Oberlin Blogs

Registration: Woe?

April 10, 2009

Ma'ayan Plaut ’10

Upon return to campus after spring break, students receive a pleasant reminder for fall registration. "What? This soon? I'm still slaving through a disastrous spring semester, everything is about to start moving twice as quickly as before, how could I even THINK of next fall?" you think. I've had that mini-crisis twice before, and had another about a week ago when I got the trifold piece of paper in my OCMR. For some reason, this never happens in the fall semester when registering for spring. Maybe it's the amount of time between registration and classes; it's just more terrifying in the spring. Someone should do a study.

I tend to theme my semesters to focus myself. College is stressful, in general, so making sure my brain is moving in the same direction rather than being pulling in many directions was my way to reduce some amount of stress. My first semester of college was themed "learn to learn"; the second was "testing the academic waters"; the third, "hear me, see me"; the fourth, "hear me, see me: advanced edition"; the fifth, "I'm sure you got this already, but HEAR ME, SEE ME!"; and this semester has been "practice: REAL WORLD." I'm an odd one, I assure you. I like finding patterns.

Everyone keeps on telling me that I should really be thankful for the time I have as a student, that I don't want to move to the real world too quickly, that I shouldn't take for granted all the things that are perks when one is a student. I have an easier time scheduling my life as it comes than for a whole semester, but I don't know if that qualifies me as ready for the real world.

I take my work on campus very seriously. It's a controlled environment in which I can make my resume stunning and learn how to be a professional, working with seasoned veterans and people willing to share their knowledge of success. It's the part of college that most people won't tell you about, but it's something to take advantage of. Straddling the professional and student worlds, simultaneously, is brain-bending, to say the least. I am most thankful for my pre-professional experiences here, but it's given me a taste for something I probably shouldn't have right now. I'm like a dog that loves chocolate.

But back to classes. I hate registration. I write down everything I can take on an organized list with days and times, numbers of credits, and CRN numbers (trick: you can register for classes in 30 seconds when the time comes if you have the CRN numbers. So snappy!). I also note anything I need to take, either for graduation requirements or major requirements. Then I'll outline a possible schedule, a la spreadsheet format, to decide the best course (no pun intended) of action. Herein lies a problem, though, as I am running out of options.

Yes, Paul Dawson may be fantastic, but his class is at 8.35am and there's no way I'm going to get anything out of American Government at that time in the morning. Same goes for Deb Vogel, who will get me in touch with my somatics, except that nothing, and I repeat, NOTHING involving my body wants to do anything at 8am. Coveted spots in both those classes would be wasted on me. I am morally against tests in many subjects, just because if something to be known, it's better that you know who to ask or where to look it up than filling your mind with details. (Exceptions are the medical profession, or if you want to be a professor. If it's for an elective class, I lean towards knowing the generalized things but learning a specific vocabulary so you can at least talk or ask about the topic at hand.) As much as I love languages, I have one additional one clogging up my brain already and it just tumbles out when I try to learn another one.

The most notable college lesson I have learned is that I know my limits, best applied to my academic courses in this circumstance. (I also have learned that I can function on way less sleep than one would think possible, but not all the time. Sometimes you just gotta sleep.)

I'm meeting with my advisor this afternoon, the illustrious Pat Day, to figure out if I can juggle the newly added Cinema Studies Senior Project, which meets Tuesday from 7-10pm and Wednesday 1.30-4.30pm, with the last few classes I'll be taking at Oberlin. Right now, I can, but while looking up classes, that Wednesday time slot doesn't just affect Wednesday, but all MWF classes in that time slot. And that is a standard time for most classes. Basically, I filtered all my searches for classes to 10-12am MWF or anything after 9.30am on TR. And by this point in my academic career, I've taken most classes in those time slots.

As you can see, I'm somewhat limited in my options. I guess it's good I only have 17 credits left.

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