Trinity Curriculum Suggestions

<p>I'm an incoming Trinity freshman and I'm starting to tentatively think about what courses I want to take in the fall, now that the official 2008 schedule of courses has been posted. All of the requirements (modes of inquiry, areas of knowledge) are a little confusing to me right now, so I'll just keep my questions basic (although a little clarification on the requirements would be great too!). </p>

<p>1.) What classes would you recommend to take (or avoid)?</p>

<p>2.) Any professors that I should absolutely seek out or avoid?</p>

<p>3.) Is it better to take Writing 20 first semester or second semester? </p>

<p>4.) What is a seminar like? I know that it's a first year requirement, but I'm curious about the format/workload and whether it's better to take it 1st or 2nd semester.</p>

<p>If it helps, I'm interested in political science/government, but I don't want to limit my courses to that and I know that I do have to take classes in other academic areas. I would love to avoid math/science 1st semester! Broad suggestions for classes would be greatly appreciated... maybe this thread will be able to help others too. Thanks!</p>

<p>See if you enjoy Political Science early by taking 1 Political Science course (perhaps a 90-level course).</p>

<p>I did FOCUS so I cannot really say whether to take Writing 20 1st or 2nd semester, but I personally would probably do it first and then take a seminar 2nd.</p>

<p>Don't feel the need to rush in headfirst into courses. It will be your 1st semester in college, so ease your transition.</p>

<p>Personally I would recommend Econ1D (Intro Econ) if you are interested in government, but I know there are many students who do not like Leachman, because she does not I'm not sure..I had another teacher my freshman year.</p>

<p>1) I'd recommend taking a polisci ,yes, although I'd recommend a 100 level just to get a head start if you decide to major in it, and maybe a random history/pubpol/econ...something of that nature. Perhaps start your foreign language requirement...those are great "transition to college" classes. I'd also suggest taking a completely random class...maybe an ALP or something. Look into things like religion, art history (plugging my own department of course), the new visual studies department has some neat classes, culanth or sociology. It's always fun, esp. first semester, to take something COMPLETELY out of the ordinary, and for me it was how I ended up an art history major.</p>

<p>I think it's a great idea to not take a sci/math. Wait til later on in your college career until you can actually get into the easier science/math classes (ie Compsci 82, Compsci 1, Stat 10, Bio 48, etc etc)</p>

<p>2) Hard to say really, and I've never taken a polisci so I'm not sure. My advice would be to look at but take everything you read with a grain of salt. If there are 15 reviews saying a professor is terrible, maybe avoid the class, but don't ever decide against a class because of one scary review...I've taken plenty of classes with "bad" professors and found them to be incredible.</p>

<p>3) Doesn't matter. If there's a good seminar topic out there first semester, try to get it. Keep in mind if you have 3rd or maybe even 2nd window for registration your choices will likely be severely limited.</p>

<p>4) To keep it short, from my experience seminars generally consist of reading (a little or a lot), discussion in class (participation generally around 20% upwards of your grade), and a few papers/responses here and there, likely a final paper/project. </p>

<p>My freshman seminar, a history seminar, we basically read, talked all class (which, if you didn't do the reading you were fine), took a midterm, wrote a final paper. I'm in a 200-level seminar now and it's pretty much the same...with about 4x the reading.</p>

<p>Thanks so much for the advice... I've finally got a general idea of my plans for 1st semester!</p>

<p>I do have a question about the FL requirement... I think I'd like to start a new language at Duke (I've already taken Spanish). What language has the best rep for beginning levels? Also, if I do decide to take a new language, would it be a bad idea to defer starting it until 2nd semester? Thanks again for your help.</p>

<p>If you decide to take a language, waiting until the 2nd semester is not a problem.</p>

<p>In fact, I did the same. The thing about intro level language courses is that they meet 5 days a week, and I wanted to have a more flexible schedule during my 1st sem.</p>

<p>Are you thinking about taking another Romance language or do you want to try something totally different?</p>

<p>Another Romance language would probably be ideal. I definitely want to take a language where I don't have to learn a whole new alphabet!</p>

<p>Yeah...definitely stick to one with the same alphabet. My freshman roommate took Japanese and she probably did 2-3 hours a work everyday just for that class. Chinese/Arabic etc etc are also incredibly hard.</p>

