Monday, September 20, 2010

First Week of School finished!

So...I now have one week of University under my belt, and about a zillion more to go lol.

Here is an overview of what I am taking this term:

Anthropology Course Description:
The first half of the course, taught by Alison Behie will focus on Human Evolution. We will begin by examining the mechanisms and implications of biological evolution. We will then apply our knowledge of evolutionary principles to examine the origins of hominids and their subsequent evolution up to an including modern humans. Students will be expected to view hominid remains and displays in the Anthropology lab (SA 143) in order to achieve a better understanding of the course material. Times for viewing will posted during lectures.

The second half of the course, taught by Brian Keating will focus on Primates. Topics covered include, taxonomy, evolution, ecology, geographic distribution and behavioural ecology of prosimians, monkeys and apes. We will learn to answer questions such as: What are primates? Where are they found? What makes them different from other mammals? What kinds of groups do they live in? Students will be required to become familiar with the primate collection at the Calgary Zoo. At the minimum students must make one trip to the zoo, however, more visits will allow you to take full advantage of becoming more familiar with the various species studied in this course. 

I get to go to the Zoo for school again! Yay! I am so freaking excited about this class. I find books on this topic a bit hard to get through on my own. Not that they aren't fascinating, but I find that I get through them at a very slow pace. So, I think it will be great to learn about all of this in a classroom. 

There is a test next week in this course!  It shouldn't be too difficult though as it's basically just the intro to evolution and natural selection.  Mostly things I have already learned about before.  I'm looking forward to having one test under my belt.  

Archaeology Course Description:
This course surveys world prehistory from the first emergence of humans to the development of ancient states and empires. We begin by looking at the techniques and methods modern archaeology uses to reconstruct the past. We then move chronologically through human prehistory, focusing on the evolution of modern humans, the development of agriculture, and the emergence of social complexity. Topics covered in the course include the Palaeolithic, Neanderthals, the peopling of the New World and Australia, the development of settled life, the Anasazi, the Maya, Ancient Egypt, and the Inca Empire.

I think this one is going to go so well with the Anthropology and Art History classes.  However, the classes in the first week were seriously putting me to sleep which I'd say is a bad sign.  I have been reading ahead a bit in the textbook though, and I think it's only Chapters 1 and 2 (the first week or so of classes) that will be boring.  Then it actually gets into the interesting parts.  So far all we have been talking about is the methods of archaeology which aren't really all that fascinating... stratigraphy, grids, horizontal excavation... *yawns*.  I'm ready to learn about Neanderthals, man!

Religious Studies Course Description:
Introduction to Eastern Religions is a general introduction to the academic study of Asian religious traditions. The course familiarizes students with the major religious and philosophical traditions of select geographical areas in South, Central, and East Asia. While refining the skills of empathetic description and non-evaluative comparison, the course also examines religion as an area of academic study, examining the function of religion in relation to human beliefs, social practices, and culture in general. A primary goal of the course is for all students to learn to define, accurately describe, and compare in a non-evaluative manner, various religious traditions within Asia so as to discover significant similarities and differences in various forms of human thought and behavior.

The prof in this course is pretty funny. He is an American also which is kind of cool... always interesting to have someone from a different country as a teacher. I think it's going to be a very interesting class as well.  I'm looking forward to learning about Buddhism and other Eastern/Asian religions as I don't really know that much about them.

Art History Course Description:
Art History Part 201 is a survey of Western Art and Architecture, chronologically organized, and running from the Old Stone Age into the Middle Ages of the Christian Era. The lecture series will begin with Egypt, although the text book starts with Mesopotamia. Significant and characteristic artifacts and architecture will be interpreted in the light of pertinent socio-economic, political, religious, and stylistic influences. A major effort will be made, on the part of the instructor, to encourage the learning of useful critical, interpretive, and technical terms and concepts and methods.

Other than the prof being hard to understand, the subject is of great interest to me.  And I think it will go nicely with my other courses.  I'm trying to keep ahead of the readings for his lectures so that I can really focus on anything additional he says, as I have it on good authority that his tests require you to pretty much know everything he is saying during lectures.

It should be a good term!  And then I'm off to Europe for Christmas holidays!  HUZZAH!

Now if only I could decide what I want to be 'when I grow up'... 

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