The first day of classes is always a mix of boring and interesting. It’s boring because it tends to be almost completely devoted to going over the syllabus, but it’s interesting because it’s a whole host of new classes and often new professors.
Today I had the first of 3 of my 4 second semester classes – I won’t have my first History of the Modern Middle East class until tomorrow, but I can wait. So far my classes seem pretty interesting.
My International Relations class is with one of my friends from political science and is being taught by the same professor we both had last semester for our EU politics class. We both really like her so this is a plus. Another of my friends is also in the class, she was considering dropping it, but has decided to stick it out for at least a couple of weeks to give it a chance. Like most introductory courses it seems like it will probably have it’s boring parts, but you have to understand the boring basics before you can move onto the interesting stuff. The paper for that class is on the shorter side – only 2000-2500 words, but that’s a-ok with me. I don’t know what I’m going to write on yet, but she said she’ll give us sample topics later on.
The next class I had today was my Greek and Roman Mythology class (or as our prof calls it, Classical Mythology). The class was massive (it has over 200 people in it). Our professor seems like she’s pretty funny. Her expertise falls into the Greek mythology side of things whereas she said most of the profs in the department who teach the class are more interested in the Roman mythology side. I don’t really know which one I prefer so I don’t mind either way. The thing that, to me, stood out, was the fact that the class has no final exam. It has 4 in class quizzes worth 17% each and an in class essay worth 32%. It seems odd to not have a final exam, but can’t say I’m heartbroken. One thing I’m not particularly pleased with is the fact that out textbook is STILL NOT HERE. Our prof seems pretty frustrated with this too – apparently they’re actually making a new textbook for us, a custom edition just for our university/her class, but it’s not here yet. Fortunately they sent her the PDF of chapter one so she just uploaded that since we need to read it by for our Friday class.
My third and final class of the day was the class that I’ve taken to calling History of Religion in Europe. It has a longer name, but I’m definitely not going to write it out all the time. Our prof for that class is actually a political science AND history prof (which explains why we’re reading Hannah Arendt). I was warned that he talk really loud and the people who warned me were not wrong. He is a very loud and very emphatic speaker. He’s obviously really passionate about his subject (and it does sound interesting), but I have to say I’m glad I only have to listen to him for 50 minutes at a time. I was in for another shock when I found out that this class is also without a final exam. We do have a paper worth 45% of our mark though (which makes me really nervous). The paper is also longer than any other one I’ve written so far as it’s supposed to be 3750-4500 words. At the very least that’s 1000 words longer than any paper I’ve ever written. Yikes!
I also have someone to sit with in all of my classes except my Classical Mythology one. To be honest I’ll be surprised if I make friends with someone to sit with in that one just because it’s such a large class. You would think that would make it easier to make friends, but it doesn’t seem to (at least for me anyways). I was surprised to see someone I recognized in my History of Religion in Europe class. I have no idea where I’ve seen her before, but apparently we both do NaNo, which is awesome. I would say I probably met her there, but she wasn’t at any of the events this year. Oh well, maybe she was in one of my larger classes.
Despite my worries about my History of Religion in Europe class I’m excited for what this new semester will bring. I hope all of you are having a new year as good as mine has been so far.