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04 January 2012 @ 11:12 am
First Day of Winter Session 2012  
Yesterday night was the first day of my Winter Session class, Religion and Political Controversy in the US. I am taking it to fulfill one of SJSU's strange little "SJSU Studies" requirements, which aims to round out our education by taking us to take classes in departments outside of our major. It's not that the topic is uninteresting, per se - but it's the sort of thing I'd research on my own, and not take a class for, if I had any say in the matter. But trust me, the category fulfilled by this course didn't have any better contenders, and at least in Winter Session I can knock the class out in three weeks.

It's a night class. That's going to suck. I mean, 6-9 may not sound like a lot but after eight hours working at a job, it's pretty killer. I had hoped that this instructor would be one of those that allows the class to leave early, but she's one of the strictest teachers I've ever had. She was most emphatic that we not leave the room for bathroom runs during her lectures; she would provide a ten minute break for that purpose, so we were not to leave for any other reason. I thought about asking if we could just power through and leave ten minutes early, but the rest of the class didn't seem interested. Alas, this means that every night I'll get to the light rail stop just in time to see the train pulling away from the station, and it's awful cold to wait every night for the next one. Oh, but it can't be helped.

The class itself seems pretty straightforward. Look at the history of the founding of the country, memorize the first amendment, look at some famous court cases. The teacher's pretty hippie-liberal, so when it comes to current issues she's very "YAY FOR GAY MARRIAGE!" and "BOO ON SCHOOL VOUCHERS!" and "OBAMA IS A DISAPPOINTMENT BUT HE'S BETTER THAN A REPUBLICAN!!!" I mean, it's not like she's shouting these things from the pulpit or anything, but you can tell from the way it slips out in what she says and doesn't say. It'll be interesting to see how the class goes, since she heartily encourages student dialogue. Based on what other kids said about themselves and/or their beliefs, there's at least three Muslims and two atheists in the class. Two Buddhists. Maybe three or four Christians. The rest seem to fall into "spiritual, not religious" territory. It will make for fun talks.

But with MLK day in two weeks, there's only twelve days left of class. I can do that!
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