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A Hike Through Humanities

Posted by on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 in Books, Engineering, General Information, Professors, Studying.

Readers, I am afloat on a sea of weirdness. I am taking a break from “homework” to write this blog, and my confusion stems from the nature of this work. I’m…reading a book. Just reading it. Not taking notes on the equations or reading a chapter in preparation for a problem set, just reading it from the front cover to the back cover, then closing it.


Really, though, the past week (during which I procrastinated writing my ‘first day of school’ blog until it became a ‘first week of school’ blog) has been a dramatic departure from my previous semesters at Vanderbilt. While I’m still in a Mechanical Engineering class, a math class, and an ME research position, I’m also taking an Astronomy course and a Classics course – both well outside my normal academic zone (though very much inside my personal interests zone)! Now, without further delay, my schedule for Spring 2013:

I lied - My further delay is this picture of blogger Ann at the bookstore.

ME 248 – Heat Transfer

Firstly, the title of the course, as we discussed, is a misnomer – ‘heat’ is the transfer of energy, so the colloquialism ‘heat transfer‘ really refers to the transfer of the transfer of energy, which is clearly silly. In short, the course (two sections of which are taught simultaneously, I’m not really sure why it’s scheduled that way) deals with the exchange of energy between bodies and atmospheres and some other pish-posh, but look at that Wikipedia article: LASER COOLING. If we don’t get to that this semester I don’t know why we bother.

Math 221 – Theory of Numbers

Study of the integers and their relations to one another. I’ve been looking forward to this class since I got to school, so here’s hoping it doesn’t disappoint.

ASTR 203 – Theories of the Universe

First, I hope you can see that I’m dealing with a lot of theories this semester: numbers, universes, you name it, I’ve got a theory about it. Anyhow, this course takes a tour through the “interdependence of cosmological theories and religious teachings,” from Plato and the Ancient Greeks through Galileo, with whose trial the course culminates. We’ve only had one meeting so far, but I read an entire book plus for the class and I love how much it reminds me both of my high school Philosophy Club days and the physics I hold so dear. Science is awesome.

CLAS 208 – History of Greece to Alexander the Great

This one is pretty self-explanatory. I haven’t been in a history course since Modern European History in my senior year of high school, so it’s been nice to clean the cobwebs out of that part of my head and read about Minoans, Mycenaeans and M-a third Ancient Greek civilization. More to follow on whether my enthusiasm for this class can keep pace with the reading.

ME 209 – Undergrad Research

I’ll write another post on this – don’t fret.

There you have it! Look forward to upcoming posts on things like cooking, blogging adventures with Victoria, and work on the Melodores CD. GET EXCITED!

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