Kistaro Windrider, Reptillian Situation Assessor (kistaro) wrote,
Kistaro Windrider, Reptillian Situation Assessor

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Y'know, as much work as that Applied Ethics class is turning out to be, I've been enjoying it. Tuesday's class was delightfully morbid, with fully 35 minutes of it diverted to discussing whether or not being mauled by a bear would be a better way to die than dying peacefully in one's sleep. Thursday, we got into a long argument about the author and his apparent-to-me case of post-traumatic stress disorder, and then my trying to explain that I wasn't trying to say that invalidated anything he said, it just provided an interesting perspective- and in a lot of ways, actually strengthened his position. It had its *headdesk* moments (okay, it's a good lecture hall, so *headtable* moments) when a classmate asked "Can't post-traumatic stress disorder be a positive thing?", but got discussed down by the rest of the class. According to my Abnormal Psychology class, the answer to that question is "no", but I'm the only one in the class who took Abnormal Psychology. It was an entertaining use of an hour and a half!

Intro to Theatre Production is similar. It's just neat stuff. I think I'll do fine with the paper-writing and the crew work and the exam, but the final project worries me greatly: it will require drawing. My previous attempts to draw (sometimes even dedicated attempts) ended in miserable, humiliating failure. The professor promised that he'd teach those of us who can't draw how to get around that and express the concepts anyway, including drawing lessons, but we'll see what happens- for all my attempts, I've never had professional training, so I might actually improve. I've got an edge, of course- Microsoft's beta of their competitor to Photoshop, on a Tablet PC. It gives me at least a fighting chance!

Even though I know I will be exceptionally bad at it, I'm enjoying that class greatly. I'm taking it pass/fail because I figure getting a C- will be enough of a challenge for me, and I don't need to risk my GPA- I'm pretty close to graduating with honors, and I should be able to do that should I avoid bungling this semester.

Intro to AI... Dr. Zhang's second class was a lot better than his first, although I've still had more interesting professors. What's important to me is that Dr. Zhang, unlike my really poor professors in the past, really knows his stuff. So even though his style isn't that engaging, I can still learn from him- and the topic is just plain cool.

Cognitive Psych, conversely, has both: a professor who really knows his stuff, and knows how to teach. The class is extremely entertaining, and even though it's moving quickly I'm not having trouble keeping up- it's an hour of really neat stuff three days a week, and I'm getting academic credit for it. The really cool part is how well this class ties in to my AI class, which immediately follows it (on Monday and Wednesday- no AI class on Friday); it makes so much sense to take a class in how humans think while taking a class about how to make computers think (or how to try to make computers think) to help me understand both subjects much better, even just two weeks in. I'm going to suggest to the CS department that they suggest in the course listing for the AI class that Cognitive Psych be taken simultaneously- it's that useful.

In short, I'm enjoying all the classes I'm taking, and every last one of them seems to be well taught. I'm going to have a lot of work to do, but this is shaping up to be a really awesome semester. Which is exactly what I was hoping for- with almost all my requirements out of the way, I decided to just take fun and interesting classes this semester, and I definitely made the right choice.

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