Monday, January 4, 2010

Gearing up for the winter semester

I took the boys back to their mother on new years, amazed again at the ability of my two and almost eight year old to endure ten hours plus on the road with minimal fuss. I am rather depressed they are gone, talking on the phone every day just doesn't hold a candle to snuggles, reading to them in person, being peed on post bath or even having same two year old wander over to the corner to crap in his diaper five minutes after spending twenty five minutes sitting on his potty holding it in. I will also miss the sledding - post tooth coming out and emergency oral surgery actually included. While it was rather horrific, it is also better now and another experience shared with eldest.

But they are back with momma (for now) and I am getting ready for another semester.

I am really excited about my classes this semester, even the bloody math. I am taking abnormal psych, cross culture communications, American sign language, intermediate algebra and language and culture. The last three are four credit classes, making this an eighteen credit semester. I am a little reticent about the load, but ultimately I think it will be pretty easy going.

Abnormal psych is with a rather brilliant instructor and I can expect to write one paper, tests making up the rest of my grade. I am pretty comfortable with my knowledge of abnormal psych going into this class, so I don't expect any problems with tests and most regular readers of my blog know how I feel about papers...For those who don't - I bloody well love writing papers.

Cross culture communications is an online class - something I have never managed to deal with well before. But the instructor is my instructor for interpersonal communications and he made it clear that he is available personally and that he not only has message board discussions, but actually takes part in them. And most excitingly, there are only two tests (IIRC) and the rest of the grade is pretty much wrapped up in three - yes three papers!!!

I am taking intermediate algebra with the same instructor who taught my remedial algebra class and have every confidence that this will be just as great as that was. He was very instrumental in helping me understand concepts that I have had a totally shit time with in the past. He also is very available before and after class, as well as during rather more extensive office hours than a lot of instructors.

American sign is going to be pretty awesome - I actually dropped it last semester, after a couple of sessions for personal reasons, but have every confidence that this will be a great experience. The instructor is great and given my limited experience with her, someone I can totally deal with. She is very pleasant, very warm - without being saccharine, at the same time she is also very strict - a combination I am very fond of.

Language and culture is something I am really looking forward to for several reasons. First and foremost, I am really looking forward to the instructor - I would have taken any class she happened to be teaching this semester. She is the head of the humanities department and there are several things that I am interested in discussing with her - things she has a fair expertise in. And joy of joys, the only class she is teaching this semester is something I very much wanted to take. I am approaching the study of language from a very science oriented perspective - I think it will be valuable to look at it from a humanities perspective, extremely valuable really. I have been reading Terrence Deacon, who among many other things makes a solid case for approaching symbols/language/icons from a broader angle than science really allows for, when engaging the study of language and cognitive/neurological evolution.

And honestly, I have to admit that I am excited about having the opportunity to write a couple of papers in MLA. There is something rather relaxing about the MLA format - not to say that I don't appreciate APA - I do. But I will totally admit to being something of a whore when it comes to writing styles and there is just something rather sexy about MLA...

With all of my paper writing this semester, I am hoping I will be encouraged to write more blogposts - though they will be rather topical to the papers I happen to be working on at a given point. I know that we will get the parameters for our communication papers within the first week - so those will probably be the first ones that I hit on. I also expect to get the psych paper parameters early on as well. I am not all that sure when the humanities paper parameters will come out, but don't expect them until a specified time before they are due. The paper for sign-language will be available right away, but we won't have the background for it until we are well into the semester (I believe that one might be MLA too!!!).

All in all, I am really looking forward to the upcoming semester. It looks out to be totally big fun and excitement through and through (ok, so I am rather less excited about math, but still)...Good times will be had by all!!!

1 comment:

Cath@VWXYNot? said...

Sounds like you've got some really interesting courses lined up. A part of me misses being at University and going to lectures! (Although I'm glad I don't have to take exams any more).