Advice: Why Am I in This Class?

“Why am I in this class?” is not something you want to be asking yourself halfway through a semester, yet this question still resonates from many corners of the student community. At this point, the best you can do is hunker down and suck it up– sorry, folks. But, when it comes to a new semester of courses (like now, with it being the first day of class), you can preemptively eliminate the possibility of arriving at that moment when you’re in a classroom thinking, “OH GOD WHY??”

The first tip we offer may be an obvious one: check RateMyProfessor! Everyone knows about this resource but some people still forget to use it or have not yet realized how useful it is. If you’re curious, check out the reviews of professors you’ve had before, you’ll quickly see that the reviews are often accurate. One downside is that professors are often required to teach core classes that no one enjoys, which gets them bad reviews. Posts by students list which class they took with the specific professor, so for the most accurate review, read posts by students taking the class(es) you’re looking at.

If RateMyProfessor still doesn’t convince you to take or avoid a class, ask your peers. They can usually offer more insight than anonymous reviews on the internet. Better yet, they can give you more information on what you’ll be learning. Great or shabby professors aside, sometimes the curriculum of certain courses is just not your cup of tea. Peers can help you distinguish between exciting and drab courses.

Next, if your peers and RateMyProfessor have both convinced you to take a course, but classes start, and you’re not feeling it right away…drop it! Believe it or not, all students have a two week grace period to drop classes without penalty. Sometimes the classroom atmosphere, the students, the professor–could be anything–make you feel so unenthused about a class and that feeling is obvious on day 1 of class. If this happens, log onto portal and leave! You can even pick up another course or take the same course in a later semester, maybe with a different professor and definitely with different classmates.

Now and then, classes trick us into loving them and stab us in the back later, which is rather unfortunate and unavoidable but also rare. Usually classes are doomed from the start if they are to be bad. This is easy to avoid if you do your research prior to taking a class. Doing this will help you find the classes that excite you. Don’t set yourself up for that mid-semester panic you’re bound to go through if you’re in classes that are wrong for you; going through these techniques will help you find the exact classes that excite you.



Welcome Back, Students!

Who’s ready for Spring 2014?! We here at Seidenberg hope you have all had the most enjoyable holiday break, but maybe by now you’re feeling the itch to get back into the swing of the semester and to get started on all those projects you have in mind, eh? We’d like to welcome all the beginning-of-the-semester initiatives anyone may have, and urge you to carry that gusto with you all the way through the spring until it feels so normal that you never lack in productivity again. That’s always the goal, ain’t it? Here are a few things to expect for the upcoming months that are specifically geared towards making this semester a successful one.

Make this your first goal of the semester if you’ve got nothing else.

First off, the wifi! Yes, Seidenberg HQ finally, finally, has the new PACE-WIRELESS wifi system, so good riddance to the dark, wifi-less corners at HQ that only SEEMED like great places to crack down on work. From now on those corners will support your endeavors with reliable wifi, as will the rest of our space here on William St.–hallelujah!

Next, a few shout outs to classes that will be available and a reminder that it’s not too late to register; Prof Linda Jo Calloway will be teaching a course that focuses on ways that new web media interact with content, which is critical to understand when designing for the web. The course is writing enhanced and still has spots available, so grab yours before it’s too late! Full course info is available via Schedule Explorer using CIT 335 and CRN# 21931 as references. Another class worth mentioning is Prof Dwyer’s interdisciplinary course on CIS and Surveillance in society. This class is the required CIS101 course paired with Film Studies, which work together for a unique approach to computing. The class has ONE more spot available, so don’t dilly-dally! (INT198h, CRN# 23188)

Lastly, we’d like to extend a warm welcome to all new grad students joining us for the first time this semester!

It’s been a quiet month of holidays, but we’re ready for the semester to start! We’ll be seeing you around shortly, and until then, keep checking in for other bits of news and stay safe in this snowy weather!

[Edit: previously mentioned deadline for DoD scholarships has been redacted due to changes in the scholarship availability. Those who currently receive aid from DoD will not be affected, but new applications are currently not accepted.]

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