Today was my first day of spring semester classes. All in all it wasn’t a bad day as school days go.
However, today I did something rather rash, or, if you prefer, bold, with the trajectory of my college education. You see, if I am to continue at Minnesota, I need a certain class to fulfill a social sciences requirement. I also need a class to fulfill a cultural diversity requirement. After speaking with my peer advisor last semester, I’d decided to take a class called “Intimate Relationships” (not what it sounds like, I got so much crap from my extended family at Christmas because of that class.) However, it remained the one class I was not enthusiastic about in the least. I was not comforted by an email that the TA sent out, referring to us as “fellow learners.”
So this morning, after my first class of the semester (an Intro to Design Thinking lecture) I walked to a nearby coffeeshop and thought with dread of the upcoming warm fuzzy session of community building and group learning in a safe, nurturing and loving environment. I don’t necessarily want to embark on a journey of self-discovery, I don’t really want to analyze my relationships with friends, family and colleagues throughout my short eighteen years of life, and my own self-loathing would make writing the final — a fifteen-page paper entirely about oneself — an unbearable undertaking. In short, I was not looking forward to this class.
I drank my jasmine tea, checked my email, looked at my online calendar. And then suddenly a revelation struck me.
I don’t plan to finish my major in Minnesota. So why am I going out of my way to take this class specifically in order to fulfill Minnesota’s liberal education requirements?
After a little searching, I ascertained that none of the art classes that still had openings (i.e. lithographic printmaking and papermaking) fit in with my other classes. So I looked at architecture classes, and bingo, an intro to architecture class that was at almost exactly the same time as Intimate Relationships. Destiny!
The class is called The Designed Environment, and it promises to be much more interesting than Intimate Relationships. The professor made it very clear that architecture should always be about serving the community, should be about people. Throughout the semester I’ll be both responding to prompts and reflecting on the mandatory service that goes along with the class in this blog.
Only time will tell whether I’m a fool for taking this leap of faith. But right now, it feels like the right thing to do.
Above: a photo I took at the Mitchell Park Domes over break, in the Arid domes. Check it out on Flickr.