Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Registering for college classes.

Purdue had a Day on Campus for incoming students to attend over the summer, before starting classes.  It seemed like most students had their parents with them, but my parents didn't come.  I wanted to bring my high school friend, but they said no to that too.  So I made the 3-hour drive each way by myself, first road trip.

The day began in a huge lecture hall in the Electrical Engineering building, where somebody talked about Purdue. The one point I remember them saying was this: that the male students, when they got a bad grade, usually blamed the professor.  The female students, when they got a bad grade, usually blamed themselves.

I might have taken my Spanish placement exam that day.  I know that Purdue had their own exam, and I remember taking the exam on campus.  Note that, for Purdue, the SAT2 Spanish exam was not worth taking - they would still have made me take their exam on campus.  Whatever school you attend, check out their rules on this sort of thing.

Also that day, I met with a Freshman Engineering adviser, and signed up for classes.  Math, chemistry, Spanish to lock in my credits.  I wasn't sure whether I wanted to study Mechanical Engineering or Electrical.  The adviser suggested a programming course, and possibly drafting.  I had enjoyed Pascal programming in high school, so I agreed to a C programming course.

I told the adviser that I wanted to get back into band.  I wasn't sure of my skills since I hadn't played my clarinet in two years.  I understood I was supposed to prepare an audition piece, and I had no idea where to start.  I had never prepared for an audition before.  The three times I sort of auditioned for plays, I showed up and they told me what to do (read this script...).  The adviser said that if I wasn't sure, I should sign up for Marching Band, and then I could switch if I needed to.  So that was what I did.
(Considering that Marching Band was a matter of week-long Band Camp tryouts before the semester began, starting with that did keep my options open.)

There was a Freshman Engineering seminar that was really good, it talked about the various engineering disciplines, and helped me with focusing my major.  There was also a Women in Engineering class, that came in two parts:  we had small group sections, to talk about our lives and challenges.  We also had a larger lecture, where alumni came and talked about their experiences as engineers.  I highly recommend that class.

Purdue has changed since I was a freshman.  When I attended, all engineering students started out in Freshman Engineering, and then declared their major / engineering discipline as sophomores.  Today, students go directly into their respective engineering school.  So, my cousin will be studying Chemical Engineering at Purdue next year.  (Motivation to keep writing / write more!)

I don't remember the other activities that day.  I probably stopped by the Administration office, the Bursar, walked around campus, ate lunch, and saw my dorm.  It was a fairly full day.  Somewhere around 2 or 3 pm, I drove back home.