From Antarctica to Organic Chemistry: Back to Spring Semester

Sarah Viterbi Life Leave a Comment

I’m so excited to be back at USC for the spring! It’s definitely nice to be back to the lovely warm Southern California weather, especially after a very cold winter break spent doing research in Antarctica.

I had the opportunity to travel to Antarctica for two weeks over winter break with a program called Students on Ice, which is based out of Canada along with 71 other high school and university students from around the United States and Canada. For the two weeks, we studied oceanography, tourism in Antarctica, and climate change, along with doing various landings on the Antarctic Peninsula and other islands like Elephant Island and Half Moon Island. It was certainly a once in a life time experience that taught me so much about a part of the world few people get to see.

Beautiful ice berg found on a zodiac tour

Beautiful ice berg found on a zodiac tour

At deception island!

At deception island!

This semester has already been off to a great start!

So far I’ve already been to the beach, gone home with a friend to go horseback riding, gone to an Imagine Dragons concert, and been to Disney! I guess you could say I’m trying to be very active before work and classes begin to become more time intensive.

I’m also super excited about my classes this semester! I’m taking the following:

Organic Chemistry: Organic Chemistry seems to be a class whose very name instills fear in chemical engineers and premeds alike, but so far I really like the class! It’s all about how you can combine different organic molecules to build different molecules, medicines, etc.

Introduction to Separation Processes: This is the only engineering class I’m taking this semester, and I really like it. This class is a class all Chemical Engineering majors take, and it focuses on various ways to separate different products that are going through some chemical plant system.

The American Experience: This is one of the two General Education classes I’m taking this semester. The class takes us through American History, starting with colonization of the new world and ending with present day history. This class also places more of a focus on California history, which is something I’ve never studied before!

Exploring Culture Through Film: This is the second General Education class I’m taking. This is an anthropology class that focuses on different cultures throughout the world and how they interact with one another. My favorite part about this class is that we do a lot of our learning through various documentaries, which is a method of learning that we don’t really use in engineering classes, and it’s a welcome change!

All in all, I’m so excited to see what this semester has in store. It’s crazy to think that at the end of this semester I will be half way done with college. Time here is flying by way too fast.


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