Out with the Old, In with the…

January 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

Scripps College was ranked one of the most beautiful campuses in the world by Forbes.com...and I'm lucky enough to live here!

Well, I’m back in the lovely land of Scripps College, ready (well, almost) to start a new semester. I’ve already been to the bookstore to grab some supplies as well as my stack of books. The Huntley Bookstore has recently implemented the option of renting your books from them for prices that are comparable to half.com and Amazon. The nice part is that you pay online, they put your books in an organized heap, you sign, and they hand them over to you. Simply return them at the end of the semester, and all’s well. No selling it back online, no shipping it across the country to the next undergraduate who will have to read through your highlighting and underlining. I’m a big fan, and have been trying to convince my brother and friends that it’s a great, hassle-free system. Kudos to you, Huntley.

Looks interesting, doesn't it?

Honestly, this semester is looking to be a bit daunting. I’m taking my first (and hopefully my last) science class of my undergraduate career, and doing so with a bang: Foundations of Neuroscience. I’ve learned some of the mechanics of the human brain in two different courses in psychology, and I like learning about how drugs and mental illness alter its functioning. About a quarter of the class is dedicated to that subject, and the rest is about the minutia of how our brains work — the firing of neurons, and other scary things. It will be interesting, but also fairly terrifying. Good thing a very large percentage of my friends are science majors. One of my best friends is a neuroscience major, and so is my roommate. I’ll be hollering for their help whenever I need it!

I’ll be taking another rather daunting class this semester, titled Special Topics in Writing: Long Fiction. It’s taught by David Treuer, who is the Mary Routt Chair of Writing this semester. I love writing fiction, I do. At the moment, I have a Word document open that is 672 pages long and counting — it’s a story I’ve been writing for the past two years. There are several other stories saved on my computer, as well. I write for fun, for relaxation, for release, for pleasure, to rid myself of things I can’t otherwise shake, to escape, to pretend, to realize, and to be. I would love to write novels one day, but at the moment I’ve dedicated myself to earning a useful degree and nabbing a career. I’ve taken a few classes on writing, but never anything on long fiction. I’ve never signed up for a class for which the end goal is to polish off a good chunk of a novel or an entire novella, much less with a very distinguished author and other students judging every word on my page. It is just as terrifying, if not even more terrifying, than throwing myself at neuroscience. Putting your honest work out for heavy critique is always terrifying, but I’ll do it, as I have before. I might be sweating myself slippery and barely able to spit out my own written words, but I’ll do it. And, I’m sure, by the end of the class I’ll have grown so much more for doing it. That’s the point, right? Right?! 🙂

I’ll also be taking a class that addresses feminism (which takes care of Scripps’ gender and women studies requirement) in the media (which allows it to count toward my major). We have a whopping 10 or so books for the course, as well as a required film viewing every week, but I really think it will be interesting. I love media, use it every day, and I’m a woman — why wouldn’t I want to educate myself on the subject? I’m sure I’ll report more on here once the class starts.

There’s been a bit of a change in my schedule since my last post. After attending the first class, I decided that the Humanities Fellowship was simply too much of a commitment with my schedule this semester. It required variable commitments on any three days of the week for presentations and discussions, which does not work well with my schedule at all. I knew that going into the class, but when the professor said that, if possible, she suggested we miss our other classes to attend lectures, I knew I couldn’t do it. Between neuroscience, long fiction, and the media studies course I just felt like I couldn’t take that much attention away from classes that count toward my major as well as general requirements, for a fellowship that doesn’t count for my major at all! It was an honor to be chosen for consideration, and I was quite excited to apply and be accepted into the program, but I have to be realistic. After a few minutes of freaking out (what an embarrassment! I’ve never dropped a class before! How could I have been so stupid?!), I realized that I just needed to breathe, think it over, and look at my alternatives. Happily, a course that counts toward my major isn’t filled, and it’s taught by my major adviser. I’ve sent off an email to her asking if I can add the course, and I’ll head off to it tomorrow if all’s well. It’s titled Advanced Topics in Writing: Arts and Culture Review, and is basically a course about review writing — food and restaurant reviews, play, musical, concert reviews, and the like. I’ve heard it’s a fantastic course, and was looking forward to taking it in the future. Looks like I’ll be taking it sooner than anticipated, and that’s all right with me! Change is good.

On top of all of that, I’ll be working on the Scripps Journal as the co-editor-in-chief, working on the editorial board for the Passwords literary magazine, riding with the equestrian team, and writing as a guest blogger for Scripps’ Career Planning and Resources office. Full speed ahead!

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