28 January 2008

Create a Schedule?? You try it...

Short version of blog post: "Picking classes is a nightmare and it's annoying."
Long version of blog post:

Subjects I'm looking for:
- linguistics
- translation
- languages
- education-related things
- things that I wouldn't have to study for
- math, if possible

Schedules I therefore have to look at:
- 2nd year English
- 3rd year English
- 3rd year Spanish (for linguistics)
- 3rd year German (for linguistics)
- 1st year Math
- 2nd year Math
- 3rd year Math
- 2nd year education
- 3rd year education

In an ideal situation...
- I wouldn't have any courses that begin before 10 a.m. I have to get up two hours before the class starts, after all.
- I wouldn't have classes on Friday, since I'd like to be able to travel on weekends.

Now filter through to find courses I'd like to take, and find ones that don't conflict. Hopefully, come up with thirty ECTS credits, about eight courses. Make sure that, if one class begins exactly when the previous one ended, they're not too far apart. Make sure that, if a course is part of a "set" (like translation and English composition, or a lecture and a discussion) I can go to both. Pay attention to mysterious codes like "L2," "LV1," and "NN" but ignore ones like "LS" and "LQ." Don't pay too much attention to things like "Gr. 1," unless they're part of a set of courses. Note the classrooms indicated, but remember that they'll probably change.

Ready? It doesn't sound too difficult? Here's an example of what these schedules look like:

Because of all this frustration, I've put together a schedule that draws only from the languages, and mostly from the English department. Except that the third year schedule hasn't been decided yet, so I don't have any of those classes yet. Here is my list of courses plus commentary about why the schedule is so annoying.
- translation from French to English (2nd year)
- English written communication (I'm hoping to not have to continue this one... it's pretty dull. Plus it's taught in French. I think it would be impossible for me to get anything out of it, but I should do well on the exam anyway. Part of a set with the aforementioned translation class.)
- translation from English to French (2nd year) (this one, called version is the literary version of the course called "translation English-French."
- Dutch (still Monday and Thursday evenings)
- Russian (this one turned out to be a nightmare: it starts 15 minutes after Dutch ends (how's 8-10 pm for a class?) and is in the mysterious classroom of IM104. IM I had never heard of. Of all the departments, you have: IPLV, IPSA, IALH, IMA, ESSCEA, and a few others. IMA sounds the closest, so I headed over the math building to look for room 104. There's an office 104, there's a B104, and there's a room 104 near the IRFEA (or something like that) office, which was locked and seemed like it was a closet. So I asked everybody I could find if they had any ideas, and nobody did. I decided to check the language building one last time, and on my way over I had a revelation: Institut Municipal. That's the city-run education center downtown where you can go to take free language classes. That's far away. There are almost no buses. Many of those courses are computer-based, and you have to sign up in September. Lovely. So I won't be taking Russian. At least that means that I'll be able to take the bus home when I'm done with classes-- except today, of course, since I had missed while searching for the elusive I.M.)
- Teaching French as a foreign language: didactics and civilization (I'll see how this is tomorrow. I don't really know what it'll be like.)
- Choir (woohoo!)
- French as a Foreign Language (same as last semester)
- More Dutch
- General Linguistics (I'm planning to drop this one. Getting up at 7am!? Plus it's on a Friday.)

- French to English translation (3rd year) and Enunciation and Pragmatics (also 3rd year), so I might not be able to take either. And the latter might not be any good, anyway.

This is why being an exchange student has turned me into a slacker: it's just too hard to get a good, full course load. With luck I'll have my schedule fixed by the time 3rd year classes start on February 18th.


Lori said...

Oh dear. Even with all of the various administrative woes, my schedule was fairly easy to create once I actually went in and talked to a person.

I think Teaching French as a Foreign Language sounds kinda neat.

I fully support you decision to drop a class that meets early on Fridays. Bleh!

Jakob said...

Jeez. Madness. Hope everything turns out the way you want:)

Anonymous said...

Considering how many AP credits you have, you could count this entire year as a freebie.
I suggest you design a couple of "independent study" curricula of your own, give them names, do serious reading and travel as research, and write some cogent blog observations for the world to see. There is a LOT more to education than course hours on a transcript. (Actually, I can state from personal experience that transcripts have little value in real life, but that strong habits of mind and observational skills are golden.)
Elderly Mentor