Fall Semester 2006

It starts tomorrow, believe it or not, so I thought I’d put together a post about my class schedule for this, the penultimate semester of my undergraduate career (sniff!). I’m taking 3 classes and also doing a research practicum with one of my history professors.

Latin America & the U.S.: Historical Perspectives. I am really looking forward to this class. As the class listing says: “This course examines the historical and contemporary relations between the United States and Latin American countries.” It should be a nice complement to a class I took last spring from the same professor, an overview of Latin American Revolution (specifically, Mexico, Cuba and Nicaragua).

The Progressive Era in America. “This course examines the history and politics of the early 20th-century U.S. The Progressive Era is generally defined as 1897 to 1922.” Another class I’m anticipating will be quite interesting. I’ve had some other history classes that covered this time period, though they focused on other specific topics (the development of the working class in one case, and the history of immigration to the U.S. in another), so it will be good to get a solid overview. Like the Latin America class, I’ve taken other classes from this professor, and I think he’s great. There’s a real comfort level in knowing how a professor teaches, and whether it’s compatible with the way you learn.

Intro to Museology. And now for something completely different … The other 2 classes apply directly to my major (history, natch), but this one is a little different. “This course presents a broad overview of the past, present, and future position of museums and their evolving attitudes toward function, audience, and community.” I chose it for a couple of reasons: first, it looks interesting, and second, I thought it might be relevant given my intentions to get a master’s in library science. It seems lots of MLS folks end up working as museum curators, so this is just a way to keep my options open, I guess. Plus, it sounds interesting, AND it fulfills my final General Education requirement (Humanities, if you’re scoring at home).

Research Practicum. I have never done one of these before, so it’s exciting and a little scary at the same time. I will be working with the professor who teaches the Latin America class I listed above; the research I’ll be doing is for a book he is writing on the history of William Walker’s filibustering campaigns in Nicaragua. I really love doing research, so I expect it will be enjoyable as well as a handy skill to develop for the future.

And of course, I will be continuing my Undergraduate Scholar Assistant (USA) position at the UI Center for Human Rights, which is fantastic. I love working there — both the work and the people. It’s probably the best job I’ve ever had, which just proves once again that satisfaction does not correlate directly to salary. An important lesson for us all, methinks.