When first and second years have a bit of free time (it actually happens once in a blue moon), we get together with the professor(s) in our colleague group and connect with each other. I’m a colleague-group facilitator for Dr. Faheemah Saeed, our first year optics professor, and her husband, Zeki Nur, ICO’s director of benefits who also moonlights as a finance professor here. Facilitators organize events for colleague groups so that teachers and students can get together and have fun. I think it’s a great way to get to know our faculty in a fun, more relaxed setting. There’s a lot less tension when grades aren’t involved.
After our first meeting during orientation, Dr. Saeed and Zeki were so kind to invite us to their beautiful home near Navy Pier for brunch. Dr. Saeed is not only good at optics, we learned she’s an amazing cook as well.
Following such a generous (and delicious!) welcome, the students wanted to treat Dr. Saeed and Zeki to sushi. Sadly, the weather was not very cooperative, and since our group is mainly Canadian, we didn’t have enough cars to drive everyone downtown. That didn’t stop us from meeting up, though. We ordered Connie’s Pizza and had a blast in ICO’s Business Office.
Colleague group meetings provide students with an intimate setting where we can feel more comfortable to express our concerns and questions to faculty. Here, we can gain a mutual understanding of the professor and student perspective on hot topics of ICO. If anyone ever wanted to get to know their professors outside the classroom, the colleague group is the perfect way to do it.
Hopefully travel will become easier when the weather gets warmer, and we can meet outside ICO and treat our professors like we planned. Where ever we go, I’m sure it’ll be a lot of fun, as it’s always been. My group and I feel blessed to be able to hang out with two amazing faculty members who make time for us in their busy schedule and genuinely take an interest in our lives. I have no idea if they actually read the blogs, but if they do, if they haven’t figured it out already, we’re thankful.