So here begins my second year at Harvard, but the great thing is that I’m even more excited than I was to start my first year! After much shopping around (shopping is the term we use to describe the process of choosing classes), I have found four classes that I am super psyched about.
The first one is History 1224: Britain Since 1760, a class taught by the very popular Harvard professor Maya Jasanoff. Her teaching style is fantastic (she’s all about telling the story), and so far I feel like I’m learning a lot. What I know about British history, I either know from the American perspective (think French and Indian War, the American Revolution, the War of 1812, etc.), or I know from AP Euro, which had a greater focus on Continental Europe. So it has been really fascinating to learn specifically about a country whose legacy has extended into so much of our world today! Plus, I’m a huge History geek (and potential History concentrator), so I’m all about this class.
My second class is Science of the Living Systems 20, which is an introductory Psychology course that also fulfills a Gen Ed. [Just a quick blurb to catch you up to speed, “Gen Ed’s,” or General Education Requirements, are part of the liberal arts education at Harvard College. There are eight categories of classes across a range of subjects that must be fulfilled in order to graduate. The system is set up to give you a more broad education. So far, I’ve really enjoyed it.] This course is offered every semester, but the teacher changes depending on which semester you take the class. This semester Professor Daniel Gilbert, who is an amazing lecturer, is teaching the class! As if the inner workings of the mind weren’t already super interesting, Gilbert makes you really appreciate all of the complexities of the brain and how they are linked to our behavior. Also, sections (which are small classes that are broken up from the larger lecturers to provide more individualized learning) are fun experiments like tasting different foods! What more could you want? The only thing is that I’ve heard the exams are hard… so I’ll have to keep you all posted.
My third class is Math 1a, which is the equivalent to AP Calculus AB. While I took that class in high school, that was a whole two years ago, and my non-math oriented brain just has not retained the information. To remedy this situation, I figured I would retake the class in hopes of expanding my knowledge of Calculus… whoooo (not). Anyway, it hasn’t been too bad… I’m just really not a math person. If anyone would like to help me (especially if you happen to be cute, smart, handsome, and funny), please let me know! 😉
My final class is English 154: Literature and Sexuality, taught by Professor Matthew Kaiser, the most snarky and hilarious professor that I have had the privilege of taking a class under. His lectures cannot be beat. We meet in Sanders Theater (featured above), sort of the bastion Harvard intellectualism, and talk about the history of sexual thought and attitudes as it is portrayed through literature. Interpret that how you will. As you can imagine the literature ranges from Freud and Foucault to de Sade and everything in between. To say the class is provocative would be an understatement, but it is certainly fun!
And that’s about all for me right now. We’re moving into the first round of midterms here at Harvard, which means paper, paper, paper, exam. Yay! To add to my stress levels, Theta Fall Formal is coming up, and I need to find a date. GAHHH! #ranting. Hope everyone is doing well!