Choose My Senior Spring Classes for Me by Cami M. '23
pre-registration is open and i will let you decide
Pre-registration has opened up, my dear children, and that means it is my favorite time of the year! I love registering for classes because there are so many cool ones and I’m having difficulty choosing what to do.
I am three (3) classes away from graduating. I need to take one Course 6 Communication Intensive class in my major. one CMS class, and one Course 6 / lab class / Restricted Elective in Science and Technology. Just an elective basically. .
I know for sure I am taking Oral Communication to fulfill my CI-M requirement, and I am taking Critical Internet Studies to fulfill my CMS class requirement, but aside from that, I have the freedom to pick and choose.
I want to take approximately 51-54 units this semester, with 21 (12 from 614 and 9 from UAT) of those already allocated, so that gives me about 33 units to play with.
I have a list of classes I’ve compiled that I have some interest in taking and you, dear reader, are going to help me choose. Huzzah! This is an exercise in what it’s like to be a college student having to choose your classes. I’ll talk more about considerations to keep in mind as you choose.
5.12 Organic Chemistry I (MWF 12-1PM, TR 2-3PM)
Introduction to organic chemistry. Development of basic principles to understand the structure and reactivity of organic molecules. Emphasis on substitution and elimination reactions and chemistry of the carbonyl group. Introduction to the chemistry of aromatic compounds.
Pros: Okay before you judge me I just think chemistry is interesting but maybe it’s not worth crying over this class. I don’t know. I took organic chemistry in high school and I thought it was really cool (albeit really hard and I think it was my only B in high school which made me cry a lot).
Cons: Well…it’s organic chemistry. It’s hard as fuck. It’s not necessary that I take this class at all. This means I’d also have to take a Friday class. Also it meets every day which is a lot wtf.
6.C35 Interactive Data Visualization and Society (MW 2:30-4PM; T1-2PM) (12 units)
Pros: Relevant to what I want to learn. It’s a new class which tends to be a lot more flexible/understanding. I’ve always wanted to try data viz. Interacts with society and is real and applicable.
Cons: Literally conflicts with every other fucking cool class ever because it meets so OFTEN and it’s really irritating…
6.8510 Intelligent Multimodal User Interfaces (TR 11-12:30PM) (12 units)
Implementation and evaluation of intelligent multi-modal user interfaces, taught from a combination of hands-on exercises and papers from the original literature. Topics include basic technologies for handling speech, vision, pen-based interaction, and other modalities, as well as various techniques for combining modalities. Substantial readings and a term project, where students build a program that illustrates one or more of the themes of the course.
Pros: Cool class that fits in my interests.
Cons: Conflicts with other classes. Don’t know if I really am smart enough to take this class? Has a group final project and I hate group final projects.
6.2020 Electronics Project Laboratory (M 7-10PM) (6 units)
Intuition-based introduction to electronics, electronic components and test equipment such as oscilloscopes, meters (voltage, resistance inductance, capacitance, etc.), and signal generators. Emphasizes individual instruction and development of skills, such as soldering, assembly, and troubleshooting. Students design, build, and keep a small electronics project to put their new knowledge into practice. Intended for students with little or no previous background in electronics. Enrollment may be limited.
Pros: Only meets once a week, 6 units so it’s a low time commitment. It would be a good introduction to electronic component things, hopefully low(er) effort.
Cons: I don’t really know how much I would gain from this class. I already took an electronic projects class, but also I’m not sure how much I retained. This also is not relevant to my studies and seems like an ‘easier’ option compared to my other Course 6 options I’m looking at.
7.002 Fundamentals of Experimental Molecular Biology (M 1-2:30PM, F1-4:30PM) (6 units)
Introduces the experimental concepts and methods of molecular biology. Covers basic principles of experimental design and data analysis, with an emphasis on the acquisition of practical laboratory experience. Satisfies 6 units of Institute Laboratory credit. Satisfies biology laboratory credit for pre-health professions. Enrollment limited.
Pros: I think biology is cool. It’s only 6 units. It’s a lab class and I have previous bio lab experience but from high school so it’s been a while.
Cons: Not really relevant to any interest of mine. Also means I have to have a class on Friday which sucks.
CMS.S60 Rap Theory and Practice (TR 12-1:30PM) (12 units)
To gain a deeper understanding of rap, students engage in the full process of creating rap music, including composing lyrics, recording, performing and creating an EP length album. Existing rap music is studied, selected lyrics are analyzed and possible reasons for the structure and success of different songs are presented in case studies. Students will analyze rap songs, reflect on their own weekly activities in writing and present their work in class by playing recordings, performing and responding to each other in workshop discussions.
