The Shiny Stuff of Scholarly Pursuits

18 Aug

Just a contextual sort of thing this afternoon, as I keep getting asked what I’ll be studying (often by the same people who’ve simply forgotten) and it’d be easier to just say it once in here and have done.  So my fall semester will see joyful frolicking in the following subjects:

  • Italian language.  Required course for everyone, sole focus of the entire first month.  Yeessss.
  • The Medici as Patrons of the Arts.  An art history / history class zeroed in on an intensely interesting subject, taught by a professor that everyone seems to love.
  • The Sight-Size Tradition: Drawing and Portraiture.  A figure drawing class taught in a practicing atelier.  It’s being billed as a beginner-level introduction to a certain method of taking measurements and building form, and while I’m hardly a straightforward ‘beginner,’ I have never received real formal instruction in drawing or gotten much practice with charcoal.  …So basically I am recklessly excited.
  • Weaving the Tale: Literary and Visual Art Narratives of Renaissance Florence.  A literature course, taught by one of the professors from my home college.  She’s fantastic, and students in this class are apparently meant to spend all their time reading and looking at pictures and drawing, so not exactly in agonies here either.

And that’s about all I can say for classes at the moment, but those nosy for more info can go here.

Also, just to reiterate for those who didn’t catch this, I’m a double major in studio art and philosophy with a minor in English, so these courses are hitting 2 of my 3 main areas of study.  Which is great, because obviously one can’t even consider a semester abroad unless it can keep you on track to graduate with all the necessary credits to complete your major.  Upon my return to Cornell, then, I’ll be submitting an academic petition to turn that Medici class into an art history credit, and the Sight-Size class into a studio art credit; without petitions, all courses just count as ‘Credit Received.’

Slight annoyance over the petition process aside (and that really shouldn’t be a big deal), I’m seriously in love with the ‘Credit Received’ system.  You know why?  Because it means that, while you *are* given a grade for each class, that grade does not go on your transcripts.  Which in turn means that a student only needs a ‘C’ in any class to get the credit, and their GPA will go completely unmolested.  And don’t take it the wrong way; I’m still at a 4.0, and it’s hardly as though I won’t be giving 100% effort to each class (fine, maybe 96% if I get lazy), but it’s really nice to not have to worry about grades for once.

And anything else….books.  Right.  So obviously books are kind of heavy and obnoxious when you only have so much room in your suitcase, but we were told to buy a couple of the necessary texts ahead of time because they’re simply not available over there.  And others we were told to buy because we should have them read by the time classes start.  Thankfully none of them are weapons-grade hefty, and I actually do seem to have room in my luggage to bring all of the required ones and then some, but obviously avoid going gung-ho on buying books before you know what will fit.  (And once again I’d just like to point out that that’s a very sad thing for me to say, because gung-ho book-buying is one of my specialties.  *sorrow sigh.*)

And…yes, that’s all I’ve got for now.  But (and this has nothing to do with anything), I’ve realized that I have been doing an insane amount of baking lately, and I think it’s just because I’m getting antsy.  Not nervous per se, but fidgety.  As in I’ve made literally about 14 different things in a little over a week, including cinnamon rolls all the way from scratch, a pie and a couple cakes I’d never tried before, and an embarrassing variety of cookies.  All of it’s turning out pretty great, and I actually do have plans on what to do with these things (if worse comes to worst, “throw everything in freezer / run away” is my backup), but all the same I’m sure my family must be getting sick of walking in every afternoon just to find that the pantry has spawned more baked goods : /

BUT, so be it.  If the house always smells like Christmas now, we’ll just have to live with it.

One week left.

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Posted by on August 18, 2011 in Classes, Family, Practicalities


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