October 15th, 2006

hot chocolate: join me?

A Confession

Okay, everyone, it's time for a confession. It's not exactly a confession, but it has been on my mind lately, and I just got around to writing it all out.

I really like astronomy. And by like, I mean that it's almost as cool as math. It's just so fascinating. We can be talking about something really simple in class, and I can find the math behind it quite easily, and suddenly astronomy is even cooler than it was before just because I've found a connection to math. (Not because I've found a connection from math to astronomy--there's a subtle but big difference there.) In math we think about theorems and proofs, and showing that a theorem is true for an arbitrary x. In astronomy the universe is our field of study, and we have to make a lot of educated guesses based on what we already know, but we can't prove most of it. They're quite opposite in that respect, but the same purpose is being achieved. How cool is that?

This is what made me consider an astrophysics minor. (Doesn't the name of the field just sound smart? I could be a rocket scientist for all you know!) There are a couple of practical difficulties with this, though.

1) I'll have to take physics. Okay, I wanted to do this anyway, but French got in the way of that.

2) I'm already planning majors in math and French.

Oops, this is where the confession comes in.

I haven't been enjoying French as much lately. Let me correct myself before I dig too big a hole for myself. I love French. I love the language, the grammar, the linguistics, the literature, with a passion. I just haven't been enjoying French class as much lately. I'm not talking about just this semestre. I'm talking about all my French classes since I arrived at Agnes. I'm either lost and confused or bored out of my mind because the material is so easy. This semestre it's a combination of the two. There's no "aha!" moment for me when I finish analysing a work of literature, the same moment that comes when I finish a proof or grasp a hard concept. When I finish a story or paper in there, I think, "Glad that's over!" instead of "Yay, I win!" like I do in math. (Okay, sometimes I'm glad the test is over, especially if I'm waiting for the grade, but if it took a really long time for the problem to click, it's mostly "I win!")

Now that I have that out of the way, we can talk practical matters. I want to take all the math classes I possibly can before I graduate. With my math/French major, I was going to do the minimum French major and take everything I could in the math department. This wasn't going to pose a problem, as I'm just about halfway finished with my math major now (I can take anything I want from now until graduation, which is nice). Course load-wise, I can still do a French major too; it's just one course a semester except for one semester of two French classes.

When we add the astrophysics minor, though, we have issues. The minor is five classes after the one I'm in now, meaning one class per semestre. I'll already have very few electives as it is, so I couldn't squeeze that minor in with a double major.

If I drop to a French minor, though, it's possible. I'd need just three more French classes, which is doable. Interestingly, doing the two minors and a major combination would mean more classes than two majors. Also if I chose this route, I would lose a net three math classes.

So why am I thinking about this now? It could affect my schedule for next semestre. I have two more distributional classes left, and I was planning to take both of them next semestre, along with a math class and a French class. This is why I need to decide fairly soon: I'll have to decide when to take that last distributional if I change my schedule. Also, if I go this route, I'll have zero electives left. I had very few to start with, but this leaves me with much fewer.

So...what's a girl to do?