29 January, 2007

Course review, part I

So I'm taking four upper-division bio classes: immunology, physiology, developmental biology, and principles of evolution.

Principles of evolution is taught by Sam Sweet, who comes highly recommended by cool people and who lives up to the recommendations. He's got long white hair and a long white beard (think slightly-strange-old-man-who-lives-in-a-cabin-in-the-woods-and-traps-small-animals-for-their-pelts rather than Santa Claus, here) and an eccentric personality and dry sense of humor to match. Phrases like "last year's dead Eskimo dog" come up with some regularity in class.

Kathy Foltz, my advisor, teaches developmental bio, and she's wonderful and the class is wonderful and I just sit there and bask in the wonderfulness of it all. The TA's wonderful, too. Unfortunately, the class meets at 8am on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which means that I've missed two out of the six classes.

Physiology is a subject that interests me enough that not even a teacher (William Smith, if anyone reading this finds that to be useful information) who does not find it interesting can ruin it for me. (This tidbit comes to you courtesy of Shine Ling, another wonderful person who will be addressed in a later post.) Mostly when you ask him questions he says, "Hm. I don't know. I bet someone else does, though." I find this infuriating, so today in class when someone asked him why doctors test your reflexes and he responded as usual, I just answered the question for him. He did not really believe me, but I am right. I am also far too stuck up and intolerant for someone of my tender years, but we all have our little foibles.

Immunology is just boring. It's a subject that's complicated enough and poorly-enough understood that it really HAS to be taught by someone with an insanely good grasp of structure, and the professor just doesn't. Mostly what he says ends up making not much sense. But the book's still interesting.

All in all, I'm having great fun this quarter. I don't have the time to do half the things I want to do, like sleep, which means that I am NEVER BORED. Which has always been my primary goal in life.


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