Posted on Monday, 8 March 2004 at 02:30 AM. About Ames.


Classes have been going this semester than the last two, but still I'm finding myself bombing one important class. So much so, in fact, that I think I'm going to be dropping it mid-term. Unfortunately, I already dropped another class because the prof was crazy, so in order to remain eligible for scholarships, I will need to add one credit in the form of a second-half semester course. I figured I would share my thoughts, partly to commit the list to words, but mostly because my slack-aciousness is forcing me to take a long, hard look at my choice of schooling. To wit, my options:

Botany 340: Biodiversity
Survey of the major groups of organisms and biological systems. Definition,
measurement, and patterns of distribution of organisms. Sources of information about biodiversity.
Why: It would definitely be a change of pace.
Why not: The course prerequisite is "one class in the life sciences." I haven't taken "life science" since high school, as far as I know, but I think I could fake it. However, the schedule is not clear on whether the class starts this week or last week. Sketchy.

Economics 338C: Topics in Grain Markets
A hands-on application of economic concepts and principles to agricultural commodity markets, marketing methods, risk management, and related agribusiness decision.
Why: I don't know anything about grain markets.
Why not: I don't know anything about grain markets.

Excercise and Sport Science, various
I can choose from golf, tennis or "triathlon training."
Why: Getting off my ass and getting in shape can only be a good thing. Plus, easy credit.
Why not: They're all full. Plus, I hate golf, am not quite ready to prepare for a triathlon, and... I like tennis, yes, but I have yet to win a game without the help of my trusty Dreamcast. There could be problems.

Liberal Arts & Sciences 380: Life in Iowa Orientation
Class work examines the sustainable community from five perspectives: politically, economically, spiritually, ecologically, and in community. Students perform research and asset mapping of the community in which they will be working.
Why: I will turn 21 in two weeks, and could use a reason to drink.
Why not: The last time I checked, people were emigrating from Iowa in droves, which would imply that it is not, in fact, a sustainable community. Anyway, I'm pretty sure that if I signed up, I would be required to take seven more credit hours of "Life in Iowa" work in the semesters to come, which would be a psychic trauma too dramatic to even contemplate.

Military Science 102: The United States Defense Establishment
This course instructs students on the U.S. Army's Principles of Warfighting. Students will gain an understanding of the applied skills, proven successful, required to defeat an opponent: militarily, athletically, or in the business world. Historical battles and significant military leaders will be analyzed to highlight dimensions of leadership that can be quantifiably assessed. Instruction will include programs to teach students the methodology used in ROTC to assess the leadership skills of both others and of self. Additional instruction will include time management, decision-making, counseling, rappelling, marksmanship, and confidence-building tasks.
Why: I'm dropping a class because I slept in constantly and missed not only a month of class, but two quizzes and a major exam. I could use time-management skills. And rappelling and marksmanship would be very helpful should I ever decide to take the dark path of the ninja engineer, in order to avenge the death of my father at the hands of a rival clan of hydrologists.
Why not: With a batting average below .500, perhaps the U.S. Army is not the best organization to teach me how to defeat an opponent. And anyway, this seems like an awfully bizarre mish-mash of skills for a one-credit course, unless that list of 'significant military leaders' isn't as long as they like to think...

University Studies 150: Dialogues on Diversity
An exploration of diversity within the context of the Iowa State University community through understanding human relations issues.
Why: Another easy credit, especially considering that "diversity within the context of Iowa State University" never gets past tokenism. Ask my roomate--a.k.a. "Da Asian"--about this sometime.
Why not: Do I really want to spend my hard-not-yet-earned-dollars on "University Studies?"

That's my university. I see now why we're only a third-tier school.

At any rate, I think I'll try for some dialoguing, then see if I can get into either Tennis or a class called "Great Environmental Writing" that would I would have to leave early from once a week. Although Chris Crouch, thanks to the magic of the internet, just recommended the biodiversity one... choices, choices. Please lend me your thoughts, if you have them.

1 comment(s) on 'Contingencies'.

  1. 1 daniel
    Posted on Monday, 15 March 2004 at 03:16 PM about 'Contingencies'.

    Tough call...That Uni of yours is one big strange place. How about a search for some other way to get that one credit? Does the school offer some other way outside of classroom to get credits?

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