Halfway To My Master’s

I successfully made it back to Madison in time for the first day of classes on Friday. After the usual grocery shopping, school supply gathering, schedule printing, and bus pass acquiring that goes along with getting oriented for the school year I kicked things off with my zoology class, the Extinction of Species.

UW Madison Campus, Bascom Hall
via news.wisc.edu

This is my second zoology class. If you read this blog regularly you know that I loved/struggled with my zoology class last semester about the psychology and biology of human and animal behavior. I really want to do my out of department electives in the sciences but I don’t have most of the pre-requisites for biology and environmental science classes. I’m not interested in taking classes that don’t count toward my degree, so that has made it difficult to find the right electives. Looking elsewhere, I found the zoology department and the classes offered seem to be really interesting. Even though it is sure to be a challenge I’m excited about the Extinction of Species course.

This semester I’m also taking a multimedia journalism course and a history of science course about women and medicine. I think all of these classes will push me out of my comfort zone and challenge me to learn new things. They are all correlated with and applicable to my interest in science writing, but I’ve never taken any classes on these specific topics before. Which really is why I’m here, right? I’m looking forward to getting underway with the semester and getting back into a school frame of mind. I like the freedom that goes along with being an academic versus being part of the working world, but I still like the routine of having certain work due every week. I also love not only having time to read, but having to read as a requirement. I managed to get lost in Memorial Library yesterday, but eventually (with the help of a map) found my way around.

Madison Farmer’s Market
via biochem.wisc.edu

When I moved to Madison in August 2010 the idea of living here for two years seemed so daunting, and here I am halfway through. This morning I went to the Madison Farmer’s Market (which if you don’t know is pretty amazing) and just enjoyed being part of the city. I was by myself, but still enjoyed walking around the capitol square looking at all the vendors. I ended up buying some wildflowers and apple cider before heading home. It is really nice to feel more comfortable living here, I feel like I spent all of last year figuring this place out. It just has such a different vibe from the East Coast. It can be hard to describe what makes it different, because it just has to do with the way the community feels.

I’m excited to finish my Master’s and move back to the East Coast, but I want to make sure that I make the most of the remainder of my time in Madison. This community has so much to offer in terms of activities and I want to do a better job taking advantage of them. I know that the chances of me living here after I finish my program are basically non-existent so I need to get the most out of Madison while I still can.

Things on my Madison to do list for the Fall include:

  • Attend a Badger football game
  • Attend the Farmer’s Market on a regular basis
  • Take advantage of free/low cost concerts
  • Take part in at least one of the many activities centered around Madison’s lakes (canoeing maybe?)
  • Try Babcock Dairy icecream

I have to come up with a Winter/Spring to do list. I know for sure I want to make it out to Chicago, but if anyone has any suggestions for things I should do in Madison (and the midwest) during my last year let me know, I’m sure there are things I’m not thinking of right now. I’m especially interested in class recommendations for next semester, I’m not sure what I should take but I’m definitely open to trying new things.

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