Past Summer Momentum students wrote these letters to future students to give them a better idea of what to expect during Summer Momentum


Dear Incoming SUMO Student,

I do not want to overrate the class, giving you expectations that it might not fill; but, this is the best class I’ve ever taken in my life. Brian is a terrific teacher and he is going to be teaching you very real and applicable concepts in a fun and engaging way. Not only will the lessons teach you a lot about yourself as a person and part of society, but you will also walk away with some great learning skills. I have never been a good student, a pretty horrible one actually, but Brian teaches you how easy it is to understand and retain knowledge through repetition. You’ll be having extracurricular fun to. Not everything is class work. There will be a lot of group activities and games or you will watch movies together. That may sound like a summer camp but it really isn’t that bad at all and it’s a great relief from class work, because this class does require some relief. You’ll be discussing some very real topics that make you question your own authenticity and the way you deceive others and yourself when you reduce yourself to an image or determined way of living. These discussions will be overwhelming at times and make you feel uneasy. You are going to question your relationships and friendships. If you have an image or obsession with material possession and commodity, and I say “if” knowing most of us humans do, you are going to realize how phony and unfulfilling that is. And you will lose sleep over it. But don’t let that scare you because it will only make you a more excellent and authentic person. And maybe the next time you’re about to tell a lie, big or small, you’ll choose to be truthful instead. Or the next time you are going to wrong someone because of your selfish desires you won’t follow through. And these are the biggest gifts this class has to give. So get excited, and be vigilant, because this is going to be a life changing experience if you let it be.

Dear Incoming SUMO Student,

This course is probably a little different then other classes you have taken at Keene State College, at least it was for me. Its a combination of philosophy, self-exploration, self-improvement, and some terms and definitions all thrown into one. This course, along with its academic aspects, help build community, so if you are not ready to hangout with/talk to the other students in your class then you need to be. Chances are, you are in this course because you didn't do so hot last year, but though various exercises and learning activities you can begin to improve the way you go about being a student, that is, if you allow your self to make the changes you need to. That was one part I found difficult in this course, allowing yourself to open up to your imperfections and realize that the stuff your learning in class is actually going to help you for the rest of your life.

Dear Incoming SUMO Student,

You are getting into a class that will change the way you think. Not in the conventional way a classroom would like to, but in a practical way that introduces concepts you will be begin to recognize right after class. The work itself is not very difficult. If you do homework as it is assigned, you will not find yourself with an unmanageable or even uncomfortable workload. The class will also provide you with new ways of studying that can be used in any classroom or field of interest.

More importantly than the academic refinements are the concepts that are studied in the course. They may change your life. They may not, but what the class will do is present in plain English, thousands of years of human understanding, boiled down to an easy to comprehend package. Some students take many classes over the course of college just to learn what you are about to learn in six weeks. Most importantly to me, I was challenged to think of myself in the context of those around me. Do I truly have as many good friends as I think I do? Am I as true a friend as I tell myself? This course let me ask these questions of myself and provided me with the basics of how to go about answering them.

This will not be a typical summer semester. Movie nights and group dinners are not invitations; they are part of the program. Summer Momentum will require of you to live in a community different from what college has yet to offer. Some events may capture your interest right away, others may seem cheesy at first. They are set up in a way to help you get to know those around you and in so doing will help you learn about your interactions with others. Just show up and laugh, that’s a big part of getting the most out of life.

Dear Incoming SUMO Student,

When I signed up for the Summer Momentum program it was a way for me to get more credits in under my belt as a transfer student. At the time, I didn’t think much of what was to come, other than the fact that I was behind in credits and really needed these courses. The program turned out to be so much more than that. Yes, it’s just like any other college courses where you do to class lectures and have homework to do, but there are other aspects of it too.

My favorite part about the IHCOMM 199 course that I took was the film reviews we did outside classroom time. This isn’t to say that classroom time was boring because it was definitely far from it. The film reviews were just another way to help me better understand the things that we were discussing in class and reading about for homework. We watched some great films, and we would then discuss them and relate them to the various topics we had talked about in class that week. Doing this gave me the ability to full understand all of the concepts we covered throughout the course of the class.

One piece of advice that I will leave you with is: do all of the work assigned to you and to participate in class. These two simple things will make the class that much easier and that much more fun for you. I really didn’t think I would like the course going into it, but I came out absolutely loving it. Reading everything we were assigned and doing all of the written work made the class more enjoyable because I actually knew what was going on. The class is one of my favorite college courses I have taken, and I never would have taken it if it weren’t for the Summer Momentum program.

Good luck to you in the Summer Momentum program!

Dear Incoming SUMO Student,

Get ready for a fun summer with Brian! I know I came into this program not knowing what to expect, didn’t think that it was going to be anything like it was. Coming out of this program I am glad I went, I learned a lot. If you are someone who doesn’t know where stuff is around campus this program will help, you will learn where to get the help you need. I really encourage you to go because not only will you learn a lot in class, but Brian makes class fun and has fun things planed for you!

Brian has movie nights planned that go along with what you will be talking about in class. These I found very helpful. After he talks about them in class I understood it but once I watched the movie it made even more sense. Not only did I understand more what Brian was talking about, I could relate to the class and I could relate the material to my own life. The game night or movie nights that aren’t involved with class are fun and I encourage you to go to them. It gets you a chance to meet everyone in you class

Dear Incoming SUMO Student,

If you are going to be taking the momentum course, you are going to have a fun and stress free time. Many college courses I have taken have been difficult and stressful, but the SUMO course is perfect. There will still be a good amount of work in the course, but it is easily learned with repetition. In it you will learn about four different philosophers and their philosophies of friendships, morals, virtues, and more. You go about the class reading different works by different philosophers and answering questions about what you’ve just read. After the readings, the class goes over all the answers and definitions on the sheet of paper and the teacher discusses the answers more in depth to get a better understanding of what the question is really asking you. After class you are told to type up the different critical reading assignments and print them off to effectively memorize the work. This process was very effective and helped with memorization, making the quizzes easy. There is also a bit of out of class work that you need to participate in. There are volunteering sessions, film nights, game nights and more. The entire out-of-class-work is very fun. It helps to get to know everyone in the class and lets everyone else know who you are. If you plan on joining the summer momentum program, make sure you do your work as soon as he assigns it and read any book he gives you ahead of time. It’ll make things even easier.

Dear Incoming SUMO Student,

The best piece of advice I could give someone taking this course is not to procrastinate. Even though there are no real due dates to a majority of the work until the last week. If you attempt to finish it all in that week as I ended up doing for some of my work you end up swamped with work and it becomes tedious writing 3 journals all at once, or rewriting 4 of the critical reading assignments a few hours before they need to be done. The work in the course is easy and can be completed in about 10 minutes each and is actually fairly interesting when you think about and take the work seriously. The concepts you learn about are interesting and can be related to your life especially when you’re going over existentialism. The work can also be used to enhance your ability to study and do work for other classes by building good habits for classes. Such as retyping and going over material multiple times in order to memorize and learn it better. Plus to go along with every section of ideas you’re going to watch a good movie for it such as V for Vendetta, which I can say you’re not going to watch in most other classes.