Introductions and Interactions

UW-MADISON Global Gateway in Washington DC
Introductions and Interactions Blog post
Alexis Machoka

After over a year of having all my classes online, with little face to face interaction with professors and my peers, the first week of the Global Gateway in DC program has been  the learning environment that I desperately needed. As a student who struggled with  online classes, it has been refreshing to be in a classroom with a professor and a small  number of students. Before the Global Gateway Program, I had previously taken one of  Professor Cannons courses, Political Science 104, my first semester at Madison. That course, although amazing, was much different than what I have been able to experience here in D.C. In Madison, I was in a 200+ person lecture hall in Bascom with no air conditioning, the room was so big that professor Cannon presented his slides on a screen the same size as one you may see at the movies, and he needed a microphone in order for the people in the back of the room to hear him. Here in D.C., I sit in a nicely air-conditioned room around a table with 12 other students and Professor Cannon at the head of the table. The classroom setting couldn’t be more engaging. This small class size has proven to be a successful and enjoyable learning environment that has provided me with an opportunity not only to get to know a professor better but to also get to know students with similar interests to mine. But that isn’t the only amazing thing about this classroom set up. Our classroom is in a building that is sandwiched between the US Capitol and the Supreme Court. Never did I ever picture myself having the opportunity to take such an important class between such important buildings. Walking past the Supreme Court every morning gives me a sense of purpose and fills me with certain essence of excitement that I think can only come from an amazing once in a lifetime opportunity such as this. After such a difficult year, being in this class and in this environment has been just what I needed. This class has been a reminder to me that school is fun and can be engaging, which I had forgotten after a year and half of online classes. I am truly thankful for the Global Gateway Program and the opportunity to work  so closely with an amazing professor and such bright UW-Madison students. The Global Gateway Program is truly one of the most exciting experiences I have had at  UW-Madison.