Thursday, June 17, 2010

Day 3: The Start of Classes

I awoke this morning to the sounds of unsecured items tumbling across the room and the sensation of slipping down my bed.  The timing was actually pretty good since I had to get up anyway.  We hit some moderately rough waters but it has since been a bit smoother.

I started off the day with my Infectious Disease class.  It is pretty slow right now because we're going through some basic intro bio review but I'm sure it'll pick up when we get into the content.  I like the professor a lot; he's an older Scottish guy who always has a Nike sweat band around his head and does nightly star gazing sessions.  The global studies class will be interesting but likely a bit on the boring side.  The largest room on the ship holds about 400 people leaving the other 350 to be in designated satellite locations (classrooms, lounges, etc) where the lecture is broadcast.  Most of the orientation stuff was also done this way so I'm getting used to the different setup.  I'm also really looking forward to Abnormal Psych.  It's a very good professor and a lot of the course is going to cover comparative mental healthcare policy which will be really great because we'll get to see it in action among the different ports.  As part of the "normal vs. abnormal" lecture today a professional clown who happens to be an inter-port lecturer on the ship (your guess is as good as mine) stopped by to do a little demo.

The past few days it has been stressed that the main theme of Semester at Sea is flexibility.  Apparently a lot of things come up (international conflicts causing a change in port, etc) and it plays quite a bit into the classroom.  It's a very unique situation in class as the students run in and out to be sick and the teacher occasionally grasps on to the podium for balance as we hit a decent wave. 

All is going well, this is a great experience so far.  I went to a session on Spain tonight and followed it up with a trip to the observation deck for the Astronomy class lab (aka star gazing session) which is open to anyone.  Only 6 more days of seeing nothing but water until we get to Spain!


Karl Stutelberg said...

Thanks for the daily updates. Yes people are reading this. Sounds like you are having fun and keeping busy.

Karl Stutelberg said...
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