The Secret to the Perfect Schedule

Thursday, August 8, 2013 - 6:02 am: Stephen: No, No! It says it’s ‘Temporarily Out of Service’! Is yours working? Leah: It’s loading! Stephen: Mine’s not even loading! Leah: I’m on! Stephen: You are? Leah: NOO! Stephen: What happened? Leah: It kicked me off, said my ‘Session has Timed Out’! If I don’t get into these courses I am going to explode! Stephen: Mine’s still out of service. Leah: It’s frozen! Stephen: Must be really flooded. Leah: It’s official. I hate ROSI. ******************************************************************************************************************** It was nice to hear that many of you first years had an easy time with course enrolment. I hope you enjoyed it. For all the rest of you second, third, fourth (and even fifth) year students­—I hear it! What is the secret to getting that perfect schedule? (#startUofT Ever had a perfect schedule?) The schedule that just works, all the classes you want, not too early, not too late, evenly distributed, no back-to-backs, no rushing across campus, each class as interesting and engaging and worthwhile as you thought it would be. And maybe you even get Fridays off! I have never had a preplanned schedule work out completely. Try as I might, there always seemed to be some kind of conflict, or missed prerequisite, or ‘the meeting section was full’. But that is not to say that I have never had a perfect schedule. There is a secret to it. Here, let me tell you. In my first year I thought it wise to take Latin. The intro course, however, was offered Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 8:45 am. If that’s not a proactive discouragement, I don’t know what is! I did not take Latin. Instead, I took a first year economics course and a seminar in the psychology of music. Note: Neither economics nor psychology was to become my major. But the scheduling difficulties allowed me the opportunity to re-examine the course offerings and discover two new, very interesting subjects. Now I say things like, "An improved economy depends on higher worker productivity” and “The word timbre refers to the quality in a sound that is particular and unique to the thing, such as the particular sound of someone’s voice.” In second year I planned to take a creative writing class, but failed to notice the May 15 application date. FYI: Nearly every creative writing course at U of T requires that you apply early. I took How to Write English Essays instead. Boring, right? But it turned out to be one of the most useful, worthwhile courses I have taken so far. By third year I was privy to how things worked. I planned early, I applied for things, and I got into the creative writing class. I did not, however, get into ENG308­—timetable conflict—and so I had to take ENG302! But it turned out to be one of my favourite classes. The professor, David Galbraith, was enthusiastic and engaging. We read Thomas More’s Utopia and Shakespeare’s Sonnets. And I met a really awesome girl named Leah (the same Leah who battled ROSI with me this morning). All because of a "problem" with my so-called "perfect" schedule. Here it is: The secret to the perfect schedule is that there is no such thing as a perfect schedule. Even if I’m up all night to get lucky with ROSI, I will probably encounter some issue. And so I try not to worry about it. I’m discovering that every course at U of T has something worthwhile to offer. It’s not about getting the perfect schedule. It's about making sure I take something away from each and every course I happen to fall into. The Rolling Stones really said it best! - Stephen   'Til next time! Stay diamond! -Stephen.

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