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October 25, 2013

Watt’s Up? A Lot of Things.

I grew up in a town where a lot of people had deep roots. Friends would talk about staying over at their cousins’ house, or going to lunch with their grandma and grandpa. For me, seeing any non-nuclear family member required, at minimum, an airline ticket and time spent with our friends the TSA. One set of cousins live in New York – three more sets are scattered throughout Scotland.

Not to say I don’t love all my extended family – they are individually and collectively wonderful – but my time with them has been intermittent rather than constant. So it was a wonderful surprise to open my mailbox a few nights ago and see an envelope stampted “Royal Mail” and the Queen’s face – sure signs of Scotland, to me.

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The book on the left is “A History of the Watts,” all about people who share my name. The drawing are of me, a turtle in a tree, and a cup of tea.

Close observers might note that in Scotland, college is called “uni” – a minor difference compared to the distinction that college in Scotland is essentially free.

Remember my post a couple of weeks ago about how life in college is different? There’s a big thing I missed – college works on a semester system and not a yearlong schedule.

That means that my calc professor shocked the class today by announcing we only had nine lectures left. That means that I’m going to have start studying for my first final in three weeks rather than in six months. That means that, above all, course selection is next week!

Right now, I’m in four (and a half) courses (Math 124, Geog 017, Geog 127, Music 101, and CSC 110, for half a credit). Hopefully, if everything works out, I’ll end up taking these courses next semester:

  • MATH 125 - Honors Calculus II. This is a continuation from Honors Calc I (Math 124), which I’m in now. It’s a really fun class (which I didn’t expect) which has only 12 people in it (which I really didn’t expect). I always disliked math until calc last year, and it’s nice to find out that I still enjoy it.
  • PHYS 121 - Introduction to Physics with Calculus. Since I’m going to be a physics major, it’s probably a good idea to take a physics course or two. This semester, I’m not taking any, since AP credit exempted me from Physics 120.
  • GEOG 190 - Introduction to Geographic Information Science. Despite the tremendously boring name, I’m really excited about taking this class. Contrary to the popular misconception, geography is not actually all about maps (that’s cartography). GIS really starts to get into the actual work of Geography. As does the final course I want to take…
  • GEOG 238, Social Justice and the City. The above three courses, fun though they’ll be, are a little number-heavy. Once I’m sick of Taylor Polynomials and can’t look at the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus without recoiling, I’ll do my reading for Social Justice. It’s a fascinating topic.

Of course, there’s a good chance I won’t get into at least one of those courses. Like almost every school in America, Clark has a year-based registration system. My deadline is November 13th – seniors get to register beginning on the 5th, a full week earlier. But we’ll see.

And speaking of deadlines, I know a big one is coming up – Clark’s early action deadline is November 1st! For all you seniors out there, now’s the time to finally make a Common App account. All jokes aside, early action is a wonderful opportunity, and you should take advantage of it.

Finally, to offset my text-heavy post, here’s a couple of pictures of my friends – they’re working at a haunted house this weekend.

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Happy scaring!

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