Monday, January 21, 2013

My Classes This Quarter

Today is sort of my last hurrah -- my educational Mardi Gras except that it's Monday today --or my final indulgence before I force myself to embark on what will probably be roughly twelve days  of very intense reading, writing, and whatever else (except sleeping with professors; I don't do that) is needed so that all I must do for the remainder of the quarter is to take up a seat  in class and to take tests.  Thus I've been bloviating all over the Internet in a major way today, showing up in all my usual haunts and generally being fairly obnoxious. It's been great. I wish every day could be more like today.

Tomorrow I begin The Big Push.  I will write papers, compose counterpoints for my final semester of music theory, make a few charts, outline oral  presentations, read and in some cass memorize texts and other assigned materials, and live the life of a crazy person.  It's just for twelve days, or even less if I can manage to work faster than I usually do.

The classes I'm taking this quarter are (My mom told me leave the numbers out to avoid identifying my university campus, as I share a little more freely than I should in a blog that isn't anonymous. Now that I'm eighteen and can freely choose whether or not to follow my parents' advice, I usually follow it.) Anthropology ***: Hunters and Gatherers, Philosophy ***: Theory of Knowledge: Music **: Music  Theory IV,  Exercise Science **:Beginning Gymnastics, Exercise **:Beginning Tumbling, English **: American Regional Literature, Probability and Statistics ***: Risk Theory. These courses combine for a total of twenty-two quarter units, which is a slightly lighter course load than I've taken most quarters. Neither are these the toughest classes I've ever faced, though Risk Theory is one of the more complex classes of my educational career, and all of them except for the P.E. classes (since when did "physical education"  become "exercise science"? Exactly whom do the guys with long white beards think they're fooling with that particular euphemism?) carry with them at least an average amount of mindless paperwork.

The textbooks and related literature for my Anthropology course, Hunters and Gatherers, alone cost over three hundred dollars. Paying for them is the least of my concerns. I'd gladly pay twice that amount if I didn't have to read them. Actually that's not entirely true. I do find the material rather fascinating. The approach is global, and the reading materials range from a history on Australian aborigines to records of various South American civilizations to some Marx writings, and this is only a partial list.

I just finished my first essay, the infamous "What is the Essence of Stupidity?" paper for my philosophy course.  I suspect the professor's intent with such a lengthy assignment so early in the chronology of a course was to expose us, the students, to just how very stupid we are. If so, he needn't have bothered. I'm already very well-acquainted with my own ignorance.

I'm not totally sure why I'm taking Risk Theory. I had a perfect score on my Advanced Placement Probability and Statistics Exam, and I took Advanced Probability and Statistics last year. Most of the people in the class with me plan to transfer to out-of-state universities where actuary majors exist. The class fits perfectly into an actuary program. I can only assume the counselor who set up my program must have thought it would be an asset to someone seeking admission to law or medical school. it might actually be useful to an attorney, although I don't think it's typically offered in law school. In terms of medicine, it merely pads one's application for admission. It's an interesting if challenging course.

American Regional Literature is a bit of a snoozer course.  If a given work of literature didn't make into into the syllabus of a general American literature course, chances are good that it's probably not worth studying in any great depth. Just because it hails from a given region (read: The South) does not make the study of it inherently any more worthwhile. I'll survive, but not without protest.

The Music Theory IV class isn't challenging. The professors of the respective theory courses need to coordinate their efforts more carefully. Theory III probably finished at a more advanced level than this particular section of Theory IV will conclude. .I'm taking it only because I must complete a minimum number of units on campus in order to be awarded a B. A. in music.  I'm only completing the bachelor's degree in music to increase my chances of  acceptance into medical school.   It's a circuitous route  aimed toward a very specific goal. If it doesn't work, I'll be a little disgusted at all the time I've wasted, but my mother says it will make me a very well-rounded professional in whatever field I eventually find myself. Both my parents have bachelor's degrees in music in addition to their other undergraduate degrees.

The gymnastics and tumbling professor has noticed that I have skills. I wondered if he would notice.  At least there's not an intercollegiate gymnastics team, so no one is nagging me to join it.  The professor said he was surprised at my skill level because I don't look like a gymnast.  Female gymnasts have a typically compact, comparatively muscular build. I'm on the tall end of the right height (5'2")  but skinny and long-limbed and with a bird-like neck. Gymnasts (except for Gabby Douglas and me, not that I'm otherwise in any way placing myself in her league) have thick necks.  The instructor asked about my background, so I gave him my history, starting with the Mommy and Me classes my brother and I took as one-year-olds, and ending abruptly with my back walkover and cartwheel on the roof of our house.  He told me to just show up for class and not to do anything dangerous. It's just a credit / no credit class, anyway.

Starting tomorrow I won't be around a great deal, although I may check in from time to time just for the sake of my sanity and because I'm addicted to the Internet.

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