Oberlin Blogs

Class Act

February 12, 2012

Chinwe Okona ’13

Spring semester started a week ago and I must say, this was THE MOST difficult time I've EVER had choosing courses. However, instead of shamelessly complaining via the Oberlin blogosphere, I decided to wait until I figured out my classes to update you all on the goods (You're welcome, you're welcome). So here's what I'm taking:

HISP304, Advanced Grammar and Composition
I was being a real weeny about taking a course in the Hispanic Studies department this semester (the Spanish class I took last semester was actually kinda hard) but that would have meant absolutely no minor in Hispanic Studies. So I sucked it up, and actually I'm pretty excited about it. The class is taught through film and one of my friends who was abroad last semester is in it. Hooraaaaay.

SOCI277, Race and Ethnic Relations
My very first sociology class! I originally wasn't very interested in taking this class, but I had heard from friends that the professor, Clovis White, was pretty dope. And indeed he's turned out to be. The readings for the course are soooo goooood and I'm curious to see where the class goes. Also, as much as I love neuroscience, there's never anything wrong with taking a breather from science classes.

NSCI320, Neuroanatomy
I've been looking forward to this class for forever, so it was literally the first thing I registered for. Taught by Mark Braford, who I adore, this class is already so satisfying. Professor Braford has this way of making everything make sense. Which is great, because the material is super complicated. Nevertheless, I'm all about the course. Especially since one of the required texts is "The Human Brain Coloring Book." (I'm also taking the lab and guess what we did the first lab period? Extracted brains from animals. I extracted a goldfish brain and Professor Braford said it was beautiful and kept it. #winning)

CHEM254, Bioorganic Chemistry
I took my very first chemistry course (CHEM101, Structure and Reactivity) with Professor William Fuchsman, and now I'm taking my very last chemistry course at Oberlin with him. It's even more special, considering this is Professor Fuchsman's last semester teaching at Oberlin AND he was my advisor for two years. All sentimental goop aside, this class is A LOT OF WORK. We were required to learn four chapters this week, and have our first quiz on Tuesday. So we all know what I should be doing in this moment. (I'm also taking the lab for this course. Yeah.)

and just because I'm ambitious,

GSFS201, Gender and Public Health
I'M SO EXCITED FOR THIS CLASS. It's pretty much a starting point for what I want to do with my life. The only thing that's upsetting about it is that it's only a module. In addition to being my first class in the Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies Department, it's also a bit of an unconventional course. It consists of three different lecturers coming to Oberlin and taking about how gender, privilege, and class play roles in access to health care. Then the class will meet for the next day for a large discussion. Yay. I'm so busy I never get a chance to see lecturers who come to Oberlin, so it's kinda perfect. It's really just so perfect.

So that's my schedule minus the GSFS course and Neuroanatomy lab (It's on Thursday, but I'm having some technical add/drop issues. Of course). Minus my weekly Spanish classes with the teacher's assistant. Minus spring volleyball. Minus everything that encompasses being a college student. So actually, I'm not really that busy.

Postscript - Since I promised I wouldn't complain, I won't. I'll just leave you with a few of the classes I wanted to take, but couldn't because they conflicted with the classes for my major (oh neuroscience, the things I do for you):

AAST220, A History of Black Incarceration
AAST285, African American Women's History
CAST447, Queer Positions
ECON101, Principles of Economics
(This didn't conflict with my schedule, but that would have been way too much math and science for me in one semester.)
RELG249, Issues in Medical Ethics

Responses to this Entry

Thats a very nice mix of classes, and hopefully it works out for you with everything else you have to juggle. I hope to also have a balance of nice courses next year as an incoming obie. When you were a freshman, how easy was it for you to get the classes you wanted? How does the process work?

Posted by: Edmund on February 13, 2012 1:34 PM

Selecting courses for your first semester freshman year isn't bad at all. When you get your 'Big Book of Forms' in the mail (a huge book of all the information Oberlin collects for administrative/informative purposes), you will also be given the chance to register for two classes (I highly suggest making one of them a First Year Seminar). The rest of your schedule you get to solidify with your advisor when you arrive on campus in August for orientation. It's super easy!
Congrats on your acceptance and can't wait to see you in the fall!

Posted by: Chinwe on February 13, 2012 3:23 PM

Thanks for your insight, this helps me plan out some. So it's more shrewd then to register for two classes (one surely a first year seminar) that be smaller qnd harder to get into when I get the Big Book - and then register during orientation for the bigger classes? Thanks and I look forward to meeting you as well!

Posted by: Edmund on February 13, 2012 7:48 PM

If you have the opportunity to take Econ101 before you graduate, do it. It was one of the best non-humanities classes I ever took — and oh my gosh, Professor Kasper is an incredible lecturer.

I wish more classes had coloring books. Just sayin'.

Posted by: Ma'ayan on February 20, 2012 12:18 PM

On one blog I read recently (have been pouring over them all in earnest - these blogs rock!) I think you and/or Ma'ayan commented on a blog post forthcoming about how to survive the intro bio courses at Oberlin - I haven't come across it yet...has it been posted? If not, please do :) !

Posted by: Teresa on April 10, 2012 12:16 PM

@Teresa - Just moved up on my blog to-do list based on your request. It's supposedly a joint post with my brother Ben, but it might just end up being a one-Plaut post. We'll see! Thanks for asking about it though. I needed the reminder to get back on that :)

Posted by: Ma'ayan on April 15, 2012 10:24 AM

@Ma'ayan - looking forward to it. Maybe you could even link it to the 2016 fb page?!

Posted by: Anonymous on April 15, 2012 5:26 PM

@Anon - Most absolutely definitely yes. Just gotta finish it first :)

Posted by: Ma'ayan on April 16, 2012 10:55 AM

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