Friday, November 21, 2008

Yet Another Reason Why I'm Disenchanted with the Semester System

Today I ended up signing up for Still More Computer Science (better known as "systems") because there was nothing else to take. Seems that just about every worthwhile course at this university is part of a two-semester sequence that starts in the fall. This means that there are no decent one-off courses for the spring. Even the course on How to Grow Grass (for three credit hours! four if you take the lab!) is not offered in the spring.

Dartmouth, with its seriously non-traditional academic calendar had sequences that started during any term. For example, when I was there, the non-honors intro sequence in physics was a winter (mechanics) - spring (E&M) - fall (special relativity + atomic) - winter (more atomic) sequence. In math, the topology - algebraic topology sequence was a winter-spring sequence.

Now the problem is deciding what to take in the fall. Do I take the first half of the studio art sequence? The first half of the theatre department's costume design and construction sequence? The first half of the "real" statistics sequence? The first half of Industrial Engineering's operations research sequence? So many options -- but I do get to take up to nine credit hours for free.