July 27, 2008 9:51 AM

Not So Fresh Anymore

I've been asked what year I was several times just after the 07-08 school year. I was not sure what to answer--well I'm not a sophomore yet because 08-09 school year hasn't started and maybe I'm not a freshman either because I just finished my first year! Not so seriously, when do Freshies become Sophomores?!

Whatever. I just checked my Bear Facts, and I'm no longer "Fresh".

Now looking at my first year grades, I see some good (and bad) patterns. Hopefully recalling what happened to my grades would help find my strengths and weaknesses and what I can do in the future (my sophomore year to be specific).

Here are the classes I took: (sorry, but I wont post my grades)

1st Sem: 16.5 units total
6 College Writing R1A (Gender and Media)
3 Earth and Planetary Science 8 (Global Climate Change)
3 Math16A (calculus focused on applications, easier version of the Math1 series)
4 Env. Econ. and Policy 1 (Intro to EEP)
.5 PE2 (units, low-intermediate tennis)

2nd Sem: 16 units total
4 College Writing R4B (Holocaust and Japanese-American Internment Camps)
4 Poli Sci 2 (Intro to Comparative Politics)
3 Math16b
2 Optometry 10 (not your regular science class about eyes)
1 Engineering 24 (seminar about time,money and the "other stuff")
1 Poli Sci 179? (guest speakers talk about stuff in Wheeler Auditorium)
1 for PASS internship

Summer 08:
4 Poli Sci 3 (Intro to poli sci research methods)
4 Stats 21 -- still have this class as of this writing

Grade-wise.. I did best on my writing classes, average on major requirements, and what the heck on math classes. These are exactly the opposite of what I thought would happen!! I came to Berkeley confident with math classes and so so afraid of writing classes. But why the reversal? I got a little too confident with my math classes, so I focused on my writing classes instead and didn't really bother studying for Math.

For my major-requirements aka PS2, PS3, and EEP1... They were interesting and I learned a lot, but sadly I just got okay grades. All three had essays or short answer questions for homework, midterms, and finals--maybe I'm not good at those? I did the readings, but most of them I didn't understand.

The good? I tend to do well on long papers. Extra "fun classes" EPS8 and Opt10 saved my GPA.

The bad? Got carried away with "supposedly easy math classes" and didn't spend enough time to carefully analyze the topics in my "required classes". Weak with in-class short answers and essays.

The future? Well, I'm hoping my Poli Sci classes would have papers. For sure there's going to be in class essays, I just have to work my skill on those. In terms of my EEP courses, it would be a good idea if I group up with people to study with. Problems can get complicated and people have their own approaches, combining them might help instead of going solo.

John Cortez | Permalink | Comment on this article | Comments (0)

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