Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Semester Preview

I'm very excited to be back for my second semester at Harvard, and looking forward immensely to the classes and activities in which I'll be enrolled/involved this spring! I wanted to give you all a brief overview of what a week in my shoes will look like this semester, obviously minus the spontaneous wandering that will of course also take place.

My mornings will start a bit like this:

At 10, I'll walk just across the street from Greenough to the Barker Humanities Center for an expository writing class called Indian Philosophy and the Search for the Self. I'm super delighted to have gotten into this class because of my personal interest in meditation and yoga -- the course description reads as follows:

Who are you? What does it mean to have a self, and how do we even know we have one? This course explores the views of thinkers who radically challenge our everyday notions of self: Buddhist philosophers who denied the very existence of the self, and Hindu philosophers who taught that most of us are ignorant of our true selves. We will read early scriptural classics, later philosophical literature, and works on yoga and meditation, concluding with a look at the transformation of these practices in contemporary American culture.

At 11, I'll head over to Boylston for my Latin Elegy class which includes selections from Propertius, Tibullus, and Ovid's Amores. Our professor himself warned us that these poets tend to be tricky, so this class should be an exciting linguistic challenge!

At noon, I'll have Mathematics Mb in the Science Center, which is described as "continued investigation of functions and differential calculus through modeling; an introduction to integration with applications; an introduction to differential equations." While this description is a bit dry, I'm looking forward to this class in particular because of how much I enjoyed math last semester, and for the fact that my CA (course assistant), who is a sophomore in Adams house, is a really great teacher and awesome guy.

After lunch, I'll stroll to the University Museum for Environmental Science and Public Policy 10: Environmental Policy. This class is exciting for two reasons -- it will be my introduction to a field that I am strongly considering majoring in; and our professor, John Briscoe, is a close colleague of my dad from the World Bank! The description of the course reads as follows:

This course develops the concepts and skills needed to design effective public policy for managing interactions between environmental, social and economic systems. The course is organized around cases of real-world policy analysis, some from the US and some involving developing countries. We will examine the environmental, social and economic substance of the cases, the interests of stakeholders, the policy and political processes, the ways in which trade-offs are perceived and evaluated, and the outcomes and impacts.

In addition to these four classes, I'll be involved in two major extracurricular endeavors:

I'll of course be singing with The Harvard Opportunes again this semester, and our Spring Jam will be very early this year, right around the corner on March 9th! The group is extra excited this semester to have recently welcomed two awesome new girls, Sara Wiant and Madeleine Smith, to the Opps family. I can't wait to make music with these chicas!

And finally, I'll be performing in the biggest show on campus, which is called Ghungroo and sponsored by the College's South Asian Association. I'll be trying my feet at semiclassical Indian dance, with which I have no prior experience -- so it's bound to be a blast!

Other than that, I'm planning to continue to enjoy the interesting people and extraordinary opportunities that greet me at every corner. Cheers to a great semester!

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