Brief notes: This is NOT a class about hip hop culture but specifically about Rap as an artistic practice and about a practical engagement with all aspects involved in the creation of rap music and its underlying constraints.
Pros: This class is taught by THE Lupe Fiasco. When is the next time I’m going to be able to say I took a class by a Grammy award winning rapper? I also wanted to take a music class and this seems close to one, so.
Cons: It’s a requirement to rap in this class. I cannot rap. I am terrified. That’s so scary.
Sociology 1115 The Internet, Social Media, and Society (MW 9-10:15AM) (~12 units?)
This class considers how the internet and social media alter social life. Seminal theoretical approaches to understand the connection between media and social forces – from Mcluhan to Kittler to Keeling – will be covered, as well as empirical studies – from Noble to Couldry and Mejias to Zuboff. Through these readings we will hone conceptual tools for uncovering ideological constructs embedded in material hardware, interface design, and code. Key critical frameworks used in this class include queer theory, intersectionality, and critical race theory. We will also develop methodological tools for interrogating, disrupting, and harnessing social media to effect social change. These tools will be developed through assignments – from semester-long collaborative interventions to short interpretations of media artifacts (tweets, Tik Tok videos, etc.). Classes will incorporate student contributions into lectures, as well as short group exercises.
Pros: I never got to take my sociology class before and this is a way to fulfill that and it’s super relevant to my major (media studies and computer science)
Cons: Conflicts with 6.UAT so I’d show up late every day which is probably not good for my grade. It’s at 9am, but even more so, 9am at Harvard which means I’d have to wake up extra early to do the 20 minute commute instead of the normal 5-10 minute commute.
21L.504 Race and Identity in American Literature: Race, Gender, and Secret Identities in U.S. Superhero Comics (MW 1-2:30PM) (12 units)
This course examines the role of race and gender in the U.S. superhero tradition through comic books, graphic novels, film, and television. How do these modern myths reflect on and challenge racism, policing, and nationalism? What acts of radical imagination become possible in the world of the impossible? How do these fantasies reimagine what it means to be (super)human?Focusing on Black, Latinx, and Indigenous characters and creators, we will read comic books and graphic novels from the Golden, Silver, Bronze, and Modern Ages published by DC, Marvel, Milestone, and Image Comics. Authors will include N.K. Jemisin, Dwayne McDuffie, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Vita Ayala, Gabby Rivera, and Nnedi Okorafor. We will also analyze films such as Black Panther, Blade, Spawn, Eternals, and Shang-Chi; and television shows such as Watchmen, Batwoman, and Ms. Marvel.
Pros: This would be a good class to take in the spring since it would follow my comic book writing class this year.
Cons: Conflicts with other cool classes.
21M.150 Introductory Music Theory – 1st Half of Term (TR 2:30-4PM) (6 units)
Introduction to theoretical elements of music for students who need preparation in the fundamentals of music theory prior to taking 21M.301. Requires ability to read notation in at least one clef. Covers many of the same topics as 21M.051 but at a faster pace. Coverage includes intervals, triads, major and minor keys, basic musical analysis over a variety of idioms in Western music. Also emphasizes developing the ear, voice, and keyboard skills. Not open to students who have completed 21M.051, 21M.151, 21M.301 or 21M.302. 21M.150 is offered first half of term; 21M.151 is offered second half of term. Limited to 20 per section by lottery.
Pros: I’ve been looking to get back into music and so this is a really cool way to do so since I haven’t done music theory in a while. It’s also a half term class so it would go away after March 24th (mid semester) passes and I could take a different class.
Cons: Conflicts with other cool classes.
21M.080 Introduction to Music Technology (MW 3:30-5PM) (12 units)
Investigates how technology is used in the analysis, modeling, synthesis and composition of music, and its contribution to the artistic production practice. With an eye towards historical context as well as modern usage, topics include the physics of sound, digital representations of music, the Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), analog and digital synthesis techniques, MIDI and sequencing, electronic instrument design, notation software, generative music systems, and computational analysis of music. Weekly assignments focus on both theory and practice, requiring technical proficiency, creative output, and aesthetic consideration. Enrollment limited.
Pros: I’ve always wanted to learn music things and this is a cool way to do so.
Cons: I heard this class is more breadth than depth so I’m not sure how much I would really learn.
