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February 11, 2009

Ma'ayan Plaut ’10

Now, I'm not one to jump on the bandwagon, or follow lemmings off a cliff, but I really wanted to share my semester's class schedule with you.

Today is the final day of add/drop, the ultimate day to determine your life and workload for the rest of the semester. And as always, I have been wondering about my schedule up until the last minute. My friends' Facebooks, Livejournals, Obieblogs, and general everyday conversation has been revolving around scheduling for the last week, and I am proud to say that I finally have something to contribute.

My semester looks as such:

Grant and Proposal Writing - Jan Cooper. I was crossing my fingers for this class last semester, and was allowed in on the second day of class. We're spending most the semester writing and workshopping a grant, either for ourselves or for an organization of our choice. My plan is to start working on the proposal for the Watson Fellowship, which is a scary prospect, but a good thing to wrap my mind around right now. I'll explain more about my project idea in a future post, since it's still in the fledgling stages.

Introduction to Entrepreneurship - Andrea Kalyn. Oberlin was one of the colleges awarded a five-year grant funded by the Burton D. Morgan and Ewing Marion Kauffman foundations to integrate entrepreneurship into a college setting. Oberlin chose to create some introductory classes, but also decided to distribute a bunch of the funds to students to try and launch projects. Classes involve visits from entrepreneurial alumni, and the final project can be easily translated into applying for money from the Creativity Fund. Check out the program here; it's amazing.

Advanced Media Production - Rian Brown-Orso. I can't have a semester without a cinema class. Not just because it's my major, but because I need some visual stimulation in an academic setting on a regular basis. This semester, we'll be experimenting with 16mm film stock as well as create a final project with a production team consisting of our classmates. Should be fun.

Practicum in Journalism - Jan Cooper. The practicum in journalism isn't exactly a class, it's more of an opportunity to apply hands-on knowledge for course credit. I'm a photo editor for the Oberlin Review, and it's easy to get caught in the administrative side of the publication. By taking the practicum, I'm reminding myself that I still love to shoot as well. Also, it's one of the only opportunities on our journalism-obsessed campus to get that elusive word onto our transcripts.

Private Reading in Studio Photography - Pipo Nyguen-Duy. Truth be told, I'm in love with Pipo, and have been since I took his photography class last semester. He's a vibrant creative soul, and I'm really excited to be able to converse about a specific kind of photography this semester. I have acknowledged that, in the world of photography (and other places, too), you have to do things that people need sometimes, even if you don't like them. I lack the necessary rapport in the studio, and am taking some time this semester to read about studio lighting, posing, and editing and then getting into the studio to test these things out.

The Concept Album - John Russell. My mom has found it appalling that I have yet to take a music appreciation course at Oberlin, so this is my way of solving that problem. I have five gigs of music to listen to over the course of this semester, ranging from Beethoven to The Who to Sufjan Stevens, and we'll be talking about the creation and assessment of the concept album.

There are some things to be noted about this semester for me:

* It looks like a mighty intimidating list of classes, mainly because there are so many different ones, but it's by far the most "practical" or "applicable" semester I could have. I need these classes, not just for my major or graduation, but because they will be indispensable in the real world.

* The hours are odd (my cinema class meets twice a week in three-hour chunks, similar to an Oberlin studio art class; the Entrepreneurship class is only for the first half of the semester) and my Thursdays are completely free, except from 7pm till midnight.

* Unlike last semester, there are familiar faces in every one of my classes, which is a welcome sight. Don't get me wrong, I love meeting new people (and I made some very good friends last semester) but there's nothing like being able to talk about a shared academic experience with folks late on a Friday night (I'm not being sarcastic, too. I like having classes with friends). Aries is in my grant writing class, my partner in cinema crime Chris is in Advanced Media Production, and there are a fair number of friendly folk in the Entrepreneurship class, too.

I'm really looking forward to this semester. A bunch of work, a bunch of time to be spent in the classroom (or studio, or lab...), but hey, that's what college is for. I wouldn't have it any other way.

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