I love online shopping.

Like JHU_Genevieve, Amazon Prime is my best friend, and I love searching the internet for my needs and desires.

However, once every semester, there is a special flavor of online shopping that fills my heart with more joy than any pair of Christmas flamingo socks. That, my friends, is the biannual browse of the course catalog.

BME is fairly rigid, as the major has several requirements to ensure that we’re able to graduate and know how to, you know, build things. All of the course requirements are laid out nicely in what I refer to as the “BME Road Map,” a document that lays out a potential semester-by-semester plan.

A few weeks before my advising meeting, I opened up the Road Map and saw two words that caused my heart to beat fast and a single tear of happiness to roll down the side of my face. Those words were “Free Elective.”

Don’t get me wrong; I love BME and love my engineering classes. But at the same time, I’m also interested in almost everything, from sociology to civil engineering and American history.

With this free elective came a lot of responsibility. This was not an opportunity to squander away on your run-of-the-mill Intro to Fiction and Poetry or Introduction to Sociology. Knowing the full power and potential of an open slot in my schedule, I took the time to go through essentially the entire course catalog to find The Perfect Elective™.

I found several unique and interesting-sounding classes from this one about zoos…..

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 10.00.42 AM

to this one about Witchcraft……..

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 10.03.54 AM

and even a class about Cartooning.

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 9.57.36 AM

Despite my enthusiasm for my non-major classes, the voice of reason inside my head told me to take a step back and take a look at when my BME classes for the semester (SBE II and SBE II Lab) met, as well as the focus area classes that I’m interested in (Control Systems and Micro/Nano).

I laid it all out on this high-tech piece of notebook paper, though I’m sure someone has figured out how to make a computer do this. In red are my BME requirements and in green are my focus area classes. Then in pink, I inserted the electives that interested me.


Right now it looks like the top contenders for the coveted prize of JHU_Emily’s free elective are Chemical Pollution & Social Life, Engineering Design Graphics, Visualization, and CAD, and Race and Ethnicity in American Society.

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 11.00.46 AM

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 10.12.55 AM

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 10.08.08 AM

What will I end up spending my free elective on?

Only the events of registration day will tell.