Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Spring 2011

It is the second week of the new semester, and I have been to each of my classes a few times now. After a little finagling, I have figured out a schedule that works for me that keeps me on track to graduate a year from now. Here's a quick low-down on my classes this semester. It's always fun to look back during finals to see just how wrong my first impressions of my classes were.

English 3000: Analysis and Interpretation
This class is one that all English majors have to take. Think of it as Freshman Comp., but for people who actually choose to study English. Each 3000 teacher can customize the course to the subject matter they want to teach, and my teacher wants to awaken and stretch our critical faculties as English majors. (I took that straight off the syllabus, not going to lie.) To keep it short and sweet, he wants us to learn how to think. We started off the class with a few essays by T.S. Eliot, and will continue to study poetry and novels as the semester goes on. My teacher seems alright. He is a little offbeat and slightly absentminded, but he's interesting and really enthusiastic about what he is teaching, so it looks optimistic.

English 4400: American Fiction
I took this class because a friend of mine recommended it, and up until now, I have pretty much only taken British Lit. courses, so I thought this would make me more well-rounded. We started right off by reading The Scarlet Letter, which I wasn't very excited about since I read it in high school and didn't care for it. I liked it a little more this time around, but it is definitely not one of my favorites. Now that the class has met a few times, I've discovered that my teach really likes to ramble. In the last two class periods (four hours total), we have probably spent about 40 minutes actually talking about the text. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but if I'm going to spend so much time reading these books, I want to at least talk about them a fair amount. My teacher is probably in his 70s, has shoulder length, slicked-back gray hair, and wears too-small sweatpants, t-shirts, and a big, bulky ring on at least seven of his ten fingers. He's a character, to say the least, but he's passionate about what he's teaching us and wants to hear our ideas, so I really have nothing to complain about.

Chemistry 1360: Context of Chemistry
Let's just say I'm less than thrilled to be taking this class. I mean, I'm an ENGLISH major. What do I need three lab sciences for? I decided to take this class because I heard good things about it from several people. We have our first test next week, so I won't really know until then how it will be, but it seems okay so far. My teacher is an older French-American man from New Orleans, and he has a ton of stories to tell. Don't even think about getting him on the topic of Mardi Gras! I can't really say much about his portion of the class since it's a typical large lecture, but I am happy to report that the class should be simple enough...hopefully.
There is lab for this class, too. Mine is from 5 to 6:50pm on Mondays. I can't really tell how it is yet because we've only had one and it lasted a grand total of five minutes. In those five minutes, my lab TA made it a point to show us every safety feature in the lab. It was a required safety measure, I'm sure, but is it really necessary for there to be three separate eyewash stations AND a shower all in one lab?

Spanish 3070: Advanced Composition and Oral Practice
I was super nervous about this class since Spanish isn't my strongest subject and my Spanish class last semester was pretty tough. I am happy to report that the people in my class now seem to be more on the same level I am, which is giving me the confidence boost I need to participate and raise my hand more. This class is all about controversial topics, and my teacher actually expects us to have debates. This part freaks me out a little bit. She wants us to intelligently talk about abortion, immigration, politics, and the like in Spanish! I'm not really sure what I feel about a lot of these things in English! That will definitely be interesting. I do know that this class will be a lot of work. Homework from the book is assigned every night, and she may or may not pick it up in class (don't you hate that?). There are also a few tests, essays/papers, and weekly debates.

English 4920: Internship in English
Yes, that's right. I am getting credit for my internship! I needed an elective credit, so I applied to get credit for my internship, and I got it! Apparently, this is kind of a big deal because it's hard to get an internship to be eligible for English credit. Apparently mine is writing intensive enough to count. All I have to do now is turn in a goal sheet, have my bosses evaluate me once during the semester, and turn in a three to five page paper at the end of the semester about what I learned from my position. That's it for three credit hours, and I just keep going to work like I usually would. I can totally do that.

That's the beginning of the second semester of my junior year in a nutshell. I can't believe this time next year, I'll be a college graduate.

More to come,
Sara

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