Week 2

Here we are: week 2. I’m taking the following classes this semester:

Biol 112  Biology of the Cell. I’m loving this course! Cells, bacteria, DNA, macromolecules…isn’t the content of this course super interesting? What I especially love about this course is its “flipped classroom” style where you are expected to do all of your pre-reading the weekend before and when you’re in class, you learn what’s important, and do active learning with iClicker questions and group work. You get lots of opportunities and are encouraged to discuss your answers with your neighbours. Yay for social learning! I met our professor and one of TAs during their respective office hours and they both offered helpful advice and are incredibly nice.

Chem 121 Chemistry – I really enjoyed chemistry in high school so I was excited for university chemistry. So far, I haven’t been interested in class because we’re doing review. However, I firmly believe that once we get out of review and into new content, class will be interesting. I’m looking forward to my upcoming chem lab though. Hands on learning is the best!

Phys 117 Classical Mechanics – This is also a flipped classroom style class but I’m finding this course much more challenging than my Biol class. Most of our in class and out of class activities require internet access. For example, each week, we all annotate our textbook online with questions and then we answer each others’ questions. This can be frustrating for me because I don’t own a fancy portable Macbook that everyone in my class seems to own so I always have to wait until after class to run to the library to use a computer there. We spend most of our recent classes working through problems relating to acceleration and velocity. We had a pop quiz our second class which I did miserably on so I know that I’m going to have to study a LOT for this class. Physics doesn’t come easy to me so some of our in-class questions make me feel overwhelmed. Tomorrow, I’m going to do physics problems for a couple hours to catch up!

English 112 – Academic Writing. I look forward to going to this class and doing the readings!! Our professor has a great sense of humour and I like how the classes are classroom size ( about 30 students) rather than lecture hall size because we get more opportunities to participate in discussion and know our peers better. I believe that the skills we are learning about how to read critically and write so we can communicate effectively will be useful to us in our future studies and lives. I feel inspired by this class and hope that if I put in enough effort, I’ll leave a decent writer.

Math 102 Calculus.  Our professor is very enthusiastic about math. For example, on Tuesday, he expressed how he thought that the definition of derivatives and how it corresponded to the slope was simply amazing. I also enjoy the connections he makes between math and biology. I really like it when I can connect what I’m learning in one course to other courses! However, the online pre-lecture videos, difficulty I’m having finding extra practice questions (if you know where, please let me know. )and the mess of the Piazza board frustrate me and impede me from getting as in engaged in this course as I would like to. This may have to do with my lack of a little speedy laptop and how challenging it is for me to access my learning materials so don’t worry, this class will probably will be much better for you than it is for me. 🙂

 

Goals for this rest of this week and the next:

  • Stay on top of things.
  • I want to get more involved on-campus so my first step will be making a good impression in the first round of recruitment this weekend! I’m honestly not sure if this will be right for me but I decided that I will just give recruitment a try and see how it goes. I’m particularly interesting in getting involved in philanthropy events and potentially organizing and leading some! I was initially worried about academics and time commitment but when I asked and learned more, it seems like doing well academically and balancing other commitments as well is not only  possible but you get lots of support to do so.
  • Exercise! A couple friends and I are going to our local community centre gym tomorrow to get back into our fitness routines. Even though our community centre gym is very inexpensive, I usually only ever go to the gym if it’s free and instead run or do exercises at home or outdoors. I neglected my fitness and haven’t exercised since Imagine Day…. so a kick start back to fitness is worth one visit to the gym.
  • Focus on physics: Work through more practice questions in order to not feel so shaky about physics.
  • Continue meeting more people and making more friends 🙂

Cheers,

Shanna

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