junior at Washington College sharing my triumphs, adventures, and derps of college life. ~ written by me, Emma Way
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Classes Update

So now two weeks of classes have gone by so I’ll let you know how my classes are going and my recommendations for taking vs. not taking them.

Acting I: Ok so can into this class thinking more negatively than positively because it’s a little uncomfortable being put on the spot, but the great thing is everyone is put on the spot. My professor, Dale, is fabulous. He’s hilarious and always has these great activities for us to do that get everyone laughing and having a relaxed time. I think is one of a few classes where you’ll actually get to know your classmates. We have our first acting scene due soon, which basically means you just have to act out (and memorize) one scene in front of the class. I’m actually looking forward to it, which surprises me. Overall - I’d totally recommend this class. Fun class and doesn’t seem to difficult to do well. 

Basics of Computing: Not bad of a class considering computers really aren’t my thing. I honestly think learning about computers is a pretty dull topic, but my professor does a good job at making it a little more fun. My only problem is that we have to use Internet Explorer so much as well as Windows! Both of which I hate. Apple and Google Chrome all the way. Holla. But overall ok class. Take it for your distribution, because it’s definitely doable as far as computers go.

US Foreign Policy in the Middle East: Honestly, to me the Middle East is my least favorite region to learn about except maybe Antarctica and it may also stack above Australia. I just get so confused with the overly complex issues in this area, but of course Dr. Shad makes it fairly simple to understand which I am so grateful for. The readings are heavy and long, but useful and interesting. Dr. Shad is one of my favorite professors to have and he’s also my advisor so basically he’s awesome. Take him.  

Statistics: This might just be my favorite class, which is totally random, but I actually really really like stat! I hate math, but love statistics. My professor is hilariously awkward with his random detours he takes with various jokes throughout the class. It’s pretty funny some of the things he says under his breath to get the class to laugh, which makes the class super enjoyable. But in all seriousness, he’s an easy to understand professor as well as nice and friendly! He also remembered that I wrote the article about him for The Elm over a year ago, which was flattering :-). I highly recommend this class!

Journalism Practicum: Of course I love this class. I think that would be pretty obvious with the title of the course. The professor is the wonderful Melissa, who is also the advisor for The Elm, and we get along beautifully so that’s always fun. I highly recommend this class for anyone, even if they’re not interested in journalism. It’s a fairly easy class as long as you put a little effort into your articles and come to class!

Yay, learning!

Research Papers

What is having fifty-three tabs open at one time? What is having fourteen books checked out of the library? RESEARCH PAPERS. Its that time of the semester where writing and social studies students are forced to write term papers on top of term papers. In the past month I have written a thesis and a half, which is kind of ridiculously for a sophomore. But what’s even more ridiculous is that I love it. I love throwing myself into a topic and learning so much I feel like an expert. 

I love reading what other researchers have to say about the topic, watching the documentaries about whatever topic I’m currently immersed in, and memorizing the respective wikipedia page about the topic (no shame! everyone does it!!).

My research skills have drastically improved this year and all my professors can tell. Which is amazing in its self - the fact that they know me well enough to tell that I’m improving! I hate to be such a nerd, but I can honestly say that WAC has made me love doing these research assignments. When you’re passionate about something it’s easy to research and write thesis length papers (generally 30-50 pages).

My current/past research projects of this semester:

1. The Modern-Day Hijab (ended up being 19 pages and I presented it at the conference in Morocco)

2. Conflict and Inequalities of Nigeria (ended up being 22 pages, but I made the spacing smaller so now its 18)

3. Racial and Gender Inequality - African American Women in Chestertown, MD. This research is for my Cannon Street as a Classroom class where my whole class is studying the African American population in Chestertown. Fun Fact: the freedom riders actually came through Chestertown and stayed here for a while!

4. Last, but seriously not least - The effects that charter schools have on traditional public schools. I have already done four interviews for this class and they’re going great!!! Super excited to write my full analysis. I plan to do at least two more interviews.

Although research sounds like a super dull thing, I love it because I really get the opportunity to learn a lot about one topic.