Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Professors' Red Carpet

Break's over, kiddies! Back to the usual grind of reading and reading and writing. It's an odd feeling, being back, and takes some re-adjustment. Those 4-day fall and Thanksgiving breaks are nothing compared with 5 weeks for winter, which means, for some people, the return can be a bit disorienting and requires getting used to. I'm happy to inform, though, that for those who (like me) have difficulties with homesickness and the like, the "reintegration" into Mac life is MUUUUUCH easier and MUUUUUCH less painful than first semester.

This first week and the next week is the student "shopping spree". Not for clothes or toys, but for classes. Oh yes, for those who didn't get into the classes they wanted to, it's the opportunity to get into the courses you would prefer, and for everyone it's a chance to explore and see what else is out there to take. Good planning for the future, I guarantee.

For you first-year students about to enter Macalester in the fall of 2010, you'll be required to take a first-year course. You'll also be more in the dark about other classes than you'd probably like to be. And while I can't give you a laundry list detailing every class here, I CAN give a little advice based on my own experiences.

My first-year course was "The Problem of Race in U.S. Social Thought and Policy", taught by Professor Karin Aguilar-San Juan. Both the class and the professor are incredible and I highly recommend taking a course taught by her; she's very funny and personable (just get past the intimidation of her having 20+ years of martial arts experience). Talk with her outside of class to really get to know her. This goes for a lot of the other professors here as well. Olga Gonzalez, an Anthropology professor here, is also very sweet. If you're lucky you may drop by her office when her adorable little dog, Trixy, is there.

For anyone who's not a fan of math, Contemporary Concepts is for you. But even if you DO enjoy your numbers, I still HIGHLY recommend this class for no other reason than the professor. Professor Sung Kyu Kim has a great sense of humor and can make an hour-long lecture on relative movement interesting, not to mention getting to hear about the exciting interstellar adventures of Moe and Joe.

There are more professors and classes I could talk about, but this is already a long enough post. If this helps, let me know and I'll dish out some more of my own experiences with profs here.