WGS.181 Queer Cinema and Visual Culture (M 7-10PM) (12 units)
Analyzes mainstream, popular films produced in the post-WWII 20th century US as cultural texts that shed light on ongoing historical struggles over gender identity and appropriate sexual behaviors. Traces the history of LGBTQ/queer film through the 20th and into the 21st century. Examines the effect of the Hollywood Production Code and censorship of sexual themes and content, and the subsequent subversion of queer cultural production in embedded codes and metaphors. Also considers the significance of these films as artifacts and examples of various aspects of queer theory.
Pros: I’ve always wanted to take a WGS class. Queer cinema is interesting and cool. I want to learn more about film analysis.
Cons: Conflicts with other classes.
21H.102 American History since 1865 (TR 2:30-4PM) (12 units)
Examines the social, cultural, political, and economic history of the United States, from the Civil War to the present. Uses secondary analysis and primary documents, such as court cases, personal accounts, photographs, and films, to examine some of the key issues in the shaping of modern America, including industrialization and urbanization, immigration, the rise of a mass consumer society, the emergence of the US as a global power, and the development of civil rights activism and other major social movements.
Pros: History is cool! And I think US history is cool!
Cons: Do I really want to write long essays on this? Conflicts with other classes.
CMS.S61 Immersive Worlds and Media Sociology (W 2-5PM) (12 units)
This course focuses on a critical media sociology of immersive worlds, from the analogue to the digital. Rather than splitting the online and offline, we will explore the complex intersections and flows (of practices and themes) across spaces. Focusing on digital “virtual” environments and avatar-based worlds, as well as theme parks like Disney, we will investigate key issues in immersive worlds including, for example, communication & community, authorship & co-creativity, embodiment & identity, and ownership, governance & management. Woven throughout is an attention to the cultural and socio-technical nature of these environments and their ongoing construction within a broader media system. There are no pre-requisites, but the course will run seminar-style with limited enrollment.
Pros: I love T.L.! She taught my Games and Culture class and I always find her an interesting lecturer and love the discussions that come from her classes. This class is also new so I anticipate it won’t be too intense. Also, sociology is cool and the subject matter is interesting!
Cons: Conflicts with so many classes.
English CVR Fiction Writing: Workshop (W 12-2:45PM) (~12 units?)
This class is open to anyone who can write a letter, not an e-mail, a letter, just a plain simple letter, to someone who lives far away from you and who has no idea really of who you really are, except that you are, like them, another human being. I have not quite yet settled on the books we will read but we will see some films: The Four hundred Blows, Black Girl, The Battle of Algiers, The Mack, a documentary about the Motown singing group, The Temptations.
Pros: I’ve never done a fiction writing class before formally and I think I have a LOT to learn here.
Cons: I have to apply and get into the class in order to take it. It’s at Harvard so there’s a long-ish commute time. Conflicts with a lot of classes.
21W.757 Fiction Workshop (M 7-10PM) (12 units)
Intermediate class for students with some experience in writing fiction. Students write short stories and complete other writing exercises. Readings include short story collections by contemporary writers such as Sandra Cisneros, Benjamin Percy, Leila Lalami, Laura Pritchett, Bret Anthony Johnston, and Edward P. Jones. Discussions focus on sources of story material, characterization, setting, architecture, point of view, narrative voice, and concrete detail.
Pros: More writing experience! I’ve never done a fiction writing class.
Cons: Time conflict. Also might be too hard for me? I’ve never done fiction writing and so this might be out of my league, who knows?
As you can see there are general buckets of classes I want to take:
- media studies classes – classes that deal with evaluating media and applying things i’ve learned in my other CMS classes to these new forms
- music classes – classes that allow me to make or learn music is some fashion or manner
- writing classes – classes that will help me become a better writer
- computer science classes – classes that are cool and/or interesting and/or relevant to my degree
Before you vote
Here is a sample of what my schedule would look like with all of these classes on it. Keep in mind I really am trying not to skip any classes next semester. So keep that in mind.
I also would like to stay under 54 units. I’m already taking the lavender classes for sure — 6.UAT and CMS.614. These are 9 and 12 units respectively, subtracting 21 units from the 54 unit limit I have imposed. This gives you 33 units of room to work with, but to make things easier I’ll give you 36 units to work with.
With these constraints:
- Classes should not conflict with one another.
- I need to take at least one of the classes in green.
- I need to only add 36 units to my lavender schedule.
- IMPORTANT EDIT: 6.UAT DOES NOT ACTUALLY MEET AT 10AM SO I DONT HAVE TO BLOCK THAT TIME OUT ANYMORE
Form will be open until idk like…January 1st?
- Communication Intensive class in my major. back to text ↑
- Restricted Elective in Science and Technology. Just an elective basically. back to text ↑
- Oral Communication back to text ↑
- Critical Internet Studies back to text ↑