many students, semester-long study abroad may not be feasible. In this way, May term is a great way to get a “mini-study abroad” experience that is relatively affordable and just as enriching.

May Term - study abroad

Where will you travel during May Term?

For students opting to enroll on a course taught at Transylvania, the options are just as vast (with many being Special Topics courses). This May term, I am taking a co-taught Writing, Rhetoric, and Communication course called Writing for Non-Profits. This is especially exciting because our class will be working with a community non-profit partner from the Lexington area to write grants. This is not only a course which counts towards my major but also will provide me with great practical experience which I can put on my resume.

Another great things about being on campus during May term is the social time. During the regular semester, Transy students are pretty booked with classes, internships, sports, and other co-curriculars. During May term, with only one class to focus on, students tend to have a lot more leisure time to hang out with friends or get off campus; however, regardless of whether you’re on campus for May term or off, you’re guaranteed to have the time of your life!

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My Transylvania Bucket List

Kelsey Smith, Class of ’13

Call me weird, but ever since I saw The Bucket List, I wanted to do more with my life.

So, at the ripe old age of 17 I created my own bucket list. I’m up to 79 items I wish to accomplish before I die. Six and 1/3 things have been crossed off of my list. When I came to Transylvania I started thinking, why not make a college bucket list? So, below is my personal list of things that really should be done before you leave this fine institution.

I challenge you to take this list and add to it, but only if you think you can get it all done by May of 2016. I wish you luck and enjoy every moment of making and accomplishing the list.

Commence Kelsey’s Transy Bucket List!

  Survive Indi’s fried chicken
  Participate in a black light party
  Go to Red River Gorge
  Join a club or organization
  Play volleyball in back circle
  Study or travel abroad
  Get an A+ on a test/paper and hang it on the mini-fridge
  Go to Keeneland
  Run through the fountains by the court house Continue reading

Joyeux La Fete Nationale!


The photos below were submitted by Transylvania students studying in France.

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Joyeux La Fete Nationale! (Happy Bastille Day). Tomorrow, July 14, commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison during the French Revolution in 1789.

Transylvania students have opportunities to celebrate this national holiday while in France, either on a summer study abroad program or doing an internship in Normandy through Lexington’s Sister Cities Commission.  During the academic year, semester programs are available in Caen, Nantes, Paris (several program choices), and Rennes, and periodically, students and faculty have participated in Transy’s Tour de France  a three- week bicycle tour of southern France during May term.

Interested in studying outside of France? No problem. We offer opportunities for students of all majors to study around the world. Study abroad is so accessible for Transylvania students that nearly 70 percent of our students participate. You can study abroad and stay on track for graduation.

Can’t find the right program? We’ll help you create your own experience. Last year, our students studied abroad in more than 20 countries across the globe, including Norway, Ecuador, China, Israel, Chile, Japan, the Philippines and more.

You’re welcome to visit our Study Abroad Office website for more information. It’s never too early to plan!

Vive La France!

– Kathy Simon
Director of Study Abroad and Special Programs

The Evolution of Dumbo

I’m not sure if you saw before, but I’m doing a series of blog posts on the artistic aspects of the Transylvania community.  If you missed the first post, click here. Now you’re all caught up.  YAY!

Anyway, as a child, I was the polite, soft-spoken type up until I went to kindergarten—then everything changed.  All the sudden I blossomed and became the talkative, probably-too-energetic kid I still am today.  Although I was about 4 feet shorter and had the ears of Dumbo, I think my ears were a physical manifestation of the social butterfly I was becoming.  I had broken out of my cocoon, and I was ready to fly… or at least, I thought so.

My teacher had other plans.

Believe it or not, teachers don’t always appreciate class disruptions, so she didn’t appreciate my constant attempts to draw on the board, my affinity for climbing on everything other than the playground, or my occasional belief that I could use my ears to fly.

Fast forward through puberty and (luckily) growing into my ears.  Now I’m at Transy, and I have a secret obsession with art. If you’re involved in the Lexington art community in any way, shape, or form, you’ve most likely heard of Kremina Todorova and Kurt Gohde. 

Dr. Todorova is an English professor, and Dr. Gohde is an art professor; however, much like the Planeteers, their powers combine in order to make some extraordinary things: their Community Engagement through the Arts and Creative Disruptions classes.  Continue reading

May Term Gets A Little Sandy

This past week, May Term got into full swing with a sand volleyball tournament!  Out in Back Circle, we are lucky enough to have a sand court and a brand new net, which is a staple for a great play term!

Now my friends and I enjoy being fully involved in such campus activities, and we make sure we are properly attired….in matching team uniforms!  For anyone who has ever watched a little Disney Channel when they were younger, the movie “Brink” was surely a favorite. Featuring the ultimate heartthrob of pre-Bieber times, Eric Von Detten, Brink transports us back to the glorious 1990’s and the “soul-skaters” of Southern California…

Now the key part of my brief story is that Andy “Brink” Brinker and his gang needed sponsorship to be in the last skating event, and they were sponsored by Pup N Suds Dog Grooming. So naturally, what better name for a volleyball team than Pup N Suds? Continue reading