Friday, January 14, 2011

My Semester So Far...

Well, I’m about a week and a half into the Winter Semester, so it seemed like a good time to shoot out a quick blog post. I want to keep ya’ll updated now, don’t I?

Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

English 224: American Lit (MWF 9:20-10:27)

So far, I freakin’ love this class. The readings are interesting, my classmates seem intelligent and my prof is wonderful. He manages to strike a great balance between informative and funny that so many teachers miss. I feel like I’m already learning a lot, but having a good time doing so. There are a lot of assignments (I’ve got an entire google calendar dedicated to them) but nothing seems unfair or unreasonable. The only gripe I have is with the textbook situation, more specifically the stupid bookstore. The text is a custom anthology of American Literature, and isn’t available anywhere but the campus bookstore (again, because it’s custom for this class). The prof informed us that the bookstore ordered plenty of copies, and that they would be priced at about $50, which is a lot, but not unreasonable for a textbook. This was incorrect. The bookstore only ordered about ¾ of the books that we needed, and priced them at $75. Yay. Other than that one tiny little thing, the class is phenomenal, and I look forward to it. Which is good, considering it’s my first class of the day.

PHY 101: Intro to Physics w/o Calc (MWF 12:00-1:07)

So far, physics hasn’t been nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. I don’t do well with math, and I’m not great with science (I know, why am I a bio major again?). So I really wasn’t looking forward to having to take physics. My boyfriend (who is an engineering student and a math and science freak) suggested that I watch some of the physics lectures given over at MIT, which are available online thanks to Open Course Ware (which I will blog about later, I promise). It seemed like a bad idea, if I couldn’t manage calc over at the community college, how would I be able to manage physics at freakin’ MIT? But it worked! The math mostly went over my head, but I understood the concepts, and that’s really been helping me out! To the point where I’m bored in my physics class because I know this stuff already. I’m sitting there on the third day of class saying to myself “Velocity, acceleration, really? This stuff is so easy!” And that my friends, has never happened to me before. I’m actually looking forward to the rest of the semester of physics.

BIO 323: Developmental Biology (MW 3:30-5:17)

What can I say about bio? So far, I’m loving it. I’ve got my awesome binder, my awesome notebook and I even got a really cheap copy of the textbook on Amazon. I’m pretty happy with that. The class is going to be difficult, I’m not kidding myself about that. I learned my lesson from genetics last semester. But at least the material is interesting. From what I can tell, the class is going to be all about the mechanisms governing the development of critters. Be they frogs or chickens or sea urchins or human beings. Which is stuff that I LOVE! One of my favorite books of all time (It’s seriously in my top three) is Mutants by Armand Marie Leroi and it’s really all about the genetics of development. It’s main focus is figuring out how we can learn about the different mechanisms of human development by looking at systems in which that development has gone awry. For example, we can learn about how the long bones of our arms and legs develop by looking at people who have no long bones in their limbs (a condition called phocomelia). See? I told you I loved this stuff. I’ll be honest though, one of the things I’m looking forward to most about this class is the opportunity to read one of my favorite books yet again. But I’m sure the class itself will rock too.

Okay, I guess that’s it for now. I’ll be back later, remind me to tell you all about MIT and Open Course Ware and the wonderful Walter Lewin, okay?

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