Monday, July 13, 2015

The Adventure Develops

It appears that my body is determined to give me the college experience of functioning on minimal sleep, as I woke up before 6:00 this morning. Unable to fall back asleep, I ended up going on a short run, in which I got caught in a downpour. This was an exciting start to the morning.

As planned, Shrija, Brandon and I all walked to class together, along with another girl named Joyce. Our class is in Harper Memorial, which luckily is very close to the dining hall and dorms, so we made it with plenty of time. We filled out notecards about ourselves while waiting for class to begin.

On the way to class
Our classroom!
Our instructor is Cassie Freeman and our TA is Rebecca Frausel. So far, I like both of them a lot. Cassie is very encouraging and supportive, but I can also tell that she expects us to be scholarly students. Our class is fourteen students, and we are all girls except Brandon. Most of the students seem eager to participate, and I think group discussions will be very interesting.

After brief introductions and a viewing of the muppets on Youtube, Cassie started teaching. We began with a broad overview of the course and syllabus, as well as how to use Chalk, which is the website we’ll use to turn in homework and get assignments. The next topic we covered was ethics, and why it’s especially important for psychology. Because psychology experiments could potentially have serious impact on the state of the participants, it’s crucial to be clear on consent and assent of participants, as well as understanding deception and reporting. We talked about two cases, the Milgram experiment and the Stanford Prison Experiment, and why they exemplify the need for ethics consideration in psychology.

Moving on from ethics, Cassie started to discuss the actual topic of developmental psychology.  We went over the process of development, and the many different research methods and their strengths and limits. The primary focus of our class will be to conduct a research project on an area and developmental psychology, so it’s important that we understand how to do this. We’ll be working in small groups for this project, and we spent the last half of class figuring out our groups and topics. The topics our class was interested in were moral development, identity, and social development. I chose to be in the social development group with two other girls, Grace and Cathy. We began discussing possibilities for our project, but haven’t decided anything definitive yet.

Class passed by very quickly, and although it was three hours it only felt like one. Additionally, we got the afternoon off from class because Cassie is getting her PhD this afternoon! It’s sort of nice that for our first class we only have a half day; this way we have plenty of time for our homework. Indeed, Shrija, Brandon and I all met up in the fifth floor lounge after lunch to get started. Tonight’s homework wasn’t too challenging, just a quick writing assignment about ethics, reading about formatting, and some textbook reading. We managed to complete the majority of it before 4, and decided to take a break to go to the Ratner Athletic Center.
Ellipticals at Ratner

The intended purpose of our trip to Ratner was to pump up my soccer ball, but as this was unattainable and we couldn’t find another soccer ball to use, we chose to spend a short time on the elliptical before heading back to the dorms. I decided it was time to do some laundry, a task I’d been a little nervous about. Luckily, I was able to successfully wash and dry my clothes with no trouble, and even managed to practice flute during the process.

In the evening, Jill led a trip to CVS and frozen yogurt on 53rd. I attended in order to obtain some necessities from CVS, then shuttled back with Shrija. The weather had become unbearably hot and sticky, so when we got back to campus I decided to take a quick trip to the pool. I had to rush, since we got back at 8:00 and the pool closes at 8:45, but it was extremely refreshing to swim some laps and take advantage of the facility.

Ratner Athletic Center and the pool are located on the north end of campus, while our dorms are in the south. On my walk back from the pool I decided to pop in the Regenstein Library, something I’d been meaning to investigate for a while. It is a fortress of books and study space, and I’ll definitely have to explore more some other time. Mansueto Library attaches to the Regenstein and has a very cool, domed design. As I made my way back to the dorm from the library, there were lots of flashes in the sky and rumbling noises, too. At first I thought it was helicopters or something, and then I saw lightning flash and realized a storm was probably coming. I made it back to the dorms just as it started to rain.

We have a full day of class tomorrow, and I want to be well rested, so the plan is to get to bed early tonight. I look forward to tomorrow and what I will discover.

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