The first week of school is over and done with and so far so good. My first class was my history methods course. The discussion of the article I talked about earlier in the week went well. I’m always fascinated about what in the reading struck certain people and how that compares to my reactions, I always worry that somehow I am viewing something “wrong”. Also, being in a room with a bunch of other students learning how to think like a historian puts all in the same boat. It is true that some people in class already know more than others, some are more passionate, but we all have the same road to travel.
I also have the second half of my physics course this semester and I am feeling good so far. The second half will be a little harder, but I know if I put in the time I am capable of understanding and pulling off decent grades. Before the end of the fall semester I was talking with my physics professor about my grade and the very obvious correlation between studying and doing well on tests was made even clearer. When I studied alone I did the best, when I studied with a friend I did ok, when I didn’t study that is when I did the worst. I don’t know why that would be so hard to believe, but when faced with the evidence I am now convinced that studying by myself works. A lot of my unwillingness to believe these kind of statistics until now goes back to a lot of problems I’ve had over the years of trying to beat the system. I believe there is a competition among students that if you can put in little effort, but manage to pull of something miraculous, kudos to you. It also something I think some students strive for. That game was one of the ways I entertained myself in high school seeing what I could pull off last minute and with little effort. But I am now at the point where I am exhausted by that game and have little interest in it, the high school me probably wouldn’t believe it.
So back to classes, next on my schedule is the Digital History Seminar being taught by Jeff McClurken. I was a bit nervous going into the class because I haven’t taken a 400 level course before and I know it requires a lot of time and effort on my part. After the first two classes though, much of that apprehensiveness has faded and I am stoked to see where this class goes. This is the first time this class has been taught or anything like it has been taught at Mary Washington, we are the guinea pigs. Judging from the first two classes a lot of people feel a bit overwhelmed by all the new technology, but excited to start of the projects and learn something. Jeff gave the class a “pep talk” as one student in our class put it, I don’t think anyone in our class would doubt Jeff’s excitement about teaching this course, it is obvious to us all and it is motivating everyone in this class to get excited too.
My last class on my schedule is Elementary Astronomy. This is the first evening class and I don’t think I’d like to do it again, I start to slow down after 6pm. I am looking forward to this course, as I mentioned awhile ago I wanted to be an astronomer when I was little so I get to play out that dream a little bit here. I’ll admit to one reason I decided to take this course (besides Joe saying I should) was that I heard it was easy and after last semester I think I could use something easy (my GPA would certainly appreciate it).
Enough class talk for now, I have a whole semester ahead of me, trying to think happy thoughts.