It’s hard to believe that my fourth semester at Hopkins starts again in 9 days. While winter break was definitely amazing and necessary, is it weird to say there’s a part of me that kind of misses the rhythm of the semester and the view from my dorm?
So in that mood of hopping forward past my last week of break, here’s a look at what my sophomore spring semester is shaping into so far.
I hate mondays as much as the next guy, so I tried my best to make it as light as I could. It starts with a 10am Orgo II with Dr. Falzone. I had him last semester and I definitely want him again this year. His lectures are great, the weekly quizzes (which don’t count for too much) force me to keep up with the material in a way that I probably wouldn’t do myself, his tests are super fair, and – probably most importantly – his course is compatible with a separate PILOT program. That means that he creates supplementary problems that you can do with an upperclassman who did well in the class for two hours a week, almost like a supplement class to the course. I know it sounds unnecessary, but my friends and I signed up for them last semester on a whim just to see what they were about, and I’d say they easily became the best way to stay on track and up-to-date with the material
Anyways, right after Orgo, I’ll walk from Hodson Hall to Latrobe Hall for Rise of Modern Science. It’s an upper level history course that’ll go towards my second major in History of Science, Medicine, and Technology. Last semester, I took Scientific Revolution with Prof. Portuondo and loved the heck out of it. This class picks up where we left off in Sci Rev (Newton, pretty much) and takes it all the way to today. Taking the full year sequence of tracing the history of scientific thinking from the Middle Ages up to where we are today, I’m optimistic, will be a massively insightful journey that should give me a backstory to the STEM-my other half of my undergrad education.
As far as classes go, I’m glad that the rest of the day is open by noon. Basically two out of three weeks, I’ll have either a quiz or test on Tuesday in Nervous Systems II (and sometimes an Orgo Lab test), and so I probably won’t head over to my lab at the med school on Mondays. For now, at least, lets keep this time open to get whatever I need to done so that I can have a head start for the week.
Tuesdays are alright. I mean I don’t think I’ll be too thrilled with my Tuesdays. They’re one of the two days of the week I’ll probably have assessments of some kind on. The day starts off with a 9am Orgo Lab lecture (not to be confused with regular Orgo lectures – Orgo Lab is its own 3 credit course. ugh) After Orgo Lab lecture, I have pretty decent gap before my next class. For now, I think I’ll fill this time with brunch, interviewing prospective students as an Admissions Rep, and possibly studying for Nervous System II, which I have at 1:30pm. This picks up right where Nervous System I left off last semester. I’ve gushed about this class enough in previous posts, but no really, it’ll be great. Dr. Hendry says that this semesters going to be a bit more experimentally-focused where first semester was really about getting the mechanics of the nervous system down pat and memorizing fine details about individual systems and their connections. Good stuff, sounds like.
Since Wednesdays are pretty chill (none of my classes test on Wednesdays), the time after Nervous System would probably be a good time to take the JHMI shuttle down to the med campus and spend a couple of hours in my neurogenesis lab. While Winter Break was great for any number of reasons, I guess it kind of sucks that I’ve been out of the loop for about a month on some projects that I think are really getting somewhere (or maybe I’m just understanding them better as time goes on).
Like I said, Wednesdays are pretty chill. Just like Monday, I’ll get up in time for my 10am Orgo II, and then walk into Latrobe Hall for Rise of Modern Science immediately after. After a sandwich at Levering Hall, I’ll use this time – like Monday – to catch up on whatever’s pressing me during the week. Just your classic “work time.” Thursdays are also quiz days in Orgo, so I’ll definitely carve out some time to go over practice problems Falzone may have posted and talk about the chapter with my floormates. I might as well schedule my PILOT Wednesday night too.
Thursdays kind of look like Tuesdays. Except I have Orgo II at 9am, and not Orgo Lab lecture. Again, I have a couple of spare hours before Nervous System II at 1:30. Since Thursdays are never test or quiz days for Nervous System, I think this block of time in between classes would be a great place to fit in a weekly campus tour I have to do as a member of the Blue Key Society. And a sandwich at Levering, obviously. After Nervous System, I’ll probably end up heading over to my lab again, since Fridays aren’t too demanding studying-wise.
WHOOOOOOO FRIDAY LETSGOOOO. AYYYYYEEEEE END OF THE WEEK. TIME TO KICK BACK, FOLD AWAY MY PAPERS
…and put on a labcoat for a five hour Orgo Lab.
I know, I know, but I had to. Look, it worked out best with my schedule. After Orgo II and Rise of Modern Science in the morning, I’m scheduled for Orgo Lab from 1:30 to 6:30. BUT they usually don’t actually take up the whole time, I’ve heard. I’m really counting on that. And then again, I can only imagine how nice it’s going to feel every week when I walk out of the UTLs (Undergraduate Teaching Labs) on Friday evenings every week.
This is still just the skeleton to my week; there are still things I’m going to have to add as I get into the groove of the semester. This semester, I’m also taking 3 credits of independent study with Dr. Fissell to work on my Wilson project. And while we still have to work out the details, we’re basically going to meet every other week to discuss a new book I read that’s pertinent to my thesis – or just to teach me how to read faster and to get more out of it. I still have to add in a time for me to meet with Daria, the amazing local high schooler I work with for Thread. I still have to figure out when my clubs meet and when I get most tired or feel most productiveish during the week.
Sorry for writing so many words. But the truth is that I didn’t really have a plan a few hours ago and ended up coming up with a better idea of my schedule as I was writing this, and so it ended up being a really helpful exercise for me.
Bring it, sophomore spring. I have a basic, approximate idea of how to approach you. You have no idea.