Jan. 30th, 2011

Changes

Jan. 30th, 2011 11:27 am
pierianspring: A photo of myself. (Default)
So I'm about to begin the second (technically 3rd I suppose) week of classes. I dropped out of 20th century in American Film, and the Philosophy in Literature and Film class. Basically, in both classes a HUGE percentage of the grade was going to be based on participation/presentations, and I do not feel so interested in film that I could talk that much about it in either context (history or philosophy). So I dropped them and instead added Contemporary Latin America (senior research course that picks up where Colonial L.A. left off) and History of Science. I do have to do a presentation of a paper I write for History of Science, but I feel much better and more qualified to speak about scientific advancements than movies. Which brings me to another point...from the short time I spent in the film classes, what I noticed is that it is MUCH more socially acceptable to be a movie geek than it is to be a science/history/academically minded geek.
There were many people in the film courses that had strong opinions, tons of technical knowledge, and knew many names within the film world. In fact this is what intimidated me about those classes even more than the presentations and participation; I felt like I would never be able to get a word in for participation credit because literally EVERYONE was talking to the point of boisterousness about movies! And I don't really care that much about them! I just thought the classes would be "easy." lol.

Ok, so then I switch to History of Science. I go in, and immediately I'm fired up about this class! It took me a long time to pick a topic for my paper/presentation, because there are so MANY things I'd like to do it about (I chose to write about near death experiences and if this is evidence of humans possessing a soul). I'm very happy in the class, and my only complaint is that this professor mainly focuses on the life sciences while I prefer physics/astronomy. Also, he *might* be a supporter of intelligent design "theory"...but I'm still unsure about that. He presented the watchmaker argument in class...without stating the opposing argument. Not sure if he is saving that for later in the course or what, because we are going somewhat linearly. He is from Europe (Dutch, educated in England/U.S.), SO this may be bias on my part, but I believe he is probably not a creationist due to that. In addition, he went to Princeton and was a student of Thomas Kuhn (!!!! I had a braingasm when he mentioned this).  So he HAS to be really smart! I must maintain confidence in this guy. XD

On the other hand, he mentioned he argued with Richard Dawkins before about conflicts between religion and science.

See? So much going on here. XD Either way, I feel like the class will be interesting and I'm looking forward to it.

Anyway, after the first session of His Sci, I get in the elevator with a girl who is in the class with me, and she says "I don't like that class." and she was probing me for MY opinion of the class (which obviously is that it is fucking awesome) but instead of telling her how I really felt I just shrugged and said I "didn't know about it" or didn't have an opinion really. It's not a good thing to be excited about a science related course.
This same girl decided to tackle the topic of Intelligent Design in her paper (we chose these topics from a list he handed out), and immediately asked if she could quote the Bible in her paper. I'm trying to withhold judgment for now because I also quote the Bible in discussing I.D.,  just to show how silly it is. Even if she does argue in favor of I.D., I'll balance it out by attempting to argue that no one has a soul. lol.

Moving on, Contemporary Latin America seems like it will be more focused than Colonial LA was. In Colonial, we wrote 4 short papers over 4 books, in addition to weekly written homework over the textbook chapters or handouts. In this class, we only have 2 books, an online textbook for "background info", and ONE paper. But it is a huge research project. In fact, we have to submit weekly "reflections", which are mini-papers ABOUT what we are doing for the main paper. It will be bigger than my research proposal for Psych. But I'm looking forward to doing this, because of my aspirations for graduate school. It is a mini-thesis, I suppose. I can also use an excerpt from it as my writing sample for applications. So, in short, I kinda need it.
And my topic is going to be something about the Pan-American highway/I-35, which goes from Alaska all the way down to the tip of Argentina or Chile, if I'm not mistaken. Have to narrow it down to something very specific, and do a proposal by February 9th. Eek!


All of that, and I haven't even mentioned that I have 3 other classes, including Stats and Learning! *sigh*

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Amanda

January 2011

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