Scholar’s was easily my most chill class this semester. My Thursday’s were packed, but it was still the best part of my day to come to class and discuss pseudoscience. The syllabus gave me a pretty good idea of what to expect. It’s so rare to be able to talk to other people about supernatural/pseudoscientific matters without tensions running high. I felt like we didn’t go that deep though. In every colloquium we easily pointed out logical fallacies in every topic presented. But we didn’t go further into whether we should believe in anything supernatural. Dr. Peel of course made many comments / hints about his opinions about this of course.
I went on two excursions, both of which were really cool (of course I knew the topics beforehand, that’s why I went). The excursion assignments didn’t have ELMS deadlines, and that tripped up a lot of people (myself included). Both the excursions were super engaging and work wasn’t hard. Just had trouble remembering to do it.
The peer mentors (as a group) we’re super helpful throughout the semester. The SDU mentors made a discord and we could interact with any of them. The social hours / game nights were just the ✨ greatest ✨. I will definitely come to those as long as they exist. It’s so great to be able to de-stress, to have a set time for it.
The elephant in the room is how instruction has changed due to the pandemic. My experience has varied substantially between classes. At one end, there were my CMSC professors who didn’t use ELMS assignments / announcements, behaving as if they were 1995 computer literate, and not 2020 computer literate (ironic). And the other end, you have my COMM professor who organized all assignments into weekly modules, made summary announcements, and recorded lesson / tutorial videos for nearly everything. In the middle is my STAT professor, who made assignments but kept his files and announcements disorganized. Above all, I see that Canvas is incredibly powerful and flexible LMS, with sensible defaults (Modules, Pages, Files, Announcements, Discussions). If only all my teachers used these features correctly…
The days / weeks blend together and I have lost all sense of time. I feel stuck with the only variables in my life being workload and the weather. I was hunting for a past assignment to reference in a later one. I thought I’d only submitted it a few days ago. Imagine my shock when I found it from 2 weeks back. I’m grateful for winter recess, but I’m not looking forward to another semester of the same. I want to shake up the routine and come to campus (that part of me has lost). Then I see the savings of not dorming and feel guilty.
I’m still in touch with nearly all my friends from high school. I miss high school so much, which is weird because its not like I want to go back to class. I’m resentful I didn’t get to say bye to my favorite teachers. I was helping organize a hackathon, fresh off victory from a MUN conference, and about to be recognized by the engineering department. I was planning on coming back to see my clubs and EC’s, but they’re all suspended. If high school had ended early (as in we held graduation the week before lockdown) I don’t think I’d be feeling this way. Instead it was cut short, unfinished.
As for an unexpected connection between my classes, I was surprised just how much math/stat was used in my business class. I mean, everyone knows math is used to keep track of finances. I didn’t realize that some complicated statistics were also used to estimate a venture’s probability of success. I’m not a business or finance major, and the level of detail blew me away. For example, to estimate the size of our customer base, we had to use census data and state legislation, and compare that with competitors to estimate our potential market share. Yikes.
All-in-all, this was a pretty good semester, but I hope it gets better next time around.