Archive | March, 2010

It’s Registration Time Again…

31 Mar

Well, it’s that time of year-Registration Time! If you’re a freshman who gets to register early, I’m just a tad jealous. It’s one those Honors Program perks I’ll miss out on as a rising junior.

If you’re like me, you’ve found dozens of courses you’d like to take and are struggling to whittle your list of possibilities down to a reasonable number. Maybe you’re struggling to choose between two courses that meet at the same time slot. At any rate, I’m hoping I can offer a little bit of wisdom and help (I was mistaken for being 21 today, so anything’s possible).

1) Take classes you enjoy

This may seem like a relatively obvious concept, but you might be surprised at how many people don’t take this into consideration. Now, it’s not always possible to make every class your favorite…not to mention those annoying GCRs and major/minor requirements. Still, take the time to look over your schedule to see if you can actually get excited about the courses you’ll be taking. If not…well, studying or reading for a class you dislike can become such as chore that the work just doesn’t get done. Or maybe you finish the work just fine but have to drag your resentment-filled self to class every day. Both scenarios should be avoided if at all possible. I’ve certainly passed up the chance to have perfect/beautiful/no Friday schedules in order to take classes I thought I would really enjoy. If your dream is to take Advanced Spanish Grammar, don’t pass on the course just because it’s offered on a Friday afternoon.

This brings me to my next blurb of an idea…

2)  Be realistic about time slots

When I was registering for classes last spring, I decided to try and “stack” my classes for the coming semester to leave me more time for work or an internship. I had four classes in a row with an hour-long break between the fifth class. When my Arts and Cultures class met for a plenary session in the evening, that added up to six classes in one day. Not exactly fun. I finished the semester just fine and had great grades, but my Tuesdays and Thursdays were sometimes less than fun and I often spent my last class just waiting for the day to be over.

Now, maybe you’re fine with all of that and don’t mind carting around your lunch on days when you have class from 9:30 to 6. You may have a truly incredible internship or job that’s worth the rest of the week. But for those of us who want to make sure we can work AND take classes we enjoy at reasonable times, it’s better to schedule your work around your classes than to schedule in classes around work hours. That doesn’t mean you completely ignore time slots when choosing classes (though, let’s be realistic-no one ever ignores time slots. Everyone I know who has an 8 am class is well aware of when the class starts), but don’t pass up courses because you’re anxious about fitting in 20 hours a week at your internship or trying to avoid waking up before noon.

And finally…

3) Watch your four-year plan

I’m of the strong opinion that four-year plans are very worthwhile, even if you’re still a freshman trying to decide between majoring in political science or biology. Why? Four-year plans give you an idea about the time commitments and course requirements that stand between you and graduation. It’s generally a good idea to sit yourself down and see what courses you’ll need to take to get your diploma every once in a while, even if you don’t change your major. You don’t want to be the student who forgets the CCAS Fine Arts requirement or overlooks that one last course you needed for your Conflict and Security concentration in the Elliott School.

It’s also a good idea to be realistic about certain options. If you’ve completed three semesters with no hard sciences, it may not be feasible to suddenly switch to a chemistry major and still graduate on time. You may not be able to double major and double minor and still take electives (or sleep).

I hope my ramblings give you at least a moment’s thought. Don’t feel obligated to follow my advice if something else works better for you. After all, I’m still trying to figure out my classes  for next semester too.

P.S. Make sure you get any holds on your account removed now so they don’t prevent you from registering. You don’t want to drag yourself out of bed to register at 6:55 AM and find that out then.

Philosophy Lives!

29 Mar

TED Talks are a great way to discover new and interesting conversations.  All UHP Freshmen get exposed to philosophy and the history of thought — but sometimes we need to be reminded that these kinds of questions are still being asked today, and the answers can have profound implications for how we live our lives and run our society.

For example: Sam Harris. Neuroscientist, author, secularist, and philosopher — he says it’s time to ditch religion. Check out this excerpt to get the gist of it:

“We should be talking about real problems, like nuclear proliferation and genocide and poverty and the crisis in education … Religion has convinced us that there’s something else entirely other than concerns about suffering. There’s concerns about what God wants, there’s concerns about what’s going to happen in the afterlife … It’s completely insane.”

Controversial and thought-provoking for sure.  Watch the video and check out the full article over at CNN.  What do you think? Do you agree with him, or is he missing something?  What would old St. Augustine think?  How about Nietzsche?

“Earth Days” with director Robert Stone

26 Mar

The Intellectualism in Film LLC, comprised almost entirely of UHP students, will be showing Earth Days next Tuesday, April 6 at 7pm in Elliott 113.  Afterward, there’ll be a discussion with director Robert Stone.

Earth Days tells the story of the environmental movement using archival footage and personal testimony. The film traces the history of environmentalism from its roots in the 1950s to the first Earth Day in 1970.

This looks ridicu-awesome.  It’s free, so head to their Facebook page and RSVP today.  Check out the trailer below.

Kafka’s Metamorphosis

26 Mar

Kafka’s Metamorphosis appears on stage at Synetic Theater in just a couple of weeks.

Plunging deep into the writer’s psyche and his response to “the Jewish Problem,” Kafka’s Metamorphosis explores one man’s descent into madness. Along with an innovative sound experience, Goldman’s staging brings startling new life to this grotesque classic.

Student tickets are only $15-$20 (more than half-off regular price), which means you have no good reason to not check it out.  I can think of a couple UHP professors that would probably love an invite to go check it out with you (just in case you’re looking for brownie points.)

If you’re not familiar with the story — take a second to enjoy this cartoon rock opera on the subject from one of my favorite cartoons: Home Movies. (Though don’t expect to hear these songs at Synetic’s production!)  You can order tickets online.

Eckles Prize for Freshman Research Excellence

25 Mar

Hey Freshmen! Have you written a paper that is so good you deserve a prize?

The Eckles Prize for Freshman Research Excellence recognizes research that has effectively utilized the library collections of The George Washington University.

Freshmen students are encouraged to submit a research project of any length or format, along with a short essay summarizing how they used library resources to complete the project. Students should submit the project that reflects their best work of the year.

Prizes will be awarded for the top 3 submissions. Winners will be honored at a ceremony during Colonials Weekend, 2010.

1st Place – $300 Gift Card
2nd Place – $200 Gift Card
3rd Place – $100 Gift Card

For more information and to download the submission packet visit: tiny.cc/ecklesprize

Make us proud, Honors students!!!