Thursday, January 21, 2010

Courses I'm taking this spring

Can you believe it?  The spring 2010 semester is almost two weeks in.  To put that in perspective, there are only fifteen weeks in each Augsburg semester.  And we're almost done with the second!  Crazy.

As per tradition, here's a list of the courses I'm taking this semester--along with my initial thoughts on each class/professor:

BUS 499 - International Business Independent Study
I'm taking International Business as an independent study with Mitch's former professor, Peter Stark.  Peter seems like a really smart guy (the kind of smart that makes me feel like I have no idea what I'm talking about ever), and he's got me reading some really great books in preparation for whatever kind of project we decide I should do (massive paper?).  I've already finished Paradigms, a quick read about what it takes to shift a paradigm, and how business (and other) leaders need to learn how to catch on to paradigm shifts before it's too late.

Now, I'm reading Geert Hofstede's Culture's Consequences, which is one of those books that all other textbooks cite at least once.  It's a massive 600 page study on culture (think power distance, mascunility and femininity, etc.), and as nerdy as it might be, I'm really excited to finally be reading Culture's Consequences first-hand, rather than reading about it in other books.

COM 352 - Persuasion
I'm taking Persuasion with David Lapakko, who says so many hilarious things in class I don't dare stop listening for even a second.  Look forward to a list of Lapakko quotes in No, I Am a Cat at the end of the semester.
Anyway, Persuasion is all about...persuasion.  Persuasion in media, in interpersonal settings, everything.  Yesterday we discussed ethics in persuasion, and how the line between ethical and unethical persuasion is sometimes hard to draw.  Yay, relativity!

COM 490 - Communication Studies Keystone
This is the "capstone," or as Augsburg calls it, the "keystone" course of my Communication Studies major.  Apparently, students are required to take keystones because of some deal Augsburg made with the Lilly Endowment a while back--so there's always a bit of controversy among students taking the class, but I'm sure it'll turn out fine. The book we're reading now is a little fruity, but I can see it's value: it's about listening, and how good listeners know how to listen well even to people they don't agree with.

HON 470 - Student/Faculty Collaboration: Research Thesis Requirement
This is a non-credit course to indicate I'm conducting research (as the Honors program requires, but I'd do it anyway, because it's good for grad school).  I'm still working on the "archetypes of femininity in video games" project--this semester, I'm writing the massive paper explaining what I've discovered.  Kristen, my faculty adviser, is going to be helping me a lot on the paper, since it'll be my first "peer-reviewed" work.

One thing I've learned from my research: Midna is a total bad-ass.

HON 340 - Junior Colloquium: Scholar as Leader
This is the required Honors course for all juniors.  It's held only once a semester, so it's more a "seminar" than a "course."

JAPN 112 - Elementary Japanese II
Second semester of Japanese, here I come!  I know for a fact some of the stuff I'll learn in this course will be overlap from my Japanese course abroad (at Sophia University), but honestly, that's good, because I didn't properly learn Japanese abroad anyway.  Intensive courses are haaaard!  Anyway, I'm looking forward to getting back into the swing of things.  I'm a Japanese-class fiend!

So that's it.  Wish me luck this semester, loves!

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