Back At It, One Last Time
Lucas looks ahead to the first trimester of his final year at Carleton.
Lucas looks ahead to the first trimester of his final year at Carleton.
Welp. My final year here has come.
We’re not talking about it.
I’ve usually kicked off these trimesters with a post that provides a run down of what my term’s gonna look like and what I’m looking forward to. This term will be no different, because there is *nothing* different or special about this term, or this year, no sir!
This year, I’m living in Farm House. You’ll probably be getting a dedicated post all about it some time down the road. But I’m incredibly happy and lucky to be living here; it’s a storied house in a beautiful part of campus (right next to the Arb!) full of my absolute favorite people at Carleton. It’s one of the College’s “oldest interest communities on campus focused on sustainable living,” and yes, it is situated on a farm. It’s so cool.
Life at Farm is communal and quaint. The house does a lot of stuff together. There are family dinners cooked most nights, house meetings every Sunday, events (like, sustainable-living-education-type stuff) that we put on for the broader Carleton community, and lots of wacky traditions that we keep for ourselves.
Classes! I am taking classes this term. Yes.
First up is Observational Drawing. It’s what it sounds like. I am so excited and so lucky to finally be taking this course! I kind of missed the “Obs Draw is sophomore priority” boat a couple of years ago, and have found myself sitting on various waiting lists with no luck many times since. Well, this time I got off that waitlist! The night before classes started!
The course is taught by David Lefkowitz, who’s actually the father of one of my good friends (and Farm housemates), Emmett! So that’s cool. Also, I think this qualifies as my first-ever ~fine arts~ course (does Digital Foundations count? not sure), and I’m really looking forward to learning in a way I haven’t gotten to in a long, long time.
I always strive for an even balance between the sciences, arts, and humanities in any given term (I am indeed a Liberal Arts Boi), and this feels like the furthest I’ve ever delved into the pure “arts” realm of things. I’m also just… terrible… at drawing. So I’m excited to (hopefully) gain a totally new skill, all while experiencing a whole new kind of college course.
Next on my schedule is Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics. The study of heat and energy flow and all that. I love the fact that there are certain types of behaviors we can predict for vast sums of particles even when we can’t yet do the physics of any individual particle’s behavior. The course is taught by Helen Minsky, from whom I had only ever taken a remote course on Electricity and Magnetism. I’m happy to properly meet and learn from her.
And, of course, I’m quite excited for the class itself. By now I’ve satisfied all of the course requirements for my physics degree (besides Comps), so every elective I take in the department from here onward is out of sheer interest. As someone who’s deeply passionate about energy and specifically renewable resources, this stuff is right up my alley.
Similarly, Electronics, my third class, has obvious relevance to my long-term goals. However, paired with Observational Drawing, it makes this term really unique. I’d say the general consensus is that Carleton, academically, is mildly on the theoretical side of the theoretical-to-applied spectrum, and I’m usually a more in-my-head person myself.
People describe Electronics as essentially a lab class. Although we meet for lab on Thursdays and regular class on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, a good majority of those “regular” class periods incorporate similar laboratory-style work. And the course is taught by Melissa Eblen-Zayas, the wonderful professor who taught my other lab class which I took just last spring! There’s a nice continuity there.
On top of all of this…
I’m coming out of a good year-plus of COVID-era learning. (And while the COVID-era is certainly not over, it’s reached a point where academic operations at Carleton have essentially returned to normal.) So it’s incredibly satisfying to say that, for the majority of my classes this term, I’ll finally be working with my hands. In Obs Draw I’m, um, drawing, and in Electronics, I’m building circuits by hand a lot of the time.
So I’m proud of the schedule I’ve whipped up for myself. I’m always happy when I get to say that I’m going to be learning in a lot of new ways.
Work? Extra-curriculars?? Other???
The divisions aren’t always clear.
On top of writing for the Admissions Blog, I’m so honored to say that I’ll be working as an Admissions Fellow this term! This is another topic I anticipate writing a dedicated post about in the near future; basically, I get to interview prospective students – possibly such as yourself, dear reader! It’s a big responsibility, but a highly impactful use of my time, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to extend my work with helping people find their place through the Admissions Office.
I’ll also be serving on Carleton’s chapter of the Mortar Board, “a century-old national honor society that recognizes college seniors for their achievements in scholarship, leadership, and service.” So yet another honor. One thing that’s been somewhat lacking in my time at Carleton thus far has been service opportunities, so I’m glad to finally be working in that area again. I don’t think the Board has officially nailed down its project ideas yet, so for now I’ll keep that to myself…
I also get to serve on our new president’s Presidential Orientation and Transition Team. Another honor. This is a really exciting one. After having the profound experience of serving on Carleton’s Presidential Search Committee, I get to continue my work with President Byerly – along with other students, faculty, staff, alumni, board members, amImissinganyotherconstituents – as she gets to work in her new role here. This post is getting a little long, so I’ll bite my tongue here and promise yet another elaboration post some time in the future, but suffice it to say that this is a huge responsibility for me and one I’m incredibly eager to use to better my school.
I’m not done yet! (If there’s one thing I’m worried about this term, it’s overextending myself.) I’ve also been granted the role of Physics Social Captain for my beloved department. Feel free to tell me that such a title is oxymoronic. I certainly haven’t heard that one before.
Phew. Okay. Lots of stuff to be looking forward to. Time for an abrupt ending. Here’s to a totally normal, not at all final, year!
Lucas is soaking up every moment of his senior year at Carleton, bringing with him a passion for all things nerdy and a talent for overthinking and awkwardness (and self-deprecation). He hails from Pasadena, California, and yes, he realizes it gets cold out here. While majoring in Physics, Lucas is striving to explore Cinema and Media Studies, Chemistry, Economics, Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science, and pretty much every other department at Carleton too. He misses his bearded dragon. Meet the other bloggers!