Sunday, September 13

welcome home.

I am so very thankful to be back on my 'home turf' here at the arbor.
After a summer of lots of work, a fair amount of crazy, a few naps, oh, and more work, I am back to the place of color-coordinated schedules and school supplies running my life.
I'm one of those crazy people that just genuinely loves school. I love the routine and the learning and the being pushed by profs to really reach out and make myself better.

I'm taking 'just' four classes this semester, though each of them will be challenging in their own way and they bring me up to 14 credits, near the crazy busy end of 'full time student' classification.

  • Physiological Psychology
    This is the class that terrifies me slightly. I'm not going to lie, the professor is intimidating. This class has a reputation for being one of the most difficult classes on campus, but I'm going at it full force. We'll be studying brain physiology and it's implications on psychology. We'll be covering everything from sexuality to schizophrenia to prescription medications and how each topic occurs within the brain and body at a neurological level.
    It's no secret that science isn't always my strong point. However, knowing that (1) I'll be able to apply it in my career field on a daily basis because (2) I really am leaning towards to working in a clinical setting. This will be day-to-day stuff for me as a working professional. Overwhelming, but also oh so exciting!

  • Statistics for Behavioral Analysis
    Math, the other of my less-than-favorite subjects. However, the prof is the single sweetest grandmotherly type woman I have ever met. She's 67 years old, intent on retiring after this year, and also a genius. This is another class that's going to take a lot of work for me to do well in, but it's all work that's going to be able to benefit me after I leave the arbor for 'work world.' A lot of it will be directly applicable to understanding how research studies are conducted and the implications of such methods on interpreting studies.
    Social work application? Reading study after study of new research, medications, and hypothesis on human behavior in order to better serve clients. Right up my clinical social work alley.

  • Research Design
    As it turns out, I haven't actually had this class yet. We'll meet every Wednesday night for three hours. The prof is my academic adviser, who's a sweetheart, but relatively new to the teaching portion of our social work department. However, I'm confident that she'll be amazing. Research design is the practical, hands-on side of stats, where we'll really be working on decoding (and possibly conducting?) some research in order to better understand the process and validity of findings and such.

  • Core 300
    Oh, the COR program. Core 100 is Spring Arbor's freshman orientation type class. I opted out of Core 200 because of my Spanish minor (and because I have NO wiggle room in my schedule for fun stuff beyond a one credit here and there, which I prefer to think of as nap breaks in semesters instead of holes to fill). Core 300 is officially entitled "Christian Faith: It's Practices," but it's always just referred to as Core 3. The class is up to a lot of interpretation based on the professor that teaches it, but all center around faith formation and personal faith development.
    Ever since hearing Dr. Laura talk at a chapel last spring, I've had the desire to figure out a way to take one of her classes. However, she's a youth/camping/general ministry prof...not exactly room in my schedule. When I found out she taught Core 3, it was one of the first classes I plugged in because I knew I was going to find a way to take it. She's just the kind of person that you want to be around and soak up their wisdom. I have so much respect for her and am looking forward to listening to her lecture and talk with us.
    (Also, one of our assignments is to take a bible, journal, and food with us to someplace completely quiet or isolated in nature and hang out there for three or four hours and just practice listening for God. This is so right up my alley!)

So that's what my semester is going to look like from an academic perspective. Honestly, this will probably be the most challenging semester of my entire academic career. I'm excited for the challenge, anxious for the work load, and basically just all around ready to give it my all and see what God does on campus and in my life this semester.

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