Friday, 2004-03-19; 10:50:00

I told you I would scream if I have another 8:30 class.

How appropriate... towards the end of this past quarter, I put up this away message: "I swear... if I have an 8:30 class next quarter I am going to go into a screaming rage!"

Well, guess what. Apparently I'm going to be going into a screaming rage sometime soon. *sigh* Murphy's Law strikes again!

Seriously, though, I have a hard time accepting that many students can actually learn a lot at that time in the morning. I must have slept through or completely missed a substantial amount of geochem this past quarter (since it was at the same time), and since I was taking a regular chem class at the same time, I figure that I was able to afford it last quarter. In contrast, Spring quarter's 8:30 AM class is going to be structural geology, which is something I haven't really had before. So I'm either going to not do so well in the class, or I'm going to have to start getting to bed earlier on Monday and Wednesday nights.

My advisor said that she enjoyed teaching morning classes (when she did teach them), because all of the lecture material was fresh in her mind and she was able to give better lectures because she hadn't had anything during the day to mess up her concentration during lecture. I also heard from her (or maybe from my geochem prof) that because there is such a resistance from students to 8 AM classes, the registrar is getting frustrated trying to find space for various courses because of the time constraints. I respect both reasons for advocating such early classes, but I still think the overriding concern should be whether students learn or not, and I have a hard time believing that these early classes will be conducive to that. My advisor herself told me that her class got slammed on student evaluation forms mainly because of the time slot.

It's funny how in elementary school and junior high, I used to get up every day at 6 AM without any problem. I guess that's just a function of how much schoolwork has increased through the years. I guess I can look forward to another sleep-depriving quarter.

Another thing that gets on my nerves is that the Italian lit class next quarter is going to conflict with a geology course I want to take. Scratch that -- I need to take the geology class. I was hoping maybe to see if the professor could change the time of the class so that I could attend it, but my afternoons are pretty much taken up except for Tuesday and Friday, and I doubt that 1) the professor would be willing to change and 2) that the other students would be willing to have a non-afternoon class, a Friday class, or an after-4 PM class. So I guess that's going to be pushed to Spring quarter of senior year. I might e-mail the prof just to see if something could be worked out; I'd really like to continue the series next quarter.

I also don't want to take stats next quarter, so I'm considering postponing that until Spring quarter of senior year as well, and taking CS 107 instead. That should be fun, more-so than stupid stats. I dunno, maybe stats will be better than high school, but somehow I doubt it.

As for this quarter, I think everything turned out alright in the end. The presentation we had for hydrology went really well, and the paper turned out fine as well. I managed to eke out an A- in the class after taking the final, so that's good. I think I did surprisingly well on the Chem 31M final (and I actually got a 386 out of 415 according to CourseWork), so I think I eked out an A- in that class as well. I'm kind of concerned about the final in Italian, but it's overwith, and I don't think I did TOO badly. Oh, yeah, and what's REALLY nice is that the play gave me 2 units of A+ credit towards my GPA, which is nice (apparently A+s are worth 4.3 in GPA units!).

As for geochem... all I must say is ugh. I think I did fine on the final; that's not what killed me. Besides the 8:30 AM time slot (*sigh*), I initially signed up for the class as 4 units. It turned out that the extra unit (you can take it for 3 units as well) means that you have to do a 10-page research paper for the class. I wasn't there for the first week of class (because of MWSF), so somehow I didn't hear about this until it was TOO LATE to change the number of units back to 3.

What's dumb is the extra unit can't count for elective units in the GES major, so the only conceivable reason to take it for 4 units is to boost your GPA if you think you can do well in the class, or to make the tests and problem sets count for less of your grade.

But whatever, I didn't really care about doing the research paper. Up until Wednesday, that is. I procrastinated in doing any work whatsoever on the paper; the only thing I did do was go to talk to the professor about the paper, who suggested a topic and two journal articles that would be appropriate starting points for the topic. Luckily I did at least that. I actually succeeded in doing NOTHING on the paper on Monday and Tuesday (even though I had nothing to do those days except for study for finals for Thursday), so on Wednesday I went to the library at 9 in the morning, and did a marathon research/writing session until 3 AM on Thursday morning. I took a few breaks so I could stand it (especially since I really don't like being at the library at night), but I managed to get the paper done. I only got 3 hours of sleep that night, since I had to get up early to study for my two finals that day that started at 8:30 in the morning. Needless to say I was sleepy that whole day, and it probably affected how I did on those finals (A- in hydrology notwithstanding).

Anyway, at least that's over-with. But I'm still feeling the effects of not getting sleep that night. I should just go to bed now or something.

As for the outlook on the rest of my year at Stanford, but it looks significantly less busy than this. I was freaking out because for some reason the courses in Italy next fall don't satisfy any GER 4s (despite 4a being World Cultures, heh), but it turns out that I can take a class to fulfill the Italian minor, and I can also take classes remotely if need be (I just need to arrange it with the professor). But it's likely that I won't actually have to take classes remotely, because 6 units of honors thesis work can actually be counted as elective units for the GES major, which frees up a substantial amount of time. So it looks like I'll be able to enjoy my time in Italy in the fall (14 active units, 3 for the honors thesis), Winter will be kinda busy (18 units, probably), and Spring quarter will only be 14 units. That makes me feel a lot happier, since it means that doing all that I wanted to do is actually much more doable than I thought. I just need to get through this next quarter...

Heh, as Sobie, one of my former dormmates says, it's my damn fault for taking 20 units. So I guess I shouldn't be surprised that it's so much work.

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