Tuesday, July 21, 2009

First Year Classes

During first year orientation, you sign up for classes at a prescribed time. Problem one, I had the second-to-last time slot, and problem two, I went to the wrong building (I went to Bryant instead of Bryan).

(for future reference, THIS is Bryan Hall)
Photo© 2002 Mary Ann Sullivan)

By the time I signed up, I had to go through my 5th and 6th choices for each class slot... I was freaking out! One of the orientation leaders told me not to stress about it, because when enrollment opens after First Year orientations, most upperclassmen start moving around their schedules and freeing up space. This year, open enrollment begins on August 5th.

I kept one class from that original schedule... CLAS375, "The City of Rome in Antiquity." --completely random, and unrelated to any skill/language/background on my part-- It was a topography class, but I didn't even know what that meant. (I found out later that it's a mix between cartography, history, and archeology.)

One of my biggest fears about first-year classes was that my professors would ignore their undergrads in favor of their research. What I found instead is that professors are really excited to integrate their latest discoveries with the regular classroom. My final project in this class was to critique one building of a 3D map of Rome that my professor was working on in a lab here in Cville (based on the Severan marble plan of Rome). I used the history I'd picked up in the classroom, some map-reading that I picked up in his labs, and my own research- and by the end, I'd worked with him, his grad students, and fellow undergrads. Awesome.

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