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25 January 2012 @ 10:02 pm
Spring 2012 Semester, First Day  
Gosh, for some reason I feel as if I didn't get much of a winter break this year. I wonder why...just kidding. With only four days off between the last day of winter session and today, the first day of the spring semester, is it any wonder that things feel a bit off?

Today's schedule was pretty full, but I have to admit that I am loving my classes so far:

ARTH 189A, Baroque Art and Architecture in Italy and France
This is taught by my favorite professor, Dr. J. She's so awesome. Dr. J is smart and entertaining and passionate about her students and her subject! She was the head teacher in Florence and I had two classes with her last semester. I learn so much whenever she opens her mouth, so how could I not adore her? Now she'll be talking about Caravaggio, one of my favorite artists in the whole of history. How could I not be excited for this class???

ARTH 188B, Northern Renaissance Art of the Sixteenth Century
Psst. I'm really not that interested in the Northern Renaissance. I mean, I don't dislike it, but it elicits no strong emotions, either. But Dr. S is a fun teacher that I've had before for art history foundation courses, but never for her area of specialty. Maybe she'll bring the Netherlands and the other northern states to life in a way previous teachers did not.

ARTH 175, Theories and Methods of Art History
DR. J AGAIN!!!!! According to her, the purpose of this class will be:
1) develop a critical understanding of the history of art history and of the thinkers who have shaped the discipline
2) develop a critical awareness of the ideas, values and prejudices that have shaped art history and the issues that continue to enliven it
3) learn new critical methodologies that can broaden understanding of art and sharpen awareness of the methodologies we use
4) evaluate our assumptions about art, beauty, history, aesthetics
5) improve vocabulary and critical analysis and critical reading skills
6) and generally become more thoughtful, self-aware and careful interpreters of works of art.

Not surprisingly, ARTH 175, according to the students I know who have already taken it, will be the hardest of all my art history classes. Apparently, Dr. J will be a drill sergeant who makes her students really think and write in this class. It sounds like we spend most of the class uber-analyzing Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, which is unfortunate as I've never much cared for the painting.

ANTH 157, Forensic Anthropology
I'm debating whether or not I have the stomach and abilities for this class. It's geared less toward the anthropology and more towards forensic science, which makes me nervous because my science skills are somewhat lacking. I feel like I'm behind the other students, who seem to have a much stronger grasp of osteology than I do. Was I supposed to already know the bones of the body already? If that's the case, I'm hosed.
The class just seems like it will be a lot of work, and with my otherwise very full course load I'm not sure I'll be able to handle it. I'll be debating over the next week about whether I should drop this one.

ARTH 195, Japanese Art & Design in Society
Oh man, the teacher of this class is adorable! I've never had this guy before, but he's British and kinda nerdy with a tendency towards Tobias Funke speech patterns. I'm going to have to keep a running catalog of all the times he says stuff like, "I'm sorry, guys, I just get so excited and shoot too quickly!" (He's referring to changing slides on his Powerpoint presentation.) I mean, I have to wonder if he's doing it on purpose because they happen so frequently!
I suppose the alternative read on this would be that my classmates and I are all big, immature jerks.
So the class itself is about contemporary Japanese art. When I signed up, I totally didn't know this - I thought it would be like traditional woodblock prints and paintings of samurai and whatnot. Nope! It's a class about anime and manga. That was a delightful surprise.

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and that's just the first day's classes. I've got two more classes tomorrow: Mummies and (fingers crossed that I get in) Archeological Methods.
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