Posts tagged ‘challenge’

November 5, 2011


In college, as many of you already know, the class title often reflects the difficulty of the class, and the number of units reflect the amount of time you will spend working on material outside of class. As always, science is the exception of these rules.

For all 3 unit classes, you are expected to spend 2 hours working outside of class for every one hour in class. Science courses on the other hand, require 3 hours. Also, the average (non-science) class is about three hours a week. Science classes often have three hours of lecture AND at least three hours of lab. Some science courses, such as CHEM109, even have a one hour discussion on top of the six hours of lecture and lab. CHEM109 at least knows it demands much of your schedule and is a rare 5 unit class. But the 109 means it is the lowest of low division. This class is inferred (based on its title)to be a freshman level class. Which is an outright lie. CHEM109 is considered to be one of the hardest classes to complete. CHEM109 is a prerequisite to BIOL105.

Now, BIOL105 does not have quite the reputation CHEM109 does. However, it is on the long list of impossible 100 level science courses. At least, I have now placed it on the list. Along with: BOT104 (General botany), CHEM109, and various others that I don’t care to think about.

The life sciences are my personal hell, just due to the way my brain operates. However, the reason BIOL105 has reached the list is because of the dreaded fly lab. Every science major on campus knows of the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) lab. The lab consists of 100% outside of class group work, where you must determine the sex, the eye color, and breed various mixtures. This is a 13 week process during which you must ID over 20 tiny, ugly fruit flies. At the end of this massively frustrating project, our entire class compared data. Not a single group (of the five) got remotely close to the predicted results. Basically, not a single person got the results right. And now we have to write a lab report about it.

I effing hate Drosophila melanogaster. Even more than Fenniculum vulgare.

Emily Treat

October 27, 2011


For someone who has “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” I have not been living up to Gandhi’s expectations. Or even my own.

I have just learned how to think. Think about the world (or country) I live in, think of the education I am paying for, think about the TV shows I watch and the books I don’t make enough time to read.

Most of you are probably sitting there thinking, “Emily, you are 19 and are enrolled in a university and is currently leading a grand life. You do read, and you do think. So what is all this hype about?”

Well, here is the explanation:

Yes, I am, and I do, all of that. But not quite in the right way. Sure I read and analyzed East of Eden with a class. I am currently battling my way through The Brother’s Karamazov on my own. But that’s it. In 19 years, that is how much progress I have made. To me, that is not enough. I do not read any sort of news paper, and the only information I know about politics (foreign and domestic) is because my boyfriend told me. That is embarrassing. I am an ignorant American and, from what little I have learned of America in this last month, that makes me sick.

So, what am I doing? Well, I am reading, mostly. I have started with Empire of Illusion, which is a little dramatic – but very invigorating. It makes you passionately angry and America, which is pretty nice. The second chapter is very hard to sit through because it is about the pornography industry. Otherwise, it is a very easy read, 200 pages.

Also, I am removing myself from all social media sites and other things of the sort. I don’t really need them anymore anyway, and since I am perpetually complaining of mot having enough time in the day, why waste my time on Facebook?

I will keep everyone updated as my thoughts progress.


Emily Treat

July 5, 2011

Can You Teach Creativity?

Last night, I was on the phone with my boyfriend when I brought up my concerns for my upcoming class, Engineering 115. My worries are that I may not have the creative mindset capable to translate my understanding of math and technology into a functioning machine.

To me, there are two kinds of creative people. The crafty, hands-on minds that can build functioning tools or machines and the artsy minds who can piece together items that are pleasing to the eye or mind. My dad is the perfect example of a crafty person. If you handed him a knife and threw him in the ocean, he would be able to create an underwater world without missing a meal. He can fix a car with duct tape, and make it last. I, on the other hand, identify as the artsy type. I can make jewelry, I can sketch quite well, and I recently knit my own purse only a day after learning to knit. I can even dance and act. My mind does not comprehend the same things my fathers does, however that is a skill I need in order to become an engineer.

Bass Guy attempted to console me by reminding me that, that is the exact reason I have an engineering class. This is where the whole question developed.

In my eyes, you cannot teach someone how to create an original work of art. You can teach them the techniques until the cows come home, but they have to be able to bring it together. Like dance, I find myself very accomplished in dance techniques. I know every last detail about a pique or pirouette, but I am a lousy dancer. I cannot translate my knowledge to movement, because I don’t have that capability.

How can creativity be taught to someone whose mind was never really meant to understand?