Day 1, Fall 2011

Posted: August 24, 2011 in Uncategorized

Six A.M. comes very early. That is especially true when you wake up long before your alarm is supposed to go off, as I did yesterday morning.  Surprisingly, I was not gripped by the sense of foreboding I used to get on the first day of classes; Having been at USF for a year and half and 4 semesters total, nothing the school can do will surprise me.

That’s a good thing.  That very statement was put to the test before my 2nd class ended.

My first class of the day is Theories of Culture, which readers of my blog will know I hate (See: Knowing your limits blog post  for information about my first attempt to take that last fall).  I’m pleased to say that the professor I have this time seems to actually a.) care about his students success and b.) does not have unrealistic expectations.  This class is meant to be hard, yes I know.  It’s the Senior seminar course and is required for all majors.  My last experience with it was one of abject horror. The professor was a monster, his exams made no sense (I have NEVER failed an exam since I returned to college, except for Theories of Culture) and the class in general was filled with attitude-infused students who thought they knew everything.  I felt extremely uncomfortable there.  This time, I don’t have that feeling at all.  There may be about 40 students in this class, but I know by the end of the semester that number will have drastically dwindled.  So far, the layout is understandable. We have no exams.  There are 3 short papers and one long paper, plus a group project that looks like it will be entertaining.

My second class of the day is an anthropological overview of the Caribbean as a whole.  This class also looks extremely interesting, and it doesn’t hurt that my ToC professor is also the professor for this class. I already know how he is, so no shocking surprises there. We have 4 multiple choice exams (and he says they will be hard.  I’ve had previous courses where M/C meant very difficult) and one end of term paper on a topic of our choice. I’m already leaning toward a comparative study of Voodoo and Santeria as practiced in the various countries and islands of the Caribbean and what these belief structures mean to the participants.

Before this class was over, I discovered that my 4th class of the day, Forensic Anthropology, had been rescheduled for a time that would not work with my current schedule. I had originally chose it because I find the subject interesting, and because it fulfilled my requirements for methodology. The professor decided on a whim, without notifying students, to move the time up and change the room. Sigh. I found out because a fellow student discovered it on the course schedule site.  I’ve been registered for that class for 4 months (since March) and they choose NOW to change the time and location?  Only in the Anthropology department at USF.

My third class is called Museum Informatics, and I’m strangely excited by it after meeting the professor. It’s not at all what I thought. This professor will be teaching us real world applications for the things we learn in class, which includes using cutting edge technology in museum presentations, and about the changing definition of Museum in the modern era.  She’s very animated, and seems to know a great deal about the subject. It’s always great when a professor is excited, it rubs off on the students.  I do not doubt it will challenging. I was slightly confused by the professor’s referral to our final project, what she called a “tangible deliverable” whatever that means. She promises to explain more in the coming weeks.

So, instead of having forensics after that class, I got to come home at 3:15. I still was not panicking over losing a course, though. I simply drove home, went to the registration site, and chose something else to fill the 4th slot. In this case, it turned out to be Fantastic Archaeology (yes, I know, I said I would never take another class in that subject) with a professor I’ve had previously.  The benefit of taking this is that it’s strictly online, so I don’t have to attend on campus meetings. I didn’t really want another online class after this past spring where I had 3 of them, but taking one won’t be nearly as exhausting as 3 was, of this I’m certain.  I’m a little behind in it since I just added it, and I don’t have my book yet, but I’m still not worried.  I knew this week would be busy (and thank whoever that the profs seem to realize there is only one day between classes for us to get all this reading done!) and so far it’s not letting me down.  I’ll have to attend an online meeting on Friday and have read a chapter from the book, but I can do it friday morning.  Then, I have the whole weekend to get ready for next Tuesday’s lectures.

Here’s hoping the week stays on the up and up.  I will not curse myself by saying it is going well.

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