November 2, 2009 - 1:10 AM
As I whittle away the morning hours studying it seems appropriate that I finally tell you about Chapman Hall - home to my Climatology midterm exam coming up this week.
Chapman Hall is most notably known as home to our Honors College- one of the oldest of its kind in the nation. The building itself was constructed in 1936, making it one of the older buildings on campus. I can't say I have explored too much of the building since I'm not in the Honors College myself, but I do make my way there every Tuesday and Thursday morning to experience the joys of Climatology class.
As a newly declared geography major I have been focusing a lot of my coursework within the geology department this year. This term I happen to be enrolled in two geography classes. This climatology course has been an interesting one to say the least, though to be entirely honest, I occasionally find myself wanting the class to "kick it into a new gear." There have been times in the course I have felt as though there was too much overlap between this course and its prerequisite. A solid foundation is essential, and I shouldn't speak too soon. Next thing I know we'll diverge to uncharted waters and I'll be lost trying to figure out what the heck we're talking about.
The class requires weekly labs involving work from monitoring the UO climate and weather website. We also have occasional in-class quizzes, but the majority of our assessment comes from our midterms and final grades - which helps explain why I'm putting the hours in now. Such is the life of a college student, the homework never ceases.
Tracking weather and climate have never been one of my keenest interests, but I've found it valuable nonetheless. And it has opened up gateways in some of my other studies. I guess as I get ready to take this midterm I should keep reminding myself of that. Usually when I think about this class I want to shake something with frustration because I feel like I'm not getting what I wanted. It is a strange sensation, and something I can't say I have had very often in my time at the UO. There are some mornings I wonder if the instructor is really comfortable with the material, or if it is just too early for me to be engaged in the material (it is an 8:30am class), or if climatology is a subject in general that I enjoy more applied in the social and natural environment than the raw science behind it. It is hard for me to put my finger on exactly what it is that I desire to be different, which makes me feel guilty complaining about it.
One midterm at a time though, we shall see how the term passes. I'm curious to see what direction the class will turn next. I'm considering taking a class on long-term environmental change with this instructor next term as well, so I'll be curious to see how she continues to engage us as a class. Hope the weather is great in your area! I'm off to go study so I can tell you why...