Has it really been that long since my last post?! Time certainly flies and it needs to slow down.
I realized recently that I have not shared which modules I am taking, so allow me to briefly summarise each.
Scottish Music, a second-year module, meets 3 days a week for an hour each; it is co-taught by two really wonderful professors with a passion for music. In less than three weeks, I have learned tons about Scottish history, church history, and both “classical” and folk Scottish music through the centuries.
This module also includes hour-long tutorials every other week. Monday was our first one and we learned how to play the penny whistle. It was a lot of fun!
In addition to Scottish Music I am also taking three fourth-year psychology modules, each of which meets once a week for two hours.
In Group Behaviour, we are talking a lot about crowd dynamics and crowd psychology which is a different perspective than I had anticipated, but it has been very thought-provoking and it has already done a lot to broaden my global perspective and reassess media portrayals of world events. The class neatly combines aspects of sociology with social psychology.
I am also taking a class called Emotion, which has been quite philosophical so far; we have discussed the history of ideas on emotion, largely focusing on philosophers’ interpretations and ideas on what they are. We also discussed the experience of an emotion and considered how to define what an emotion is. It seems simple enough at first, but when you get into it you quickly discover that there is no one straightforward or really correct answer. I never realized how little literature there is on definining emotions especially considering how much they are studied and discussed.
My third psychology course is entitled Cognitive Psychology and the Emotional Disorders. My main area of interest is the clinical side of psychology and this class is a great complement to the counseling and abnormal psych classes I took last semester at Erskine. We focus mainly on depression and anxiety and have been looking at some interesting research about implicit and explicit memory bias in individuals with depression, dysphoria, or anxiety.
A lot of that probably sounded quite nerdy; I apologize. Needless to say I really love and enjoy my classes!
It’s also quite nice to be done with classes by 1 or earlier every day, though I always have to hightail it back to Melville for lunch because the dining hall closes at 1:30. (You eat meals in your hall of residence here.) My classes are all a 20 minute walk from my hall, but at least I get several miles of brisk walking in every day: no wonder I’m always hungry! I’m also rather cold all the time, especially when it’s very windy. Which, come to think of it, is almost always. My poor fingers and toes–by the time I get wherever I’m walking they are usually numb or aching and it takes forever for them to warm up. Thankfully my room is quite toasty and I’ve even had to turn the radiator down a few times at night after waking up too hot.
I still love living in Melville. I am slowly meeting more people and the food is usually quite good. I really appreciate the community atmosphere: that’s something that Melville has always been known for and it is very evident. I also really appreciate our cleaning staff; just like at Erskine, they do a superb job keeping all of the common areas clean. Unlike Erskine, though, they also pick up our trash every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; and vacuum our rooms and clean our sinks once a week. It is certainly incentive to keep my room picked up and, as I do not have any cleaning supplies with me, it’s nice to know that it will stay clean. Melville really does feel like home; we are such an eclectic group of people that as far as I can tell get along splendidly.
In my next few posts I will describe some of the events and activities that I’ve experienced so far and share some more pictures. I take my camera with me everywhere so I have tons of photos. I also plan to devote a post to food, and one to language–I promise there are some interesting stories there! Until then, cheers!