Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Trouble With Registration

Ok, so I'm in the midst of figuring out which classes I want to take for my final semester at USC. In some ways, I have it easy: I only need two more classes to graduate, and I know exactly which ones I want to take. A GE about the science of happiness (perfect, no?), and a class about adapting classic theatrical stories into a variety of mediums, from musical theatre to ballet to opera. Also seems pretty appropriate. I'm also 90% sure of another class I want to take, Theatre for Youth. If I want to consider any kind of theatre profession with children, this seems like a good choice. So those three are pretty much set. And I'll probably take the musical theatre workshop again, just because I enjoy it a lot and it helps me keep working and fresh.

But other than that, I have free reign. Which is exciting but also frightening. What do I want to take? What classes will help me further my career? What do I want to make sure to take before I graduate? What opportunities are unique to USC that I don't want to pass up? For example, I was thinking about signing up for a film class that shows films before they come out. That's unique to USC and I hear it's fun. So shouldn't I take it before the opportunity goes away? But then I remember that I barely watch movies anyway, so it's clearly not something I'm really interested in. Besides, if I'm in any kind of rehearsals then it'll completely conflict (since all those film classes are night classes), so I wouldn't be able to take that anyway. And I'm thinking positive, believing that I'm going to get into something next semester. Even if it isn't at USC.

So here's what I'm debating with right now. Do I focus on classes that could help with my career? Of course, that opens up a whole additional can of worms, considering I don't know exactly what I want to do or how I want to do it.

So here's what I'm debating, because I need to get this out of my system. And no better place to do so than in a blog!

Intro to Pop/Rock Guitar (2): just in case I want to pursue any kind of musical career. Or do songwriting. I have the guitar, I have the basic skills but I have no willingness to practice on my own without some form of pressure telling me to work. That's just how I am. Besides, guitar is pretty simple and it'd be a great skill to have. I'm currently enrolled in this.

Modern Dance (2): Also enrolled in this. Would be taking it to keep up the dancing, and to keep in shape. Plus, I took a modern dance class over the summer. Just a drop-in class, but it was a blast. I absolutely loved it. It was a lot of the grace of ballet in a much more laid-back, interpretive style. And it's dance, which I don't get much of anymore (sadly). I'd love to keep this.

Acting Shakespeare (2): Taught by one of the best acting teachers at USC. I've had her before and she's great. The cons of the class? 9am. Tuesday/Thursday. The two days a week that I am already crazy busy: the GE and the Performing Arts classes are both T/Th, as is Musical Theatre. The two classes I'm definitely taking, and the one other one I want to take. Lame reason to be a con, I know, but considering that over the last three semesters I've had morning classes every day I'd like to have a few days a week to sleep in. Also, I don't love Shakespeare. I get that he's brilliant and I enjoy working with classical text, but I don't feel passionate about acting Shakespeare. I don't know. I'm currently enrolled in this, mostly because I just wanted to save a spot in the class in case I wanted it (it fills up super-fast), but I'm not sold on this. Although it's been a very long time since I've taken an actual acting class... it might not be a bad thing to do right before leaving.

Philosophy of Religion (4): the one class I'm considering that I'm not enrolled in currently. This sounds like a really odd class to consider, but let me explain: I really enjoy philosophy. Even though I dropped the minor, I'd love to take another class. But Katherine, you say, a class on religion? Well here's the thing. I've never understood religion. Growing up in a half-Jewish, half-Chinese household (for sake of argument, "Chinese" counts as a religion), I never had a clear concept of religion. I'm not complaining, I was happy and content, but I've always found religion to be both perplexing and frustrating. I have many questions about it but don't know how to ask the questions. Part of the reason I've enjoyed philosophy is because it offers ways to answer questions that are similar questions of religion, but without depending on pure faith to answer.

Of course, I could just take a class on intro to religion, but I don't want to simply take a basic 100-level class that will skim the surface and not fully investigate. I want to work through these questions! I want to learn! And a class on the Philosophy of Religion could be a great opportunity to do this. Especially since this is the one kind of class that I don't think I'll be able to take after school ends. I could always teach myself guitar, I could always take dance classes, but let's face it--I'm probably not going to take a class in philosophy after school. And apparently the professor of the class is pretty good, or so says RateMyProfessor.com--and I tend to trust the peoples' opinions on the site. It's all overwhelmingly positive. And this class is already pretty full--21/35 spots filled already, and registration hasn't been open long. When classes fill up fast you know it's a good one (or a requirement for a major). But do I want to take a class that kills my Monday/Wednesday afternoon (4-5:15) and I'll probably have to write a big research paper and whatnot? I don't know. This is probably the one I'm most uncertain about. I'd love to take it but I don't know if I should spend the time learning about it if I may never use it again...

And here's another thing. Do I really want to take a full courseload? Do I want to have time free to get ready for next year, to get material ready for auditions or to actually go and audition? Do I want to take a part-time job at some local school? Do I want to be practical or do I want to have fun? Maybe get another internship somewhere? Have a lot of free time (which is dangerous for me, I get bored super easily) or be busy all the time (which I am now... and it's a bit much, to tell the truth)? Cram in as much learning as possible or enjoy having minimal responsibilities while it lasts?

So that's what I'm struggling with right now. Wish me luck as I decide what I want to do with my semester... and my life... BAH I hate being a senior!

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