Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Beginning of the End!

We begin our spring semester here at Harvard tomorrow! YAY!!! This will be the first day of my final semester here at this crazy, whack job place!

Among the weird things Harvard does differently, because, well, it's Harvard, is we don't actually choose our classes until after classes begin. I know, this sounds crazy...and it is. The idea is that you get to go to a variety of classes the first week (which is called Shopping Period) and learn about them, the requirements, etc. (I could go on a tirade about American Capitalist Consumer Culture, but that would make me sound like a Harvard student...and we can't have that!).

The idea of a Shopping Period sounds good in theory (article: Shopping Frenzy: An Honored Tradition). The problem, though, is that professors begin teaching on the first day of classes. The Shopping Period implies that if there are, say, two classes you are interested in that meet on Monday & Wednesday at 11 you should be able to attend one class on Monday and the other on Tuesday and then make an informed decision...sounds good, right? Well, in actuality, the professors begin teaching from day one...so that means you either miss day one of Class 2 or day two of Class 1 before you figure out which one you want. The system, IMHO, sounds great in theory but falls woefully short in reality.

Anyway, I've already mentioned I'm taking a class at Weston Jesuit School of Theology called Theology of Culture. At Harvard, I'm planning on taking a class on museums called Exhibiting Cultures, which promises trips to museums in New York and Boston (YAY! field trips in grad school!), and then I need two more classes and I'm split between three classes:
  • History of Harvard and Its Presidents (which is taught by Rev. Peter Gomes who is a friggin' Rock Star!)
  • African American Religious History-Part II (I took the first part last semester and really like the professor, Wallace Best)
  • Religion in America from 1865 to the 1970s (which is taught by Robert Orsi who've I've heard nothing but good stuff about)
So, all three of these classes meet tomorrow--amazingly at different times, so I'll actually be able to do the whole shopping thing--which means I should know which two of the three I'll be taking by tomorrow night.

But, by far, the best part of the new semester is that it is my last semester here!
F R E E D O M ! ! ! !

Thanks Be to God and Boomer Sooner
Feast of St. Hyacintha of Mariscotti

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