I can’t believe I almost forgot to publish a post reviewing the classes I took fall quarter! At the start of each month, I sit down to plan out all my content for the month in an Excel spreadsheet. Usually routine posts (like my monthly recaps and Thrifty Six collaborations) are the first I write down, so it’s surprising my fall quarter recap completely skipped my mind. As some of you may recall from my posts back in September, I was really nervous to start my senior year—I thought the quarter would be a huge disappointment because two of my best friends graduated and left in the spring. Well, I’m super excited to say that the start of my senior year exceeded all expectations and was everything I could have wanted.
For the most part, I liked all my classes this quarter—or at least, didn’t completely dread them. As a refresher, I have majors in criminology and geography and minors in psychology and entrepreneurship. I took two psychology classes this quarter to finish out my psych minor, a criminology elective I’ve been trying to take since freshman year (even though I already finished my crim major last school year), and a wine tasting class through the hospitality program—because wine not?! It’s senior year, baby!! I also only had to take one Saturday class to finish my entrepreneurship minor (usually I have to take two one-day, one-credit entrepreneurship classes a quarter, so it was a breath of fresh air to have one less credit to worry about). Now, onto the specifics of my classes!
This class was probably in my top five favorite classes of undergrad. It’s taught by a professor who has been specializing in the death penalty for years and also works for the Innocence Project (the other class he teaches at the university is Wrongful Convictions). He is so popular that his classes always fill up right away, both with criminology majors and others interested in taking his courses as electives. I had heard such great things about him in the hallways of the social sciences building, so I have been trying to take either of his classes since freshman year. As a senior, I finally had a good enough registration time where I could fit Capital Punishment into my schedule! I was apprehensive about adding what I assumed would be a difficult class when I knew I didn’t need it to graduate, but I figured the class would be interesting enough to be worth the extra work—I definitely made the right choice.
I could write pages and pages about all the interesting facts and arguments I learned about regarding the death penalty (in fact, I did—my final for the course was a 20-page exam where I basically regurgitated everything I learned over the 10-week quarter). The class was small and taught in a seminar style, so we often had discussions and sometimes even heated arguments about the constitutionality of the death penalty. We also watched a handful of movies/documentaries that illustrated different aspects of capital punishment, such as retribution and deterrence.
Beyond the very interesting material, the professor was amazing, and I really respect his teaching style. Instead of putting our names on our papers, we would only put our student ID number so that he could grade the papers anonymously—I thought that was an interesting approach I had never seen before. He also fostered a very comfortable environment for students to share their opinions, whether they were in support of or against the death penalty. Unlike most college professors I have had, he did not spew his own beliefs and instead let students come to their own conclusions based on the information. Nothing has bothered me more in college than professors who preach their own ideologies instead of objectively teaching the facts, so I really respected him for that.
This psych class was all about psychological disorders, so we talked about OCD, autism, schizophrenia spectrum disorders, dementia, eating disorders, depression, antisocial personality disorder, etc. In theory, it should have been a very interesting class because mental health is such an important topic, especially as it becomes more openly talked about in schools and the media. However, this professor was SO boring. Sitting in this class for two hours was painful, and I admittedly would do other homework on my laptop. With that said, it wasn’t the worst class ever—I learned a few interesting things here and there—but I didn’t love coming to class every day. It was just kind of ‘eh’. At least the course didn’t have much homework, which I appreciated!
Another class that should have been way more interesting than it was… but maybe I just had a hard time focusing because this course was from 4-6 pm, which is my prime dinner time. Social psych is all about how people interact in group settings, so we discussed topics such as the bystander effect, obedience, power structures, how people interact in the workplace, etc. Again, I learned some interesting things, but as everybody who majors in psych has told me, all the classes are the same after a while—you learn about the same pivotal studies over and over and over again.
Wines of the World
As you can imagine, this class was super fun. My professor was new this quarter and always had interesting stories from his experience in the wine industry. I realized about halfway through the quarter that he would give me the extra wine to take home if I stayed after class to help clean up! While this course did involve trying three to nine wines per class (we were given three tiny glasses in an adorable little briefcase to keep), it wasn’t all fun and games. We had weekly online quizzes that were actually kind of difficult and covered topics such as history, winemaking techniques, and geography. There is a lot of science that goes into winemaking, and I really enjoyed learning how important geography is to the process. Funny enough, this class ended up being my lowest grade—so it wasn’t just a drunken breeze!
Ethics in Entrepreneurship
Okay, this was the only class I simply did not enjoy this quarter. This was my last one-day Saturday class for my entrepreneurship minor, and it was extremely useless. I took it because a friend recommended it and it was supposed to be taught by an eccentric professor who wrote a book about his experience dying, going to heaven, and then coming back to life. Unfortunately, the professor changed last-minute for some unknown reason, so the course was instead taught by an ordinary professor (although the dress she wore to class was super cute; I’ll give her that). This course consisted of six hours of discussing fluffy crap about values and how we should be good people in business. I thought we would learn actual tactics to maintain integrity in the face of entrepreneurial adversity, but instead we basically pretended to live in an idealistic world with no talk of how to actually confront ethical issues. Very disappointing.
While my psych classes could have been more engaging, overall I was really happy with my course load this quarter and even happier with my social calendar. What I thought would be a boring 10 weeks turned out to be the busiest quarter, with hang-outs and events every weekend and almost every item crossed off my senior year bucket list. It was a huge success!
Thanks for swinging by the blog today. I had a lot of fun taking these snowy blog pics on Tuesday after waking up to a power outage and a couple inches of snow! In case you couldn’t tell in the second- and third-to-last pics, I was practicing my snowball juggling. The UPS guy driving by was very impressed. Anyway, enjoy your Thursday and have a great weekend!
Miles of smiles,
Striped Sweater: Banana Republic, $50, last worn here | Red Quilted Vest: Francesca’s, $20, last worn here | Skinny Jeans: Francesca’s, $20, last worn here | Black Snow Boots: DSW, $40, last worn here | Red Gloves: Unknown, $20, last worn here