Home Stretch…by Haley Tripoli

As spring steers towards an end, so does the 2011-12 school year. This doesn’t mean that there isnt plenty to do! Students are loaded with work. The aura around campus is hectic, with seniors hyped and hopefully eager and ready for graduation, and underclassman hung up on the final stretch of studying and preparing for finals, (a mere four weeks away). I still have a big chunk of my college education ahead of me, but feel like a master in terms of knowing the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of the task at hand (a degree in something that makes me happy and has potential to give back). My whole mindset revolves around mastering my studies, and correlating everything in my life back to this fact. My summer plans, when I am not working a minimum wage job, will consist of hitching a ride with my mom to work simply to sit and stare and observe the people of Philadelphia…interacting with them…and hopefully conducting my own mini four month ethnographic, anthropological study. I can even venture into China Town to eat/observe. Sounds fun, right? Yes! 

I met with my advisor, Eleanor Tison, a couple of days ago and chatted about the possibility of declaring two minors. My hopes are to complete a degree in Anthropology/Sociology with two minors (or as I like to call “concentrations”) in Woman & Gender Studies, and Psychology. I was as busy as could be these last two semesters, filling my course load with Sociology/Anthropology requirements. I recommend this for any first year student who is SURE of their choice of study. It allows for the possibly of a double major, or to work towards more than one minor during sophomore, junior, and senior year (being that many major course requirements were knocked out freshman year). I plan to enroll in a Woman’s Studies class, and a Feminist Philosophy class, taught by the wonderful Susanne Claxton; as well as taking other Soc/Anth requirements (exciting!), like Marriage and the Family, by Gordan Knight.

Some quoted descriptions of classes pertinent to Sociology/Anthropology majors…and Woman & Gender Studies Minors:

  1.  Woman’s Studies “Women’s Studies uses an interdisciplinary approach to examining the experiences of women and their place in society. The course explores the meaning of sex and gender, gender role socialization, issues regarding women’s role and treatment in society, and the consequences for women.”
  2. Marriage and the Family “This course acquaints the student with basic family concepts, their origins and impact on contemporary American society. Consideration is also given to dating, courtship, marriage, alternative lifestyles, and the future of the family.”
  3. Human Origins“What have humans and their ancestors been doing the last five million years? What did we look like and how did we act 4 million years ago, 1 million years ago, and 20,000 years ago? Did our minds evolve, as well as our bodies? How do we know? Did different “races” of humans evolve? When was the “creative explosion” that turned our species into religious, symbolic artists? How and when did we spread around the world? What have been the consequences of farming and congregating in cities? What are some of the issues facing contemporary indigenous people? This course will draw on evolutionary theory, paleoanthropology, archaeology, linguistics and cultural anthropology to explore and answer these questions.”
  4. Anthropology of Contemporary China “China is currently experiencing fascinating and complex changes. A socialist economy is transforming into a largely capitalistic one, affecting all levels of Chinese society. At the same time, deep cultural traditions and values are increasingly interacting with global forces in ways that are transforming peoples’ lives. In this course, we will therefore use the lens of cultural anthropology to examine how social and economic forces are effecting peoples’ everyday lives, including wealth and class, family and work life, internal migration, religious practice, gender roles and sexuality, national and ethnic identity, environmental issues, and ideologies of development and modernization. Students are expected to contribute actively through discussion, writing, and at least one presentation.”

*I think it to be beneficial to over enroll in classes (18+ credits) and then shop around during add/drop week…which allows you to drop desired courses. This gives you the chance to really get a first hand glimpse at the demands of a class (once give syllabus) and then you can make a decision about what classes will work out for a certain semester*





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