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Overture in A Major II

April 8, 2011 at 8:52 am

Continued conversations with sophomores about conducting academic study at Carleton. See Part I here.


Major: Linguistics

This term I'm taking: Morphosyntax, Intro to Computer Science, Japanese 103

Linguistics is the most interesting subject to me that there is. The first thing most people say when I tell them I’m majoring in linguistics is, “What’s linguistics?” It’s not one of the most popular or widely known majors, but I think there are fourteen new linguistics majors in our year. The department has been around for a while, but the major became an official major last year.

I took Intro to Syntax fall term freshman year and I loved it. I did not plan on linguistics when I came to Carleton—I had planned on majoring in math, but I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I think ultimately linguistics interest me a lot because language is something that everyone in the world does without understanding why they do it or how they do it a certain way.

Favorite linguistics class so far: either Phonetics and Phonology or Intro to Syntax

Favorite linguistics book: Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue by John McWhorter


Major: Environmental Studies (ENTS), focus in Food and Agriculture

ENTS has four focus areas (Food and Agriculture, Conservation and Development, Landscapes and Perception, and Water Resources). There are different classes you can take for each of the concentrations—it’s more where your interests lie and a lot overlap.

This term I'm taking: Colonialism in West Africa, Food Policy in the Americas, Statistics

I enjoy ENTS and I feel like I can make a difference with the major and sustainable agriculture. What’s nice about the ENTS major is the variety of courses: sciences, political science, history, you name it. It’s not limiting. Coming in, I was thinking about majoring in ENTS, then I thought Geology, and then Biology, and then ENTS again. I’ve heard good things about the professors and I’m excited.
My plan is to look for research opportunities and go to grad school. I’m happy ENTS is offered at Carleton—I think it’s a growing field and there are a lot of jobs opening up. Who’s going to feed people and how are we going to do it with limited land?

Favorite ENTS class so far: Global Change Biology

Favorite ENTS book: A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold


Major: Math

This term I'm taking: Abstract Algebra, Intro to Computer Science, Morphosyntax

I started with Calculus 2 at Carleton fall term freshman year, but unfortunately, I didn’t really like it that much. But I took Calc 3 so I could prove to myself that I liked math again, and I liked it. For most of my freshman year, I thought I would be a bio major, but I kept taking the next math class. After taking Linear Algebra, I decided I wanted to be a math major. I want to go to grad school and maybe possibly become a researcher or a professor.

At Carleton in general, all of the math professors are really available and they’re really smart—they know what you’re talking about. I like math because I like proving stuff and I also really like all of the paradoxes that are part of mathematics.

Favorite math class so far: Linear Algebra

Favorite theorem: Pigeonhole Principle (because it’s really simple but has a hilarious name)


  • April 16 2011 at 2:25 am

    WOOO linguistics!!! :)

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