The first semester of my sophomore year at USC is off and running, and I am thoroughly enjoying it. As a civil engineering (building science) major, I have to take general math/ science classes, but thanks to my high school AP credits, I’m down to my last general class – Physics 152: Electrostatics and Magnetism. Unfortunately, this is my hardest class by far this semester. This course is the second in the series of physics courses that I believe all engineering majors have to take. I’m not the best at immediately understanding physics, so I need to do a lot of studying for this class. Luckily for me my professor, Dr. Stephan Haas, is very helpful and understanding and gladly explains difficult concepts multiple times. I also have been attending Supplemental Instruction (SI) sessions, which are led by current students, to reinforce my understanding of the concepts and for homework help. SI sessions are offered through the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences for traditionally difficult entry level courses. I also have a study group of friends, including fellow VSA Ashlyn, from my physics class that I meet with at least once a week to go over the homework problems and make sure that we all understand the concepts.
On the other hand, my favorite class is not an engineering class, but a general education class, a category 5 Arts and Letters course titled American Bestsellers since WWII. I really enjoyed my english classes and the books we read in high school, but as an engineering major I really don’t have the extra time to take fun literature classes in college. But this class is part of a required category of classes, which makes me so excited to think that I have to take it to graduate. I honestly love the books I get to read (wait for it…): Harry Potter, Twilight, The Lovely Bones, Lolita, My Dead Girlfriend, Persepolis, Ragtime, The Satanic Verses, Blink, and Into the Wild. The objective of the course is to analyze what makes a book a bestseller and why Americans read them. A month into the course we have already read and discussed Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Lovely Bones, and are about to begin Lolita. I’ve read the majority of these books before, but it’s interesting to look at them from a literary perspective and analyze them for their bestseller qualities, as opposed to reading them just for fun in my spare time. I have to admit it was fun comparing the different reactions I got when people saw me carrying around Harry Potter and Twilight – especially when I told them they were actually for a class! I can’t wait to see what the rest of the semester will bring!