We hope you’re starting to find your sea legs by now. We’ve some real treats for you today.
Get yourself wiser courtesy of Bwog alum Menachem Kaiser, GS ’09:
A good title on a paper will help you far more than you might realize. Whatever it is you kinda dream about doing in life, do it here, while you can, often. Sweatpants do not help anyone get laid. Professors are, by far, the most under-utilized facility on campus, followed by the librarians; use ‘em. Assiduous note-taking in science/math classes does not help one whit. There’s a lot to be said for classes where the readings are good.
We’re feeling it’s about that time of the year for some Ferris Bueller:
The rest of this morning is dedicated to the tips and tricks to choosing classes that no one ever tells you.
First of all, Columbia has no official “shopping” period, where you test out classes, but most professors understand that things shake up a bit in the first two weeks. So it’s definitely not the end of the world if you switch into a class or two late.
You are told that you cannot switch core sections without petitioning, but this is false. It’s perfectly easy to do through SSOL. Bwog cannot impress upon enough the beauty of the refresh button. You can see all the Lit Hum professors under the subject ‘Humanities’ in the Directory of Classes. Do some research, because a professor’s area of expertise can bring a lot to the table. Some historic favorites are Richard Sacks (section 11) Mark Lilla (sections 30 and 48), and Liza Knapp (section 7). Once you’ve identified a few sections that you would like to switch into, sit in front of your registration page and hit the “switch section” button. Freshpeople are all over the place with their course selection, switching in and out of things willy-nilly, so availability will be changing all the time, and most spaces are only open for a few minutes. Same goes for all other first-year reqs.
Keep an open mind. CULPA is highly subjective, and just because one person didn’t enjoy a teaching method doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work for you. Teaching styles will vary hugely, and you shouldn’t dismiss your professors based on hearsay. The number of negative CULPA reviews that get written because people were miffed about their grades or just wanted an easier ride is really depressing.
Talk to your professors! They know you’re ignorant and afraid and a little sweaty. They want to encourage you. Just be honest with them about what you’re looking for in a class, and they’ll be able to direct you to the right place.