As you can read
below, the University of Akron is very important to our family. Michael's
parents are retired from the faculty, Michael taught there in 2011, and
our son Andrew is now studying there!
With the Student
Union (left) and historic Buchtel Hall in the background, Andrew and other
freshmen baked in the August 2011 sunshine for this "welcome" convocation.
This is the
Honors Dorm where Andrew lives. It is one of the newest residence halls on
campus, reserved for students with particularly good grades. (Right)
Michael's mom and dad give Andrew some "final advice" before we say
goodbye; we lived with his grandparents in 2010-11, but moved back to
China soon after taking this picture.
In February 2011,
I (Michael) started
teaching in the English Language Institute at the University of Akron in
Ohio. This is an intensive English program, designed to help international
students learn English quickly so they can attend regular university
classes in the USA.
building in the center is the original classroom building, dating back to
about 1870. Many of the other buildings were constructed in the 1960s, but
there are new buildings too, like the Student Union toward the left of
this photo. The university is most famous for it's polymer science and
engineering programs. The 2011 "spring" term started in one of the coldest
winters in Ohio's history, so for many months we saw everything covered
with snow. I grew up in Ohio, but I certainly don't
remember being surrounded with this much snow for such a long time!
I teach "Intermediate Writing" to 35 students. This is
"most" of my 2:15 class. This class also has six Saudi Arabian women, but
one said her husband did not allow her to be photographed, so the others
"sat out" with her. Most of the students in Akron University's ELI are
from Saudi Arabia, but this class also has one student from Taiwan and one
Here is my 3:20 p.m. class. Classes meet for under an hour,
every day. The students have about 20 hours of class per week, with four
teachers. This class has seven Muslim women, three of whom agreed to join
the photo. My one non-Saudi student in this class is from Korea.
My office is on
the third floor of Orr Hall. My classes are in three other buildings,
depending on which day of the week it is. Both of my parents taught at
Akron U, but the campus has changed a lot from how I remember it as a
teen. My mother's building (Early Childhood Education) doesn't even exist
This is the
university's Business Administration training center, where my father (Dr.
Krigline!) was a professor for over 20 years, serving many of those years
as the Department Head. There is something wonderful about being on staff
where my parents once taught!
When I was
growing up, the University of Akron was a "commuter school." That means
that none of the students lived on campus, and instead drove (or
"commuted") to class. Today, many students live on campus, and thus there
are various activities to enjoy on campus, such as the annual ice
sculpting competition. Aren't these ice sculptures wonderful? The last
photo is of a kangaroo, which is the school's mascot (i.e., the "animal"
that symbolizes the school, especially regarding the sports program).
these two photos during an exploratory visit in the fall of 2010, when
Andrew was still trying to figure out where to attend college.
When everything has
been covered in snow for so long, it is hard to remember the campus being this
green, but seasons DO change and we need ALL of them!
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