Oberlin Blogs

I've finally figured out my schedule

February 15, 2010

Zoe McLaughlin ’11

Once again, I had to play the add/drop game. I currently have enough credits that I look like a senior who's slacking off. This means that I have a good registration time for a junior. Unfortunately, it also means that I can't register for the seats that are reserved for juniors in classes. Instead, I have to try to register for the spots reserved for seniors, but since I'm "slacking," I can't ever get into those spots. This is obviously a problem. Luckily, though, things have turned out all right.

There are two classes that I'm not taking, though I went to them. The first is Contemporary American Literature. I'm not too sad that I'm not taking that one, mainly because I'm taking a Shakespeare class which, as you can read below, looks like it will be very good.

I'm also not taking a course in travel writing, which I'm really sad about. It looked like a great way to produce some coherent material about my last Winter Term, as well as about the other trips I've taken over the years. Usually I just end up telling people a bunch of details that probably don't make much sense, because there's so much that I could say. Unfortunately, that class meets right in the middle of the afternoon three days a week, and since I also have lab three days a week (physics and chemistry as well as research), there's no way I could do it. I guess this is what they call prioritizing.

Here's what I'm taking this semester, not including the various extracurricular activities (Orchestra! Violin lessons! Dance!):

Electricity, Magnetism, and Thermodynamics--Dan Styer (lecture), John Scofield (lab)
I'm somewhat worried about this class. I took the AP exam for this in high school and got a four. Unfortunately, Oberlin only takes fives for credit, so I'm taking this class again. In theory, this should be easy, but it remains to be seen if I actually remember anything besides "Twinkle, twinkle, little star. Voltage equals I times R."

Inorganic Chemistry--Jesse Rowsell
This class, so far, has proven to be harder than I expected, which is not good. Some of this is probably due to the fact that I am an organic chemist at heart. I like carbon and oxygen and all those little elements. I don't like thinking about everything that's in the middle of the Periodic Table, and that's what this class is all about. I'll keep you updated on how it goes.

Shakespearean Tragedy--Wendy Hyman
The professor for this class recently came here from Ithaca College. I have a friend at Ithaca College, and she told me that if there was one thing I did while I was at Oberlin, I had to take a class from this professor. I went to the first day of this class on a whim, and then I decided to stay. We're going to read six of Shakespeare's tragedies, and it looks really good, possibly because I'm a fan of things ending badly.

Poetry Workshop--Pamela Alexander
I am not a poet. I wrote poetry for the intro creative writing workshop last year, but I still feel like I'm playing at writing poetry and not actually doing anything serious. It doesn't come as naturally for me as writing stories, possibly because when you write stories you tell lies and I hold the belief that poetry is supposed to be about truths. Maybe I'll get over that. We'll see.

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Phoebe McChesney

In honor of National Poetry Month, I thought I would share poems I wrote for an assignment in one of my courses, Green Japan, which explores the relationship between Japan and its environment.
Phoebe McChesney.