Oh yes, it’s that time. Time to find a quill pen and Declare A Major. Officially, as Marlena mentioned, you select your subject of study from a drop-down menu on the personal portal of our website (much like you select a meal plan), but we’re working on making the process a bit more dashing. I’ll definitely write down my Declaration in some portentous manner anyways (taking breaks to play my violin).
A little bit more about majors at Carleton: much like certain butterflies who migrate during a select period, we are not allowed to officially declare a major before the first week of our spring term sophomore year and we must declare something by the third week of our spring term sophomore year (though we can change it later, if need be). We don’t have minors, but rather, concentrations, and we can only concentrate in something that is not offered as a major. A student also may petition to do a special major or double major, but those take a little extra paperwork and five hundred registered voters (kidding).
In the next few days, I’m going to try to put up parts of conversations I’ve had with other sophomores about their brand new majors; these hopefully illustrate what the decision looks like and what’s exciting about studying all kinds of things at Carleton.
Major: Classical Languages
I might double with biology
This term I'm taking: Bio 126, Latin Love Poetry, Greek History
When I first got to Carleton, I was debating about whether I wanted to be a biology major or a classics major. I never took classics in high school, but I watched the History Channel and thought it was kind of cool to learn about ancient Greece and Rome. So, my freshman year, I took Latin in the fall and I liked it. I decided to take Greek after that and I liked Greek, and just kind of kept going with it.
I guess the reason why I like classical languages so much is because a lot is lost when you’re reading translations. Especially with Greek, you lose a lot of nuances in the text, and by learning to read things in their actual language you can see what the text actually said and it helps with learning in greater depth about the society.
I have four classes left in my major after this term—one of which is Intro to Classics. Once I realized that Greek and Latin was something that I liked to do, I just wanted to keep on doing it. Carleton has lots of different types of classes, but those are the ones that appealed to me the most.
Favorite classics class so far: ancient athletics, a freshman seminar
Favorite text: Sophocles’ Aediups et Colonus
Major: Studio Art
This term I'm taking: Metalsmithing, Intro to Computer Science
I’ve always enjoyed art and I took Observational Drawing as a freshman. The more classes I take, the more I like it. I can spend hours in Boliou [our studio art building]. What I really like is that before I had always done 2D work and now I have a chance to explore functional three-dimensional things that you can hold and use, and I’m completely fascinated by that. I guess nature tends to come up a lot in my pieces, and hobbies, friends, family--everything that’s close to me goes in there. Art is important because it is a way to express yourself and incorporate a part of you into something that lasts beyond you and can be extended to somebody else in a tangible form.
What you do for the four years here is important, but it should be what makes you happy and it doesn’t determine the rest of your life. Ideally, I would like to do something involving studio, be it teaching or photography or something else.
Favorite art class so far: metals