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Jan 08 2010

My final semester of college!

Wow, typing that title was somewhat unnerving. On Monday I start my final semester here at Purdue. I can’t believe that I’ll be graduating in four months, but at the same time I am totally ready. I’ve had a bad case of senioritis this year because I’m so excited for graduate school – I’m mentally done taking required filler classes that have nothing to do with my interests. I’m ready to focus on genetics and evolution and to spend most of my time on independent research…somewhere. Still won’t know where for a little while.

But until then, I still have to go to class. I actually have a super easy semester because I planned it that way – killed myself the last three years to finish on an easy note. So here’s what I have in store:

Evolution – Yes folks, in four months I will graduate with two majors – Genetics and Ecology, Evolution & Environmental Biology – and I haven’t taken Evolution yet. You can’t take it until you junior year because of prerequisites, and last year the professor was on sabbatical so they just completely dropped the class. Somehow I have already taken Human Evolution, Evolutionary Psychology, Evolution of Behavior, and Sex & Evolution, yet I’ve never actually learned the basic introductory material about evolution. What the hell, Purdue.

I’m not sure how to feel about this class, really. On one hand I’m excited, because evolution is, well, awesome. On the other hand, I’m afraid that it’s going to be boring because I already know so much about evolution. I have a feeling it’s going to be fairly introductory, since none of the intro level Biology courses really cover evolution (which is a total shame).

Introduction to Social Psychology – My final psychology class to fulfill my minor (did you know I’m a Psychology minor? Well I am!). I’m feeling mildly apathetic toward this class. I really wanted to take Abnormal Psychology, but it was the exact same time as Evolution – the TWO classes I wanted to take of course had a conflict. Whatever, it’s probably for the best – the last thing I need to do is come home convinced that I’m a bipolar hedonistic borderline schizophrenic or something.

Biomedical Ethics – I’m taking this class on a complete whim just because I needed something to fill up my schedule so I can still be a full time student. Topics include abortion, stem cell research, euthanasia, and human experimentation. Depending on the professor and my classmates, it’s either going to be really awesome, or I’m going to be in a frothing rage every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. For my sanity, I hope for the former. For blogging fodder, you all better hope for the latter.

Biology Honors Thesis Seminar – A one credit class where we meet once a week for half the semester to watch each other present about our research. Woo.

TAing – I’m teaching again, yay! It’s a different class than before. Last semester I helped a professor and a grad student come up with the curriculum for a new NSF-funded freshman honors biology laboratory. The idea is to teach freshman lab skills by doing real research rather than cookbook boring labs. I’m not sure if I can talk about the project in detail, but it involves mutating bacteria and genetics, so what’s not to love? Well, we’ll see if the freshmen love it. I’m just happy I didn’t get stuck teaching the Drosophila Breeding Genetics Lab From Hell, which would have been my other option.

Other than that I have the Society of Non-Theists to run (and to plan for my successors), two papers to finish and submit to journals, grad school interviews and visits, the blog, the Book Idea, and…yeah, okay, maybe this is going to be an insane semester like always. I don’t understand the whole concept of “free time,” do I?

6 comments

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  1. 1
    Cycle Ninja

    Free time’s a funny thing…you end up paying for it some how.Good luck, and kick ass.

  2. 2
    libraryatheist

    … other than the minor, which I think I would be unable to stand, I want to be you when I grow up.It’s too bad I’m probably older than you.

  3. 3
    mike

    Jen:I’m curious, what schools did you apply to for grad school?

  4. 4
    Pablo

    The last semester of my senior year before getting a Chem major, I took “Children’s Literature” with a bunch of freshman el ed students. I think there was 1 other guy in the class.

  5. 5
    mcbender

    I currently have two or three semesters left, and I’m already horrified by how many courses I want to take which I won’t be able to fit into them. I can’t imagine what it must feel like to be in your position.Of course, I still have the graduate school search process to deal with… fun, fun.It sounds like you’re going to have an interesting semester – have fun with it.

  6. 6
    Laura

    I LOVED my social psych class. Which is a euphemistic title for “How to manipulate people and avoid being manipulated.”

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