Skip Navigation

2 AM? Time to Register for Classes!

November 8, 2017 at 10:00 am
By Lynn Barbera '19

Honestly, as a person who grew up in the state of Arizona, where we do not observe daylight savings time, I am constantly feeling aggravated at having to “turn my clock back” (aka wait for my phone to automatically change the time) on certain days throughout the year--especially in the winter because then it starts getting dark at 4:00 PM and I think it’s time to go to bed! But this year, I was thankful for a time change. Apparently Europe saves daylight 1 week earlier than the U.S., so when I saw that I had to register for classes at 8:00 PM Carleton time, I was able to set my alarm for 2:00 AM instead of 3:00 AM. An hour that made all the difference.

At Carleton, you register for classes three times a year, and you get a different lottery number every time--then it goes by class: seniors register first, then juniors, then sophomores, then finally first-years. There are some classes labeled “sophomore priority,” for which, as you can guess, sophomores get to register first, but they are rather scarce. Classes fill up quickly at Carleton, especially the more specialized ones that aren’t offered every year (people really love school here), and I’m very excited to say that this is the first term that I was able to get a spot in each class that I wanted to!

But before I get around to telling you what I’m actually registered for this winter term, I’d like to share a list of some classes I wound up taking because my first choice was taken--in hopes of passing on the hope that there’s usually a class available somewhere that will make you happy, and maybe even take you down a new path of study???

Linguistics 115: Introduction to the Theory of Syntax All I wanted to do during the fall of my first year at Carleton was take a Biology course--and I was devastated to see that by the time I was registering, both of the introductory courses were full. Since I was but a novice in the registration process, I didn’t really have a backup plan, so I had to think on my feet. I truly did not know what linguistics was, but I knew I liked words and language, so I signed up for the only 100-level offered that term. It ended up really shaping my first term at Carleton--I had a hard time with it, so I kind of had to work against my anxieties to ask my professor for help, and working with him and our class TA really helped me come to the realization that academic support exists when you look for it, so look for it.

English 118: Introduction to Poetry You know, I cannot really remember what class I wanted to take instead of this class, but perhaps that just shows how into this class I was. Probably the best part was that the class was held in my favorite building on campus, Laird. Oh, and our professor had a British accent, so I felt very authentic learning about poetry from him. Timothy (our professor) structured our learning of poetry around this book of so-called “de/constructed” poems, which were kind of like “spoofs” of famous poems, which mucked up the best elements of the original poem to show you why they are important. Truly changed the way I think about poetry! For my final paper, I got to write my own deconstructions and analyze them. Here’s my favorite, a mucked up “Infant Sorrow” by William Blake (by me):

My mom and dad were emotional at my birth—
I was born unto a dangerous earth,
I was obviously naked and crying really loud,
Covered in more fluids than should be allowed.

I did not want to be held so tight,
The doctors used a blanket to stop my fight,
Since I was hungry I figured it was best,
to drink the milk from my mom’s breast.

American Studies 225: Beauty & Race in America In my second life, I will be an American Studies major. This class is tied for the most important class I’ve taken at Carleton--and to think that I almost didn’t take it! The class I wanted to take was an upper-level Women’s and Gender Studies class called “Demystifying the Asian Mystique--” and wow, I bet I would have loved it, but maybe another term… Our professor gave us so many mediums/disciplines to work with (which I guess is the whole thing with American Studies) and so much room to improve/refocus our discussion. We also worked in the same group of five people throughout the whole term, which was daunting at first, but quickly served us well as we got better and more comfortable working with each other. My group called ourselves “Team Fanplastic” because we once did a presentation that focused on race and beauty in dolls (featuring a really great YouTube clip from the show Black-ish about the absurdity of race as it is portrayed by American Girl dolls). Also I was working in Northfield this summer and once ran into my professor and actually felt like I was talking to a celebrity--I think my words were “Adriana, hello! I think about your class every single day!”

So now, minus description, I’ll tell you what I’ve sold my soul to this term--CAMS 242: Sound and Music in New Media (I get to make an episode of a podcast!), CAMS 271: Fiction (I get to make fiction shorts!), and CAMS 320: Sound Studies Seminar (maybe this will up my podcast-game??). Yes, I’m taking three Cinema and Media Studies courses. No, that isn’t common!!

Yes, you can double major at Carleton! I recommend you start on that second major earlier than I did!


Lynn is a Cinema and Media Studies/Women's and Gender Studies double major. She's from the desert! You can catch her telling jokes with the standup group Queens of Comedy and the improv group Cujokra, or trying to ride her bike without using her hands. She's really into writing for infemous (Carleton's feminist zine), working at Dacie Moses (the cookie house), and eating (food). One time she applied for a job at Cakewalk and didn't get it.

Comments for this post are turned off