Cornell Logo

The 1996-1997 School Year

Well, my third year at Cornell consisted of the most relaxing semester that I had at Cornell (the work overall was less intense) followed by my most uncertain semester filled with lots of work. Here's a summary of each class:

Fall 1996:

This semester consisted of only 4 classes translating into 13 credits. This also happens to be the semester that I enjoyed the most here at Cornell classwise. I originally signed up for 2 other classes, BioChem 330, which I dropped after the first day, and Physics 101, which I axed 7 weeks into the semester when I realized that I was no longer interested in going to med school and I did not have to suffer through such a poorly organized class. Many Congrats to those people that I knew that withstood the pressures of autotutorial physics and survived. I am proud of them.

  • Agricultural, Resource, and Mangerial Economics (ARME) 310(now ARME 210): Introductory Statistics MWF @ 1:25-2:15 PM Section T 1:25-4:25 PM Prof. Cindy Van Es: Well, after almost a year since I have taken a course that remotely involved math, I found this stats course to be an excellent one. The material was interesting as far as math can be interesting for me and the course itself was very well organized. But what really made the course was Prof. Van Es' lectures. She had a rather cheery and hyper (very hyper) rapport while giving her lectures which made statistics seem very exciting. She also would just randomly interperse her lectures with random tidbits of her personal life which made her lectures more relaxed and easy to take. Van Es' personaility apparently rubbed off on my section TA as she also had the same cheerful disposition as her. The sections were two hours long, met once a week and consisted of an assignment that needed to be completed within the section period. As for the material, I found the statistics in this course to be relatively easy and not that hard to grasp. All you really need to remember is algebra. Van Es has a course packet that pretty much became a textbook, lecture notes combo that seemed to be all you needed for the course. Lectures are the most important part of this course. The textbook itself was well written but not absolutely necessary to do well in the course. There were 3 prelims and a final, as well as homework and section assignments, and a group stats project that for me was more frustrating than fun. My group essentially churned out the entire paper the day before it was due as we tried to figure out the stats program, DataDesk. Overall, a great course that was actually fun to take.

  • Human Service Studies 246: Determinants of Human Behavior MWF @ 2:30-3:25 PM Prof. Jeanne Mueller: As a potential Masters of Social Work student, I decided to take the two courses that were required but not limited to the BSW students in Human Ecology. Human Ecology will soon be phasing out this well-intentioned and vital program out of their school, but that's a totally different story. Prof. Mueller really knew her material and was able to convey it quite decently to the class. In the class, we learned four different "areas" of determinants of human behavior within the social context and how they were intergrated with each other. There were 4 papers that consisted of applying knowledge obtained in the class to your personal life or some aspect of society. The papers themselves gave me an opportunity to explore different parts of my life that I never really gave much thought. Overall, it was a very worthwhile course even though at times I was really tired in the classroom (hey, it was late in the day. I consider myself to be a more mid-morning person). It does seem possible to apply the concepts in this course to more than just social work and that is a nice feeling to get out of a course (being able to use it outside of the field it is intended for).

  • Women Studies 285: Introduction to Sexual Minorities M @ 6:30-9:30 PM Prof. R. Savin-Williams: This was the first night course I took at Cornell and believe me they can get really tiring if the lectures are even just bordering on boring. Luckily, this was not one of those courses most of the time. This course provided an introduction to the lifestyles of various sexual minorities including GLBs, transvestites, and transsexuals. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on what you think), the class focused more on the GLB population, but more on gay males than anything else (so why is this a women studies course?). This is probably because the majority of research on sexual minorities focuses on gay males, which does send out the messgae that more research on other groups is necessary. I found this course to be very informative and a breakthrough in that it was one of the first courses to focus specifically on the GLB population. There is a vast amount of information out there and the course tries to give us a flavor of it all, ranging from an overview of the history of homosexuality to current political struggles and oppression. The professor can become a bit too preachy and boring at times, but most of the time did provide great talks. There were sections that were more relaxed and opened us up to our apprehensions and helped us to understand our prejudices and feelings.

  • Biology AP (Animal Physiology) 214: Biological Basis of Sex Differences TR @ 8:40-9:55 AM Prof. J. Fortune: This class had the unfortunate luck of being offered at 8:40 in the morning all the way out in the Vet School. After I got past that idea, it was actually a pretty good course. It's divided into three major sections: male reproductive biology, female reproductive biology, and major differences and social effects of sex differences. I was expecting more information on the last topic, but most of the course focused on the first two. Still, overall the course was very interesting as everything you ever wanted to know and then some about reproductive systems, pregnancy, and contraception was discussed in some detail. Prof. Fortune lectures well, which is forturnate as the bulk (almost the entire course) is based on them and readings come only from a lecture packet. A good course to take if you want to have a firmer biological base for arguing social differences between the many sexes or you enjoy hanging out at the dairy bar drinking large cups of tea at 8 AM.

  • I also took Nautilus for PE that met TR @ 10:15-11:00 AM. This was a pretty light schedule leaving me lots of free time to work at the Music Library and study.
    Spring 1997:
    This particular semester was a bit more intense as there were 5 classes, each with a section, and there was just plain more reading.

  • Biology GD (Genetics and Development) 282: Human Genetics MW @ 10:10-11:00 AM Section R @ 10:10-11:00 AM Prof. Rita Calvo: One of the best courses I have ever taken at Cornell, Human Genetics is taught by Prof. Calvo, who is an excellent lecturer and an extremely kind person. She takes the time to answer any questions about the material in such a way that you become more enlightened. Lectures focus on the science of genetics. Everything from pedigrees to polymerase chain reactions (PCRs) is covered. Sections focus primarily on the social implications of genetics and technology. Controversies over eugenics and abortions were discussed in sections among other comtemporary topics. The lectures and the sections were both exciting and interesting. This may have to do with the fact that genetics is my favorite topic within biology next to behavior. Readings are the main source of test materials, but the lectures are worth going to most of the time. This class is also the only one at Cornell where the instructor actually try to make things comfortable for you during the final. Cookies, Munchkins and Appple Cider were served during the exam. Overall, I recommend this course for anyone who is interested in learning a little about genetics for whatever reason, but does not want to go through with a lab course. However, I do want to emphasize that this course does not serve as a prerequisite to any upper level genetics courses. You need to take BioGD 281 to do more genetics and be a biology major.

  • Philosophy 286: Science and Human Nature MWF @ 11:15 AM - 12:05 PM Section F @ 9:05-9:55 AM Prof. Richard Boyd.

  • Anthropology 208: The Evolution of Human Mating MW @ 12:20-1:10 PM Section F @ 10:10-11:00 AM Prof. Meredith Small.

  • Biology & Society 347: Human Growth & Development: Biological and Behavioral Interactions MW @ 1:25- 2:15 PM Section F 1:25-2:15 PM Prof. S. Robertson & Prof. J. Haas.

  • Human Development and Family Studies 467: Psychosocial Issues of Asian American Identity W @ 7:00-10:00 PM Prof. Lee C. Lee.
  • For P.E. I took two this semester; Community First Aid and CPR, TR @ 9:00-9:45 AM, and Fitness and Conditioning, TR 11:30 AM -12:15 PM.

    Free Speech On-Line Back to My Homepage
    Back to My Main Class Page
    Copyright © 1997 Christopher Chin