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Welcome to Science Requirement II: Electric Boogaloo. I realize it’s a little late as this is the fourth of registration and all the good ones are gone, but hopefully this will be a good guide for future science requirement classes. This, as I mentioned before, is part two of my guide to “easy” science classes. To see what I mean by easy, general rules for picking courses, and science classes from A to E, read part one.
Let’s get to the good stuff.
It’s a hard knock life for humanities majors, or so I’ve heard. A lot of these science classes say, “No prerequisites. Only high school algebra required,” and then you show up for the first class and the professor turns to you and asks, “Do you know anything about general relativity? No? Well, sucks to suck. Enjoy this semester!”
It’s hard to know what to expect for science classes, especially ones built for non-science majors. Professors are in a tough place; they want to make the material accessible to students, but they also want to teach you something new and stay true to the subject without simplifying to a point of falsifying. Some professors do it well and others… expect you to know the Theory of General Relativity on your first day.
I took a look at the approved list of science classes that fulfill the requirements, and even though I’m an astrophysics major, I cringed a little.
Don’t panic! The CC Guide to Science Requirements is here! So grab your trusty laptop (or towel if you have one handy) and let’s explore the universe of science classes!
Let’s be honest here. We’re the awkward SEAS engineers and science majors cluttering up your major classes. We’re the people when asked, “Why did you take this class on the economic development of Japan post-WWII?” answered, “Um… I like Japanese culture… yeah… and um… IneededaGlobalCore formyCorerequirements. Pleasedon’thateme!” We’re the people who, despite having the opportunity to take all of these wonderful and enriching classes, choose to take an “easier” class because otherwise we might drown under all of our other, more problem-set-heavy, less 1000-pages-to-read-a-day classes.
So you need a Global Core and now you’re staring at the list and thinking, “Oh my god. Why am I here again?”
This will be not exactly a guide, but a list of more non-humanities friendly Global Cores to take.
The truth is, picking classes can be really stressful. CULPA gives you so many choices: Do you sign up for the section being taught by the professor everyone calls “legendary” or do you take the class offered by the professor who gives A+s and doesn’t care if you did the reading? Does your schedule force you to take the class that’s taught by “the incompetent imbecile”? Maybe you’re the kind of person who willfully avoids CULPA. If you’d like a more personal (and optimistic!) take on picking classes, read on.
Let’s face it, you’re never going to have it all (Dspar agrees! Kind of). However, I’ve always found that every semester, one class stands out as the highlight of my week.
This week, I asked fellow students via Facebook and a Google Doc to briefly answer what their favorite class was last semester and why. Hopefully reading what they say will inspire you to choose a class that could end up the highlight of your week. Here are some of their answers:
“Intro to Linguistics. I always thought linguistics would be boring, but not with McWhorter. Every class was an absolute pleasure to sit in on. Between laughing at his awkward jokes, I learned a ton about language and how to communicate and how it all works and why it matters.”
“The Social World. It was a great survey course that got me interested in Sociology and familiar with the methodology of the social sciences.”
“The History of Modern China I with Professor Zelin. I knew almost nothing about Chinese history [before] but after taking this course I have a much better understanding of China and it’s relationship to the history of the rest of the world.”
There are the classes you have to take, the classes you should take, and the classes you want to take. Somehow you’re expected to mediate all these different levels of concerns and come up with an appropriate number of credits…
I’ve noticed when it comes to picking classes, I, at least, tend to either dwell on the negative too much (hello Culpa reviews) or stress out about getting the most out of my college experience in a “bucket list” class with a professor who won a Nobel Prize or something.
However, thinking critically about my past semesters here, I also have to realize that there was always one class that sneaks up on me and becomes the highlight of my academic week. If I think about picking my classes so I have one course that I enjoy consistently from day to day, suddenly a lot of the stress about making my schedule dies down.
So which class was the highlight of your week in the fall? Why did you like it and why do you recommend it? Share your experiences with the rest of the Columbia community via this Google form by Sat., April 14, at 10 p.m. We will share your experiences on Sunday!
Registration reopens starting Monday, Jan. 9, and you have another chance to tweak that schedule of yours. It’s senior spring for the class of 2012, which means that members of the current senior class have been here for seven semesters. We caught up with a few of them to get their recommendations for classes that meant the most during their time here. The selections are from a wide range of departments and most require no prerequisites. Check after the jump for the list of suggestions with times for the spring. More »
Registration opens up again on Monday, and with it comes hours of planning and prepping—probably why you’re still signed up for 27 credits but can’t figure out which classes to drop. To help you sift through the tangle of information to find that perfect class, we’ve examined the pros and cons of the three places you can go. Still haven’t even decided what to take? Check out our previous coverage on spring 2012 registration. More »
Registration for spring 2012: it’s happening. Right now, in fact. And choosing which courses you’ll take can be a tricky game—especially when it’s for one of those generic “basic requirements” classes that have 30 million sections (all of which seem to fill up three minutes after registration opens). The extremely sophisticated selection method is to go to SSOL and click “add” on the first open section. The results? Predictably mixed. So, here are the best sections for some of the most commonly offered courses this spring. Decisions were made based on CULPA reviews of the professors. When CULPA reviews weren’t available, I googled professor names. When that turned up a blank, I made stuff up went with the most convenient class times. Art Hum and Music Hum don’t have instructors listed; when/if they ever do, I’ll work on that. For now we’ve got foreign languages and calculus. Here we go. More »
Oh yes lades and gents, it’s that time again. With registration coming in fast and furious this week, if you haven’t worked out your spring semester schedule with iCal just yet, you better get started! Just before the fall semester, we showed you all the Global Core classes offered in the fall, and lo and behold we’re doing it again. However, before you go back into the archives to look at that post, we’re here to let you know that the list of approved courses has been updated as of 11.10.11. But if looking at that list doesn’t tickle your fancy, you can click past the jump to see all the Global Core classes that will be offered in spring 2012. More »
Being a college student in the city has its incredible pros, but there are also some pocket-emptying cons. There’s the cost of tuition, a meal plan, books, and excursions around New York, which are all expected, but when one of your classes costs two or three times more than your others combined, you’ve got yourself a problem. With the shopping period nearing its end, read on to see what classes will clear out your already empty pockets as a college student. More »