To All The Science Core Requirements I’ve Hated Before

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If you’ve ever had a conversation with me, you know that I’m not a woman in STEM™. I’ve never been very good at math or science, and have come to complete peace with that. I can’t even say numbers in French, my actual major, or read Roman numerals past 39, though Classics is my other actual major.

The one thing even vaguely STEM-related I’m interested in is astrology (before you attack me, I know this isn’t a “real science,” which is why I said “vaguely” and “related”), so when the time to stop procrastinating my science core requirement arrived, I chose to take an intro astronomy class. Stars are cool! The prerequisite was “basic high school algebra” and, I mean, I passed high school algebra!

A few weeks into the semester, I had a few questions about the class, such as why we were talking about chemical reactions and bacteria (on earth), since when did logs count as “basic high school algebra,” why we spent only 10 minutes of the semester on constellations (which is what I wanted to learn about, because you know, astrology), and why there was so much math and physics involved. I picked up an actual calculator for the first time in two years for this class.

What I was more surprised by was how I’m actually good at it! Maybe all those hours analyzing my birth chart on Co—Star and Cafe Astrology paid off and I’m just really connected with the stars. Maybe my professor is a magician genie who made me “good at math.” Regardless, I’m pulling a solid A in the class right now (which might change after this Thursday, when I have the midterm)! Look at that! I know what a semi-major axis is now, and how planet retrogrades work (scientifically, not astrologically)! I go to all the lectures, do all the homework, and feel fulfilled when I understand the class material! Should I just go ahead and change my major to astronomy?!?!

Even though I unironically love the Core, the science requirement was the one thing about it that I always dreaded. Not anymore! One of the main attributes of the Core that many people like is that it forces you to take classes outside your interest. Before this semester, I, being a Classics major, liked the Core for the exact opposite reason, but this astronomy class really made me change my perspective. Taking classes outside your main discipline of study is actually a good thing and I am learning so much. Who would have thought?

By the way, I’m still obsessed with astrology. Just because the professor said it’s a pseudoscience in the very first class doesn’t mean I don’t believe in it anymore. But, you know, astrophysics is also cool.

stars via Bwog Archives

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  1. Anonymous

    If you can't solve Partial Differential Equations by Separation of Variables and Fourier Series, you should not graduate from Columbia. PHYS UN2801 does it first semester freshman year.

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