Last week, my Mom forwarded me a time-sensitive package from Semester at Sea. It turned out to be my class registration packet. I blew through it in a couple of hours, took it to school to gather all the appropriate signatures, and had it mailed out in less than 24 hours. Class space is limited, and I really wanted to make sure I got the classes I wanted.
Here's what I've got.
*Geography 1000 (Global Studies). This is the core course that everybody on the ship takes together. I think it's primarily orientation for upcoming countries, and a good way to connect with all the students.
*Economics 0530 (Introduction to Development Economics). This is a lower-division economics course that will satisfy my very last major requirement at UI...Environmental Economics. Environmental Econ is an upper-division course, and this is a lower-division one, so ordinarily the registrar wouldn't approve it as a substitute. But for some reason, my petition committee last spring approved it, and that trumps the registrar, so I'm in. I'm glad for a couple of reasons. First, it's less work and stress, so I'll probably have more time to actually enjoy the journey. Second, the upper-division option on the voyage is actally Environmental Economics, which is a perfect match, but...it falls at the exact same time as another class I really wanted to take, which is...
*Psychology 1230 (Psychology of Death and Dying). I think this class would be facinating, especially with all the influence of the different cultures we'll study. "Why would you want to take a class about death?!" my Mom said. She can't talk. She wanted me to take the class about natural disasters.
*Geology 0890 (Physical Oceanography). How cool would it be to take an oceanography class at sea?
So, that's what I've got. It's 12 credits, which is the bare minimum (the max is 15), but I don't want to take more classes than I have to on this trip.
Also, it turns out that I may be able to connect with some people I know at the beginning of the trip. My cousin Josh, whom I haven't seen in about 10 years, is stationed at an Army base somewhere in Korea, our first stop. I'm going to try really hard to see him if I can. Also, I want to try and see the two families in Japan that I stayed with 10 years ago (in 6th grade!). I wrote a letter to each of them, but I'm not sending it until I can get them translated into Japanese by one of the language profs here (in progress), since I think it would be nice to include a translation in the envelope. I hope to get that back from her soon.
And that's the news.