Every Eastman student should think about Take Five.

At our campus, the days are just too short. The musical and academic schedule at Eastman is rigorous by any definition. Add to that the extra recitals, pick-up groups and gigs which make us even busier, and you’ll find that life at Eastman is usually too demanding for any secondary academic pursuit.

However, many of us feel that classes outside of music are not only important to our development, but that they also enhance the music we hear and play. The problem is there is not enough time to major in music and take all the classes we’d like in just four years. UR provides a unique opportunity to address this ? the Take Five Scholars Program.

Take Five Scholars spend an extra, tuition-free semester or year at UR, in order to study a curriculum of their own design. What many people don’t know is that Take Five classes are interspersed with the other classes. This way, there is variety beginning in the very first semester in the program. Even the last semester on campus typically includes non-Take Five classes.

Some people Take Five to study abroad for a semester or year. This is arguably the best aspect of the program. But, you’ll have to plan ahead if you are interested, especially as an Eastman student ? study abroad must almost always be completed before the tuition-free semesters begin.

Meanwhile, because of senior recitals, Eastman students often encounter restrictions on their fourth year schedule. Sophomores and juniors who are interested in studying abroad through Take Five should start looking into the program immediately.

If you are interested, attend an information session or watch the video in the library as soon as possible. You’ll have to do this before you can fill out an application. As part of the process, you would write an essay explaining why you are interested in the proposed subject, as well as why the topic is relevant.

You must also provide a course of study detailing the semesters in which each class will be taken. That means you’ll need to contact every professor and department head involved to make sure that the courses you want will be offered when you propose to take them.

In addition, the Take Five committee will need a hypothetical course of study that you could follow if you are not accepted to the program. You must prove that you would otherwise be able to graduate without the extra semester or year, and show that you are not asking for time to complete a second major ? the program is not intended to pay for your degree, but to provide a chance to develop your purely academic interest.

Of course, you will also need teacher recommendations. One of the recommendations needs to be from a professor who has looked over your proposal. This person should be in a department related to your Take Five studies.

The process is certainly doable, but requires much thinking in advance. Roughly half of applicants are typically accepted, although there is no set number or percentage.

The deadline for this semester’s applications is very close ? Nov. 1. For seniors, this is the last chance to apply, unless you have applied once before. If your proposal is rejected, you will be allowed to apply again in the spring.

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by. Look further into Take Five. Start at the Take Five website ? www.rochester.edu/College/CCAS/TakeFive-Sch.html. Next, attend an information session or watch the special Take Five video. Then, go to Lattimore 312 to find all of the important materials, as well as essays written by successful applicants.

You may also want to call the College Center for Academic Support at 275-2354 or e-mail cascas@mail.rochester.edu. And, don’t forget to speak to people who have been accepted into Take Five ? they love to talk about it.

Caltvedt can be reached at ecaltvedt@campustimes.org.

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