Almost There

I’ve registered for my final semester at Columbia! At the end of this current semester, I will have completed my poetry requirements. Next semester, I’m finishing up the Environmental Studies minor. That means I’m taking four science classes. I’m also picking up that one stray history course. This last semester will be completely different, but I’m sure that I’ll keep reading and writing what poetry I can fit in.

Letters from the American Past

A study of U.S. history through letters written and read by Americans from the Colonial period to the present, reflecting the society and culture they lived in. We will examine the form, content and transmission of the correspondence. Students will be asked to select and research a small letter collection.

I get shivers thinking about this course. What a fantastic way of looking at history! I think it’ll be a welcome prologue to the Historical Poems craft seminar I’m taking this semester.

Introduction to Horticulture: Applied Plant Sciences

This laboratory course will be taught at the Garfield Park Conservatory and will address the science and art of cultivating fruits, vegetables, and ornamental plants; the functional uses of plants: aesthetics, food, industry, recreation; and growing and using horticultural plants and consumer and environmental issues related to horticulture in daily living.

I suspect that I’ll get to do some sort of gardening or some such thing in this class, since it’s at the conservatory. Every class is a field trip!

Liberal Arts Chemistry

This introductory chemistry course includes the exploration of the high prevalence of chemical occurrences in the world. Topics such as chemical terminology, atomic structure, bonding, reactions, acids and bases, oxidation and reduction, and nuclear chemistry are considered. Materials from organic chemistry, biochemistry, and polymer chemistry are integrated into discussions and lab activities to demonstrate practical application of everyday substances.

I had a tough time choosing between this, biology, or geology. I feel like I have an okay foundation for biology already, and chemistry is one of my less knowledgeable areas. At the same time, chemistry is really fun. The concepts are awe-inspiring. As a side note, I’m currently writing a paper on Emily Dickinson’s use of carbon as a motif in her poetry. Fascinating stuff.

Environmental Science

This course explores the multidisciplinary science of the environment. We focus on contemporary issues such as air and water pollution, global climate change, ozone depletion, acid rain, hazardous and solid waste, alternative energy resources, soils, deforestation, overfishing, biodiversity, and endangered species, and their ecological, economical, and human health impacts. An extensive, hands-on laboratory is a core part of the course. Students develop a final creative project incorporating the skills of their major.

Pretty straightforward, I think.

I’m also doing an independent research project for my minor, though I’m not sure what I’m going to research yet. I think I’m most interested in doing fieldwork, and most interested either in plant census or some sort of insect/arachnid study. I suppose a lab could be pretty cool too. I could try to survey the rhythmic pluckings of jumping spiders. They are so adorable!

Metaphid Jumping Spider (Metaphidippus spp.)

(photo courtesy of DaynaT on flickr, used under the creative commons-attribution license.)



About abi nighthill

Abi has a BA in Poetry from Columbia College Chicago.
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2 Responses to Almost There

  1. Star says:

    I love the little dances jumping spiders do! it’s so silly! or is it wolf spiders? or is it both? whatever it is it’s cute.

    • abi stokes says:

      Salticids tapdance! They’re really smart, too. They show behavior that indicates planning ahead when placed in a maze. They might be my favorite animal.

      I’m also considering crabs, moths, or cephalopods of some sort. All behavioral study.

      I’m looking at google scholar to see what’s been done already, what’s missing, or what I might repeat with some variation.

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