Second Semester: A Pre-Re-View

January 23, 2007

I guess I’ve put this off long enough.

Second semester. Qualified with freshman year. Qualified with ‘of college.’

I have a relatively jam-packed schedule. Though ironically, the class that I added to take me over the credit-cap doesn’t really add much busy-ness to my schedule. Oh, the irony.

I’m taking five classes this semester: Latin, Organic Chemistry, Discrete Math, Cell Biology, and Common Intellectual Experience (CIE)*.

Latin is fun. I find myself having tons of epiphanies this semester about words and their etymological roots. Take neuter for example. It comes from a combination of “ne” (not) and “uter” (each of the two). So “ne+uter” means neither of the two. I know, you could find that in just about any dictionary, but it’s more fun when you realize it for yourself! And our teacher, different from last semester, also knows a whole boat-load about the roots of Indo-European languages. For example, the word vigilare means to be awake. In the transference of words from Latin to the Germanic languages, and then eventually the English language (the English language comes from a mix of the languages of the Saxon and Anglo tribes of Germany), the letter g loses it’s guttural sound and gains a hard sound, becoming a “k” sound. The letter “v” in Latin is pronounced as a “w” in English. So, from the Latin “vigil” you get wikil-, and eventually, wake. Pretty cool, huh? I love that sort of stuff! If only I could take a class on ONLY etymology…

Now to the land of science and mathematics. Organic is pretty cool. Though we’ve yet to learn anything new as of yet. Mostly we learned about bonding, acids and bases, and about bond hybridization. Nothing all that stellar. But the class has potential. My brother and dad both fell in love with organic chemistry, so there’s always that chance. Though I see myself as more of a physical chemist, personally.

Discrete Mathematics. A very strange class. Being as it deals with the most basic tenets of mathematics, Discrete is easy and challenging at the same time. A section might cover a problem such as: Find the next number in this sequence: 2, 4, 6, 8, __. The very next problem might have to do with the fundamentals of our mathematical system. Woah?! Yeah. This class definitely shows the most potential for pushing me as a student and a thinker. I look forward to the challenge.

Cell Biology: AP, take two. But dumbed down. Yeah, Cell Bio is a fun class. I like the teacher. I don’t like being in a class with 70 bio majors. They all scare me with their… bio-ness. And uM (micromolar). I have to say, both Mr. O and Mr. Hagan did a FANTASTIC job teaching us. Because this class has been a cakewalk so far. And looks to stay that way. Thermodyanics? OH NO!?!?! Psh, I could do that stuff in my sleep. Hydrogen bonding?!?!?! Just picture Mr. H doing his fun H-bond grabbing bonanza.**

CIE. Well, I like the readings. First semester mostly covered the ancient texts of the Western world. Not my cup of tea. I look forward to getting into Enlightenment thinking. That’s the kind I can relate to. Nice.

Well, there you have it. I left out the lab classes. But I left them out because I don’t like them. Though, ironically, they’re the ones I need the most… Sigh…

I hope YOUR second semester of school / life is going well.

Namaste.

* CIE for all future references refers to a humanities class in which we explore the “three big questions”: how should we live our lives; what is our place in the universe; and what does it mean to be human? We rarely ever ACTUALLY pursue those classes. But what can you expect from what is effectively a Gen Ed class covering questions that have puzzled humanity from the beginning of time?

**Dude, our high school teachers ROCKED! You don’t realize that until you get to college and everyone’s lost and you’re thinking, ‘But Mr./Mrs. X said ___. Look, it’s so simple…”

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One Response to “Second Semester: A Pre-Re-View”

  1. IBP said

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