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A minor problem

Wed Apr 08, 2009 13:02 (UTC -5)

Last semester, I found out that I had to take 15 credit-hours’ worth of “interdisciplinary electives,” with two options: “all courses must be at the 3000 level or above in the same area (advisor approval required)” or “all credits must be applied toward an official … minor.” Well, I know what that means. I’m taking up a minor. In my studies, I mean. You know.

I have thought about it a little bit, and I’ve decided to minor in business. It seems pretty interesting and not too incredibly difficult. (I think business is stereotypically considered an easy major and a backup for pre-law students who are failing their pre-law classes.) With a business minor, I’ll be taking such classes as microeconomics, accounting, marketing, and other stuff. Five classes, five semesters remaining: it just works out well.

Actually, the minor offers a choice between microeconomics and macroeconomics, but I’ve already decided which class I want to take. For micro, the lectures are taped and posted online, so you don’t actually have to go to class. I overheard my roommate watching many a micro lecture last year, and I have to say… they were funny. The professor makes his lectures entertaining, mainly by engaging in a neverending mock feud with the unseen videographer, whom he simply calls the Director.

But one thing that’s even better than dumb Director jokes is the schedule I picked out for myself for the fall semester. I usually don’t look forward to picking out future class schedules because it’s often too hard to find out what your best possible schedule might be. But recently, I found out about a site called Coursetopia that makes picking the perfect schedule pretty easy. You just tell it what classes you want to take, and it presents you with every possible schedule. You can also fine-tune the results, of course. And it’s all done with AJAX-y magic that can remind you how slow your browser is at handling JavaScript.

Coursetopia saved me a lot of time that I otherwise would have spent making lots of spreadsheets. It currently only has class schedules for UF, FSU, and Rutgers, so if you go to one of those schools, check it out. The service is free, and you don’t have to register unless you want to save your results for later.

Anyway, my cool schedule. I’ll have no classes on Tuesdays or Thursdays. On other days, my first class starts at 9:35 and my last one ends at 2:45 (3:50 on Mondays). Not bad. I don’t know what I’m going to do with my two free periods in a row, though, since I’ll be living off campus. I could probably go back to my apartment between classes, but I don’t know if it would be worth the bus trips. I’ll have to ask my apartment-dwelling friends how they’ve tackled this question. Hey, apartment-dwelling friends, how have you tackled this question?

In the meantime, I’ll have to get the signatures of the deans of the College of Engineering and the College of Business Administration to get this minor approved. Hopefully it won’t be as much of a hassle as changing my major seemed to be.

For those who thought that we already know everything about our past, this will come as a big surprise: the discovery of mysterious stones in Turkey in 1994 has changed the way we think about human history. (Via The Presurfer)

Apparently, it’s common for rock drummers these days to keep a consistent beat by drumming along to a click track. Some guy analyzed the time between beats in various songs to see which drummers used a click track. (Via waxy.org)

And finally, a photo gallery of crappy balloon animals. (Via The Presurfer)


Macro lectures are online too and I think it’s easier. I got a low B in micro watching all the lectures, and I have an mid-A in macro now without watching a single lecture.

#1 by Andrea: Wed Apr 08, 2009 13:27 (UTC -5)

eating is a good way to fill the time you have between classes. oh, studying too. i wouldn’t go back home because by the time i got there, i’d have to go back. it’s amazing how productive i can be if i’m stuck on campus with a book (and no facebook).

#2 by kristen: Wed Apr 08, 2009 15:05 (UTC -5)

I know what that’s like, in case you haven’t been reading my blog recently. Colleges make it really hard on you.

I actually like doing everything possible online. I don’t like being there much more than anyone else likes me being there, it takes away your time (and the teacher rarely adds much to it), and I can get insanely ahead in online classes but not in on-campus classes.

I don’t have a minor, but business classes are easy, but they’re so boring. It’s getting recommended left and right that I take accounting, which I really don’t want to (Principles of Management, Introduction to Business, Systems Analysis, and my remaining Project Management are required, so I’m basically burnt out on business).

I actually have all my classes planned for next semester; I just have to have my advisor approve them. 4 classes (13 hours) and 3 of them are online (the other one is available online, but I don’t think I could pass a math class on my own). Well, I’m thinking of taking a fifth (bouncing it up to 16): Computer Aided Drafting (which is only available online), which I thought might come in handy for web design and icon building, but I suck at drawing. So, I’ll just be in from 5:30-6:45 on Mondays and Wednesdays.

#3 by Keith: Wed Apr 08, 2009 20:46 (UTC -5)

@Andrea: Yes, but are the macro lectures funny?

@Kristen: Fortunately my free periods will fall during midday, so I’ll probably eat at least part of the time.

@Keith: I don’t know if I’d have the self-discipline to manage that many online classes, but it’s good that you do. I’m sure it’s really convenient.

#4 by Jordon Kalilich: Wed Apr 08, 2009 22:39 (UTC -5)

I can’t do online classes! I lack the on-the-computer discipline. I have at least an hour and a half between all my classes this semester, and I love it!! I go home usually during the two-hour break after my 8 AM science class (gross) and actually shower, eat, get ready. (I go to science looking like hell. I figure it’s OK since no one is awake. Ha.) During the other two 1.5 hr breaks, I either have lunch with a friend, run errands, or practice piano. Very leisurely.

And I was so excited about that Coursetopia site until I realized it was only for three schools! Boo. I do all my genius scheduling on scrap pieces of paper with all the available classes written on them that I push around on my desk until I’m happy. Old school. Ha.

#5 by Sarah: Thu Apr 09, 2009 11:20 (UTC -5)

Having time between my classes sounds like it’ll be a good thing. This semester they’re pretty bunched together; I have five classes in a row on Fridays, 8:30-1:40. Maybe I’ll use the in-between time to watch my online class, which I can’t go to in person because it will conflict with one of my other classes.

Maybe Coursetopia will expand soon. Tell them how much you want to use their service!

#6 by Jordon Kalilich: Thu Apr 09, 2009 16:31 (UTC -5)

The minor in business will be a very good thing – business classes have a lot of practical applications that you can use in a lot of areas in your life. Yes, Principles of Accounting will put you to sleep, and I don’t think I retained anything I learned in that class because I was asleep and had my friend’s accounting major boyfriend do my homework, but now I work in accounts payable, so I guess somewhere something sunk in.

As for the time you have between classes, find a quiet spot or head to the library to keep up on your homework. That way you will have more time to chillax when you get to your apartment after classes. What good is having an apartment if you can’t enjoy it?

#7 by Kirsten: Thu Apr 09, 2009 23:05 (UTC -5)

I really don’t see the big difference between online classes and in-class classes, except online classes save you several hours of class time a week. You still read the chapter, do the assignments, and have to have them in at a specific time (you upload them rather than print them and turn them in). I know a lot of people have trouble with online classes, but I prefer them, personally.

I hate having spare time between classes, though. I want them to be back-to-back so that I can just take them and go home without too much grief.

#8 by Keith: Sat Apr 11, 2009 15:42 (UTC -5)

I’m not sure, but I think the economics class doesn’t even have homework. I think there are just exams. That could be good or bad, but I’ve done well in those sorts of classes in the past.

#9 by Jordon Kalilich: Sat Apr 11, 2009 15:45 (UTC -5)

The only one like that I had was Introduction to Business. You were supposed to read the chapters and attend class (but I skipped one or both of those on occasion) and the tests were in essay form and open-book. Still, it was some of the most boring stuff ever. I got an A in it, unsurprisingly. Good luck with economics.

#10 by Keith: Thu Apr 16, 2009 11:36 (UTC -5)

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