Now that it’s officially spring break (thank goodness!), I decided it’s time to share my thoughts on winter quarter and discuss what classes I took, what I learned, etc. For those of you who don’t know, I’m majoring in Criminology and Geography with minors in Entrepreneurship and Psychology (Pysch is a new addition this quarter, but I had room in my schedule so I figured I might as well put it towards something useful). One of my favorite parts of the quarter system is that it allows me to take so many classes and explore such a wide variety of interests! So without further ado, here’s a lil’ recap of what I learned this past quarter.
Sociological Classics was the last required class for my Criminology major. I’ve been putting it off for a while because I figured it would entail reading a bunch of old dead guys’ boring writing and because I assumed I would have to write a lot of long essays for the course. To my surprise, the professor decided to take a very different approach to teaching this course, so the work mainly consisted of short assignments and class discussions. I didn’t have to write a single essay! Overall, we talked about and read the works of theorists such as Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Harriet Martineau. I enjoyed the class discussions and listening to my classmates’ opinions about various topics, but the course otherwise wasn’t particularly interesting to me as it was more sociology-focused rather than criminology-focused. Yet, I didn’t mind it, and it was certainly a lot better than I was expecting!
Climate Change and Society
I strongly disliked this class. For such a relevant topic, I thought this course would be really interesting, but I’m so disappointed I took it. It counted as an elective towards my Geography major, and I can’t believe how boring it turned out to be! We spent more time discussing our own thoughts on climate change than actually learning about the science behind it. I learned a few interesting tidbits here and there, but overall, I don’t feel like I got much out of the class because the professor was really bad at explaining things. The best part, however, was when we watched a documentary called Merchants of Doubt, which basically explained how the same people who denied that DDT was a harmful chemical and that tobacco causes cancer are the same people who are denying climate change today. I highly recommend watching the film if you’re looking for something interesting and thought-provoking!
When I signed up for this class, I had absolutely no idea what to expect; I just knew that it counted as one of the required courses for my Geography major. While really difficult, it turned out to be SO interesting! Remote sensing is the practice of using satellites and other devices to scan and collect information about the Earth’s surface. I didn’t realize this class was mainly a physics course, so we learned about the visible and infrared portions of the electromagnetic spectrum, satellites and imagery, radar, LiDAR, thermal radiation, landcover classification, etc. We also had labs to learn how to use a program called Envi, where we got to work directly with remotely sensed images of Denver, the Amazon Rainforest, and other cool locations around the world. I didn’t expect remote sensing to be such a relevant topic, but it’s very prevalent in geography and even in the news as well. Exciting stuff!
This was probably my favorite course of the quarter, and it was another required class for my Geography major. As I’m sure you know, cartography is the science of map-making, so I spent the quarter learning how to design maps and spatially present information! In the fall, I took a class called Intro to GIS, which is somewhat similar and uses the same software program as we did in Cartography. Unlike the GIS course, however, this class was exciting because I finally got to learn about the art and proper practices of making visually appealing maps. Cartography was really frustrating sometimes, especially because the software can be super glitchy, but it was always so satisfying to complete a map! I realized I’m really passionate about map-making and would love to find a job at the intersection of Criminology and GIS that would allow me to combine my two interests and make maps about crime data.
How to Realistically Fund Your Business
For my Entrepreneurship minor, I always take two of these one-day, one-credit Saturday courses per quarter. I like them because they’re essentially a six-hour crash course on one specific topic regarding entrepreneurship. For this class, we learned about the different types of investors and seed rounds to understand how to raise money for your start-up business. It was a pretty high-level class, and I’m not totally sure I understood everything, but it was still very interesting nonetheless. We also had three guest speakers tell us about their own experiences pitching to venture capitalists and raising money, which was so insightful! The professor and all three guest speakers were men, however, so I wish I had asked if anyone knew anything more about women’s experiences with fundraising; I have heard there is a lot of sexism in the venture capitalist world and that women often have to work twice as hard to receive funds from investors. I don’t know that I could ever be a true entrepreneur, but it was fascinating to learn about this process either way!
Getting to Know Your Customer
The other Saturday class I took this quarter was a marketing course about getting to know your target customer. I had this professor before and loved her, so I was really excited to take another one of her classes. It was so useful and we learned all about how to identify your ideal customer and create various ‘customer personas’ to most effectively attract the right kind of people. A lot of it was stuff I had previous knowledge on because of research I’ve done for growing my blog! I actually ended up doing my final project about Graceful Rags and interviewed one of my followers to understand a little bit more about why she follows me. I always get so excited after these Saturday classes to apply some of the lessons I’ve learned to the blog!
I haven’t gotten many grades back yet, so the quarter isn’t truly done, but I am so grateful to finally be on spring break. I love writing these posts because they help me realize just how much I’ve learned over the past ten weeks! As for today’s outfit, I wore this cute heart print dress yesterday with my jean jacket and white espadrille sandals. I love how tall these shoes make me, and the pink purse was the perfect pop of color. I’m so excited to be reunited with my denim jacket and to finally wear springy clothes!
Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a great Monday.
Miles of smiles,
Heart Print Dress: Hand-me-down, last worn here | Jean Jacket: JCPenney, $19, last worn here | White Sandals: Dolce Vita via DSW, $45, last worn here, buy HERE | Aviator Sunglasses: Icing Stores, $16, last worn here | Pink Purse: Gift, from Italy, last worn here