I don’t know when – or how – it happened, but this morning I woke up, and it was October. (And at least ten degrees colder.) Despite Baltimore’s notoriously unpredictable weather, it seems that, for now, fall has arrived and is determined to make itself known. I’ve been awaiting this month with equal parts excitement and dread. The “Yay’s”: fall fashion (dusting off my knee-high boots with glee), all things apple-flavored (yet to get onboard with pumpkin fanaticism), Halloween (prepare yourself for the Buffy costume Instas), and opening night of Zombie Prom, the hilarious, cult-classic musical I’ve been working on since August. The “Boo’s”: I think a photo of my At-A-Glance sums it up quite nicely.
October marks the point in the semester when free time vanishes and stress levels skyrocket. Paper deadlines and exam dates approach at terminal velocity (for all you prospective physics majors: I tried), and extracurricular events seem determined to huddle in anxiety-ridden clumps that threaten to dominate every weekend from now until grad school.
But we’re not there yet! It’s only day one. So in this calm before the storm (Hurricane Joaquin, I see you.) I’ll share what I love about the five phenomenal classes I’m taking this semester.
Introduction to Business
I touched on this baby in my previous blog, so I’ll try not to be too repetitive. Highlights: this is a fundamentally interesting class that is unlike anything else Hopkins has to offer. It’s a crash-course in business know-how that covers everything from basic accounting principles, to ethical dilemmas, to the underlying causes of the United States’ most devastating economic crises. It’s complex, fast-paced, and at times overwhelming, but it’s crazy to assess just how much I’ve learned in the past month. Plus, I’m making all sorts of fake money in our stock market game, so that’s fun.
Introduction to Sociology
Honesty time: I took this class because it a) fulfills a distribution requirement and b) fits nicely into my schedule. But, as is always the way, it’s turned out to be a fan favorite! Lecture material is fascinating – we’ve already watched snippets from a TED Talk, a documentary on corporations, and the new Stanford Prison Experiment movie. And Aziz Ansari’s best-selling book on love in the 21st century is required reading, so I really couldn’t ask for anything more.
At first, this class made me the teensiest bit nervous. Not only is it terrifyingly upper-level, but it also culminates in an extensive, semester-long paper and project the likes of which I’ve never seen. Thankfully, my fears were all unfounded – this class is fun, interactive, and totally application-based. We tackle real-world problems and situations every day, and our professor encourages us to push for creative, innovative solutions. Tl;dr, I think I’m finally starting to think like a marketer. And that intimidating research project? My group has decided to market Cinnamon Toast in Spain, which means I’m in for one ~sweet~ semester. (Get it?)
Intermediate Poetry: Poetic Forms I
For a rhyme and meter nerd like me, this class is paradise. Each week, we tackle a new form and receive heaps of feedback, all with the end goal of producing a strong, sophisticated portfolio at the end of the semester. Greg Williamson – who has literally **invented his own forms** – presides over us plebeians, so I know we’re in the presence of a master.
Readings in Poetry: The Mind in Motion: The Rhetoric of Poetry
I know what you’re thinking: Two colons in the class title? What has this poor girl willingly gotten herself into? Have no fear! This mouthful isn’t nearly as daunting or complicated as it sounds. The Writing Seminars department is known for its compelling Readings courses; they’re the classes you dream of taking when you’re a freshman in IFP. As my football-coach-in-another-life of a father says, “This is why you lift all them weights.” Dora Malech (who got her MFA from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, nbd) offers an entirely new approach to poetry-writing and poetry-reading that’s been blowing my mind on a weekly basis. It’s a little too involved to go into here, but you can bet I’ll devote an entire blog post to this course later on in the semester.
Happy October, Internet! See you after midterms.