Prepping for next semester

4 November 2015

It’s weird thinking about next semester when we’ve only really just passed midterms. But that’s academia for you. And honestly, I love going through course catalogues and planning out my schedules. This upcoming term was no different in that aspect… however, I just wasn’t really sure I’d find enough to fill my credit requirements — or that I’d have a semester of just filler classes.

Thankfully, my department added a few classes to their offerings and well, ok, I still struggled a bit coming up with my spring schedule… But I think I’m finally ok with it. (Which is good because I’m writing this just over an hour before my registration opens.)

What I’m taking:
» Anthropology & Architecture – this is a special topics course, so I don’t know when they’ll offer this again. It’s one of two classes I’m most excited about (both are actually taught by the same professor). This one is exploring the structure and function of spaces. It’ll be more than just homes and houses, but also spaces where communities come together and ritual spaces. We’ll even be discussing museum spaces and how they’re used for education and sharing culture/history. There might also be some room for field trips — which I am definitely hoping happens.

» Ethnographic Methods – this was a late add for the department. It’s apparently a requirement for graduation and typically only offered in the fall. Thankfully (for me) a handful of seniors still needed it before they finished next April, and so, now it’s offered again and open to anyone. It’s the same professor as the Architecture course, so yes it’s one of the ones I’m excited about. Ethnography is a subset of anthropology, and focuses on the study of customs and cultures. Gaining a strong ethnographic background will help me be able to interpret cultures into museum exhibits. This will apparently be a project heavy course, but I’m up for the challenge.

» Introduction to Art – yep, this is a 100-level course. As someone who wants to work in a museum, it’s a good idea to have a basic knowledge of the artifacts I’ll be working with. This course will do just that. I’m mostly interested in the non-painting art, but knowing general styles of various periods will be useful. I opted for the two-day a week evening class. The professor has good ratings, and he also has been working with a few key folklore societies/organizations and is the head of the digitalization of collections for our libraries. In other words, could be a good resource for museum-y stuff.

» Introduction to Native American Studies – I debated this course a couple of times. It seems right up my alley and very interesting, and the professor is good. However, it’s online. The professor is working in another state right now. And I’m not fond of online classes. So I may drop this one for that reason. But, I want to make sure I keep my minimum credits. And I really should take this course at some point. I don’t want it to sound like I’m not excited about this course… I just really don’t like online courses.

» Internship – I don’t have this locked down yet, but I’m hoping I can land an internship in collections management. There’s a local cultural center/museum not far from campus and where I live, and there’s also a collections internship within the applied anthropology lab on campus. I’d also like to do one with the Indiana State Museum, but driving back to forth from here to Indy while also in on-campus classes… not really ideal. (Though we’ll assume I’ll have a car by then.) My the end of the week, I should hopefully have my applications in. Oh, and the professor who’s the internship advisor? Same one teaching my architecture and ethnography courses. Good thing I really value him as a mentor and educator.

The way this schedule works out is I’ll have my two on-campus anthropology courses on Tuesdays and Thursdays — one in the morning and another late afternoon. And then Mondays and Wednesdays, I’ll have my art history class in the evenings. This leaves a lot of time during the week for my internship. And plenty of time between my classes on Tuesday/Thursdays to work on my online class. Who knows, might be able to keep Fridays free — three day weekends! Which of course will be filled with homework and projects. (Or I might be able to work if I don’t get the internship.)

So while I struggled a bit at the beginning trying to come up with a meaningful course schedule, I think I did ok. Of course, now I’m trying to figure out what requirements I still need to be able to finish everything by next fall. Just need to make sure I stay on track, because as much as I’m loving all of this, I’m getting further into debt every term.

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