My CENTRE Life spotlight: Josh from Kentucky
March 3, 2011 By Abby Malik
in Mexico last fall.
Blair with The Flame, the oldest of Centre’s
For the past four years, Josh Blair ’11, one of this year’s My CENTRE Life bloggers, has been using the “five-finger rule” to organize his college life.
“Essentially, at any one time, you shouldn’t have more than five things going on at once,” he says of the rule someone explained to him before he started college.
For Blair, his five activities are academics, Bonner Program, Student Government Association, Centre Action Reaches Everyone (C.A.R.E., Centre’s umbrella service organization), and Senior Year (MCL counts as Senior Year).
“Academics are super important, so they’re obviously number one,” Blair explains.
As a Bonner Scholar, Blair is one of 60 Centre students and thousands of students nationwide dedicated to alleviating poverty and improving education through active community service and civic engagement.
“Bonner allows me to dive into service head first, creating opportunities for growth as a service-minded individual,” he says. “SGA gives me the chance to take part in the campus I dearly love, helping make decisions that affect the student body.”
C.A.R.E. is a way for Blair to share his love of service with everyone on campus, creating opportunities for the entire Centre community to serve. Senior Year is not an official organization, Blair explains, but he created this fifth group to prevent himself from over-committing his time.
“I find it important to really cherish my senior year,” Blair says. “The ‘five-finger rule’ may not be best for everyone, but if someone is having trouble being over involved, I’d suggest trying this method.”
The central role that service plays in Blair’s life is one reason he chose to major in anthropology/sociology.
“I caught myself writing papers about volunteerism or implementing what I learned into my service, and most of those classes were anthropology and sociology,” he says. “The major lined up with my interests and has really developed my knowledge of culture and people. I haven’t found one course that hasn’t engaged my interests outside of the classroom or allowed me to use my desire to serve inside the classroom.”
Centre really wants to make sure its students choose the right path, which is why students don’t declare a major until the end of sophomore year, Blair explains. Right now, Blair is in a few anthropology/sociology classes that are allowing him to go into the local community and explore different ways of communicating and effectively helping create sustainable change.
Blair explored a different local culture during the fall 2010 term: he spent this time studying abroad in Mexico with the College’s Centre-in-Merida program. (Click here to explore Blair’s blog entries from his time in Mexico.)
“I feel that our culture tends to be quite Eurocentric in general, and I came to a crossroads when choosing where to go for the semester,” Blair says. “I ended up choosing Mexico because I heard so many wonderful things from other students about the ruins, culture, language, home stays and many other facets.”
Why did Blair choose Centre?
“The Centre Commitment really sold the school to me,” he says. “I would be able to study abroad, get an internship and graduate in four years or the fifth year is free (I studied abroad, I got an internship and I'm set to graduate in May). How can you pass up a deal like that?”
To read Blair's MCL entries, click here.