<p>French and Italian are always popular choices, but I believe they both meet 5 days a week. I'm actually taking German 1 right now...and LOVE it. The class is small, the department itself small as well...professors are excited to be teaching, want students to do well, and are pretty lenient with work. Plus it's similar to english so it's not too hard. And it only meets M-Thursday. </p>

<p>You can definitely start whenever you want really...I just suggested 1st semester because FL classes are definitely the most similar to HS classes so they make easy transitions. I'm actually using German to fulfill my FL requirement (since I had 2 miserable experiences in the Spanish dept. and don't want a German is an art language) and I'm just now starting it 2nd semester junior year.</p>

<p>Thanks for the German suggestion... that's actually the way I was leaning after looking at ratemyprofessors. Are there any classes (in German or any other languages) that will get you the FL requirement without actually being a language class? That question probably doesn't make sense, but I'm wondering whether I can take a culture class (taught in English) to get that requirement... probably not, but it's worth asking!</p>

<p>You know...that's always crossed my mind...but I believe you have to take the foreign language. It kind of looks, via ACES/the schedule, that you can, but I'm almost 100% sure they won't count for your FL requirement, or many more people would be doing it.</p>

<p>Yeah...German is a great option, and people don't usually choose it because it's not a "pretty language." I'm finding that it's so similar to English (Mein Name ist...Ich habe...), so learning words isn't too there aren't many exceptions to rules (like in Spanish, English) so it's easy to learn grammar as well because as long as you know the rules of the chapter you can easily apply them on the test. I probably work 20 minutes to a half hour a day and I have like, a 98 average in the class.</p>

<p>Derrick Miller is my professor right now, and if he's always a good choice, as is Elise Mueller. They're enthusiastic and want students to do well.</p>

<p>I've heard that a really good strategy for first semester is to sign up for 6 or even 7 classes, and then drop the 2 or 3 that you don't absolutely love.</p>

<p>You actually can't even do that. You're limited to 4.5 credits (correct me if I'm wrong) first semester freshman year. I suppose you could GO to those classes and pick and choose..but you can only sign up for 4.5 without dean approval. </p>

<p>To me, it seems rather silly.</p>

<p>Silly to pick classes that you like? Yeah, I hate enjoying classes. Such a drag. I can't believe Duke doesn't have a shopping period or anything like some of the Ivies do... how are you supposed to know which professors you 'click' with/which classes will be interesting for you? If Duke does allow you to GO to as many classes as you want during the first week or so, DO IT. No one wants to be stuck in a bad class during the first semester of freshman year.</p>

<p>Um...Duke has a 2 week shopping period...What are you talking about?</p>

<p>Then why was "loveduke" saying you couldn't start out with more classes than you actually plan to take??? </p>

<p>"I suppose you could GO to those classes and pick and choose..but you can only sign up for 4.5 without dean approval." <<-- Isn't that what shopping period is?? Why would that be a bad idea?</p>

<p>I'm so confused.</p>


<p>See let me try to clarify some things.</p>

<p>What Duke students typically do is enroll in 4 or 4.5 classes without Dean Approval during their "round", then they place numerous classes that they would consider taking in their secondary bookbag.</p>

<p>These are typically the classes they attend during the 2 week period to see if they would rather swap those out with the classes they enrolled in.</p>

<p>You can pretty much attend any class you want during the 2 weeks.</p>

<p>The reason they don't let you initially "officially" enroll in say 6-7 courses during your round is because this would be seen as "hogging" course spots from individual who know they want or need a particular course.</p>

<p>Whoa whoa misinterpretations. Thank you majayiduke09 for clarifying because that's what I meant. I mentioned that you could indeed go to any of these classes you want to pick and choose what you want to take...just that you can't enroll in them all and then drop classes on a technical level. You're free to GO to whatever you want. I also wasn't suggesting it's silly to pick classes you's more of the technique of going back and forth between 6/7 classes I've never understood...but obviously many people love it.</p>

<p>Of course, remember there are only 24 hours in a day, 5 days in a schoolweek, and classwork will quickly pick up, so if you're a science major/engineer this is a pretty difficult technique. With polisci, as the OP mentioned, this is possible.</p>