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ISSUE 117 VOL 19 PUBLISHED 5/14/2004

Studying hard during vacation

By Cate Grochala
Contributing Writer


Friday, May 14, 2004

While many St. Olaf students return home for the summer and take a break from campus life, other students choose to keep taking classes on campus during the summer months. Summer classes at St. Olaf begin June 7. The first summer term will end July 1; the second term will begin on July 19 and finish August 25. Forty-three classes will be offered the first term, 27 during the second term. Taking summer classes gives students a chance to pursue their studies in a more relaxed environment with a lighter load of classes without the normal demands of extracurricular activities. "[Students] arent being pulled in so many directions as they are during the school year," Professor of Biology Charles Umbanhowar, Jr. said. Classes which fulfill general education requirements or which apply to a major can be found on the summer schedule. Bridget Draxler 06 will be taking Childrens Literature, Studies in Prose, and Creative Writing this summer. This summer schedule allows her to take popular classes, which would be more difficult to enroll in during fall and spring semesters. Summer classes are also lower in price, costing $1450 per course. Draxler anticipates enjoying these classes that will count towards her major. "The classes Im taking are more for myself than my degree," she said. Professors also take advantage of the summer atmosphere. Umbanhowar is teaching Biological Science 121. The focus of his class will be botany, as it is during regular semester. Umbanhower explained that a summer setting is particularly useful in this class since students will be able to observe plants during the growing season. Umbanhowar hopes to use this aspect to give students more hands-on, experiential learning: they will be able to study more varieties of plants than they would if they had taken the class during a typical semester. Labs are extended from two hours to four hours during the summer. The smaller classes during the summer allow for more focused, interactive learning, which benefits both professors and students. Enrollment for Biology 121 may reach 60 students during a normal school semester, but this summer, enrollment will probably be around 18 students. Yet, the carefree days of summer are not without some challenges. Classes last an hour and a half each, and are held every weekday. Draxler says "studying when the sun is shining"will be the biggest challenge. "Its like Interim in some ways," Umbanhowar said. "You get to focus a lot more on the subject youre studying than during the regular school year, but you have less time to do it in." If students wish to take summer classes, they must register as soon as possible. Summer class schedules can be found online and students may enroll at the Registrars Office now. Students should also keep in mind that schedules are subject to change. Students choosing to live on campus will find Thorson Hall open, though they must apply for summer housing, with preference given to students who apply by May 14. By following these steps, students can make their summer time include study time.





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