So, a new semester has begun, and as the first week draws to a close, I've come to terms with the fact that my life is amazing. Seriously, I have honestly never been more content with my life than I am right now, for so many different reasons. First of all, 2010 has just been incredible so far...I started it off in the air, on my way to Israel, and it's been one wonderful event after another since then. New York was a great experience, really laid back and fun. I slept a lot (jet lag coming back was AWFUL, I still don't feel recovered), went to the Met, a production of Hair on Broadway (that was god awful, oh man) and went to MOMA. Not that much but it was exactly what I needed, and after the packed itinerary we had in Israel, it was nice to take it easy. The only downside to going to New York was that I wasn't able to go home before the beginning of the semester, but I figured I'd be home eventually (and that is indeed the case, as I just bought my tickets to fly home for President's Day weekend!). In any case, I flew straight from New York back to school, and had only two days to recover before my classes began.
This semester, I'm taking three upper division classes that fill prerequisites for my major, as well as a Decal (for CalTV). I was originally taking four upper divs, but quickly realized that I was definitely biting off more than I would be able to chew, and that I needed to take it easy so that I could succeed in all of my classes, as opposed to just barely managing to stay afloat.
First off, I'm taking Media Studies 103, which is "Understanding Journalism." The class is focused on--take a guess--understanding the role of news and journalists in American society, both past and present. Taught by Professor Tom Goldstein, who happened to have been the past dean of the Journalism schools at Columbia and Berkeley (!!), it's an insightful look at the way the press functions in our daily lives, and how it ought to function. It's really interesting, and though we've only had two lectures so far I really like it. The only downside is that it's an 8am class; luckily, the building it's in is right by my apartment, and it's nice having the whole day ahead of me.
Secondly, I have Media Studies 104A, which is "The First Amendment and the Press," which has quickly become my favorite class. We're learning about how the First Amendment has been defined and redefined by the Supreme Court (as the Framers purposefully left it vague) through the cases they've seen throughout the years. What exactly constitutes "free speech"? Who is "the press," and do they have different rights than the people? So many questions...I love it. It's also my first introduction to law in a formal classroom setting, and it's definitely going to help me decide if law school is something I'm going to be interested in or not. We'll see how I do, but based on the material I am totally engaged. It doesn't hurt that my professor, William B. Turner, practiced law for over forty years and took three (3!) cases to the U.S. Supreme Court. Can you tell why I'm intimidated?!
Lastly, I'm taking American Studies 101, on "The Atomic Age." Pretty self-explanatory, it's a class on the United States during the bombing of Japan and after, from the immediate effects to the Cold War, Civil Rights Movement, the 1970s, the Reagan era, and now. It seems fascinating, and the reading is all novels that are pertinent to the time period and the mentality of the American people at the time. Additionally, we have to watch movies (for homework!) including one of my all-time favorites, Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove. I'm so excited!
Basically, I love ALL of my classes so far...when does that ever happen? I'm actually excited to do the work and the reading and the writing and even though I know I'm going to complain about it (that's just what I do, haha) I know that I'm really going to enjoy this semester as a whole.
Other than that, life has been pretty mellow. I'm enjoying going to work, seeing friends (especially new ones I made on the trip!), sleeping (I seriously have not gone to bed past 10:30pm, it's ridiculous how tired I feel) and catching up on TV. The weather has been RIDICULOUS (so rainy, windy, and cold!) and I'm not used to actually having to dress for the rain...I'm already sick of my rainboots. Oh well. Despite this, I have never been more in love with my life, and I'm so, so happy that this year, and this semester, are off to an amazing start. It's hard to believe that January is almost over, and that it'll be February (and the start of midterms and papers) before I know it. This semester is going to fly by, so I already need to start preparing for the summer...I know I'll be living in Berkeley, but I need to figure out if I want to take classes, get an internship, get a job, or take an LSAT class...ahh! Choices! Growing up! It's an odd feeling. I'm just enjoying life one day at a time, and it's a nice way to live, even if only for a bit before the craziness of being a student kicks in.