Picking Classes

posted Aug 17, 2011, 9:12 AM by jj pionke
Earlier this month, they opened up registration so we could finally pick classes.  Apparently, within the first couple of hours, most of the incoming class, about 180 people, had registered.  This is unprecedented for the program because most of the time, people just register willy nilly until pretty much the first day of school.  I've been told that my class is very eager, to put it politely.  LOL  Still, registering for classes offered a bit of excitement and worry in part because I have more time constraints than others because I have a Grad Student Instructor position (more on that in the coming weeks/months).  Eventually, I was able to get the classes and sections that I needed, but it was a little hairy there for a bit.

My classes for the Fall term:

501: Contextual Inquiry and Project Management
    This is a PEP credit class which basically means that there will be a major project, worked with an outside company, and your own group.  It will suck up oodles of time and make you want to cry.  It can also be very rewarding and a lot of fun, when it is not sucking up oodles of time.  At least, this is what current students have told me.  501 is a core class and therefore required.  It's only offered in the Fall so every incoming student is taking it.  At least I am not alone, right?

502: Networked Computing: Storage, Communication, and Processing
    According to the grapevine, the guy who teaches this class is amazing and a teaching teacher, meaning his only job is teaching, he doesn't have to publish and isn't under the constraints that many of his colleagues undoubtedly feel with publish or perish.  I am worried about this class because by the end of it we will have to be programming in Python, which apparently is a pretty easy language to program in.  Considering I have an abysmal history with languages and math, I am worried.  Still, they say that the professor is very approachable and eager to help students who are struggling.  I hope they are right.

647:  Information Resources and Services
    This class is now a required course if you are a library science specialization, which I am.  From what I have heard it's a sort of, this is all the things that librarians do.  There are guest lectures and you kind of try on the different parts of librarianship before you make decisions about what you want to be when you grow up, in theory.  

Overall, there seems to be a common theme of you come to the program with a set goal of becoming X and then along the way fall in love with R which leads you to G instead.  Since I am a little older, I am not sure how much this is going to happen to me. I want to stay in higher education which means academia, so we will see.

I am excited about my classes.  I wish I was taking 4 like pretty much everyone else.  I am taking less because of the GSI and because I am still teaching 2 classes online for the two community colleges that I work for.  I had to commit to the classes far before I ever knew if I was accepted to the University of Michigan and I am determined to see that contract through.  I don't want to burn bridges, especially since they've already been singed a bit.  So, I have a very heavy load this semester and the program is designed in such a way that you can do two lite semesters of 3 classes each or a super lite semester of 2 classes and still graduate easily.  My plan is to book end my lite semesters.  One right now and then one in the Winter of 2013 when I am getting ready to graduate so I have more time to hit the job market hard.  We'll see what happens.

In the meantime, I am waiting, sometimes with a great deal of impatience for syllabi and required book lists to be published so I can go about procuring the materials that I need and admittedly, start reading them.  LOL