Tag Archives: registration

Mid-semester Madness: A Personal Reflection

Tired and overwhelmed — the two perfect words to describe how I’ve been feeling lately. 

There’s a certain sensation that buzzes around in the October air that looms around for quite a while, almost pulling and tugging at you as you try to live out your day: Midterm season.

It seems like just yesterday you were opening your syllabus for the first (and hopefully not last) time. Then, all of the sudden, we’re mid-semester. While it’s nice to be able to say that you’re halfway through your semester, it’s also scary to think about how much more there is to come. 

Midterm exams, projects, deadlines, registration and literally everything else makes the never-ending to-do list even longer.

While I’m now in my junior year of college, it somehow feels like the hardest one I have experienced thus far. Having spent my first semester completely in-person pre-COVID and my second fall semester completely online, it seems like this weird hybrid semester has been so much worse.

Whether it’s because of the difficulty of my classes as an upperclassman or just having to get used to actually attending my classes in person and not from the comfort of my bed, this semester has been a different beast altogether.

To be frank, I started this semester with such high expectations considering the fact that I registered for five classes, became involved in three organizations, added a second major and even got a job. While I was somehow able to juggle all of that only a few months ago in my spring semester, this became a struggle this school year. 

I’m not too sure if maybe it’s just me feeling this way or if others can relate at all but it hasn’t been very fun. 

On the other hand, there could be much worse things happening. While I’m struggling this semester, there’s still a tomorrow. 

While my professors and peers may not be too thrilled about my performance this semester, there is still in fact more ahead of this. 

Everyone has a hard time at some point in their college career and it just so happens that this is my struggle semester. So, it’s absolutely okay if this is your struggle semester, too. 

We will all get through this weird, difficult period together.

Featured image by Lucero Lopez

The best classes at ut: According to ut students

There are a LOT of classes at UT: History of Religion, Architecture and Society, Introduction to Geology, etc. So, how are Longhorns supposed to pick what to take this fall? How about recommendations from fellow students about the best classes they have ever taken at UT?

Without further ado, here are the best classes at UT Austin according to current UT students.

Disclaimer: Some submissions have been edited for length or clarity.

1. Life in the Universe (UGS303) – Ken Wisian

“Firstly, I enjoyed the main subject of the course itself. It is about the search for extraterrestrial life in the Universe and what is being done to progress this search. I was particularly fascinated by this topic. Secondly, I enjoyed how this course navigated this subject. The course dove into many different areas of study: astronomy, biology, physics, chemistry, a little bit of rocket science, and even philosophy. I enjoyed how the professor encouraged discussion. He encouraged students to interrupt and pitch in. This made the class fun and engaging.”

– Computer Science Major, 1st Year

Note: This class can only be taken by 1st year students.

2. Strategic Learning for the 21st Century (EDP 304) – Taught by various doctorate students

“The class was centered around how people learn information and implementing new note-taking techniques. Learning these techniques has really enhanced my studying. It changed my mindset on “memorizing” information. I would recommend this class. It teaches you how to better study in the college setting. “

– Health Promotion and Behavioral Science, 2nd Year

3. Race/Cultural Intelligence in the Age of Trump (UGS303) – Leonard Moore

“I learned that communication is the only way we can truly learn about people’s identities. In the course, we learned about the struggles that Latinx people, white working-class individuals and Asian Americans endure. It was nice to gain cultural awareness in an educational setting. The teaching style is very relaxed and Dr. Moore was very approachable. There is so much room for growth and errors in this class.”

– Political Communications Studies, 2nd Year

Notes: This class is only available to 1st year students and changes when the current U.S. president does.

4. Professional/Career Development (LAH104H) – Tatem Oldham

“I wish everyone had the opportunity to take this class with Professor Oldham. It’s a development course that makes internships a lot more approachable.”

– Sustainability Studies and Geography, 2nd Year

Note: This course is restricted to students in the Liberal Arts Honors Program in the College of Liberal Arts.

5. Intro to LGBTQ Studies (WGS303) – Ashley Coleman Taylor

“As a queer person, I found this class really rewarding to learn about the history of those that came before me, a history that is often overlooked and left out of mainstream narratives. I loved the intersectional approach Dr. Coleman Taylor took the course and how the material challenged me to reevaluate my perception of self as well as my own biases. I highly recommend taking any class offered by Dr. Coleman Taylor and the Center for Women’s & Gender Studies.”

– Human Development and Family Sciences, 2nd Year

6. Jewish Humor (UGS303) – Yitskhok Gottesman

“I enjoyed learning about Jewish culture and seeing how that culture translates in the comedy style of Jewish Americans from the 1950s to today. I enjoyed that the professor put in the effort to create a safe space for talking about modern comedy and addressing cultural differences in the context of comedy. I learned comedy is universal and is a way we can embrace our culture or connect with others no matter our cultural background.”

– Biology, 3rd Year

Note: This class can only be taken by 1st year students.

7. Reel Horror: The Holocaust in Film (UGS302) – Pascale Bos

“This class was super enlightening. We analyzed films made about the Holocaust, especially the American films made, and learned how censored they were. Hollywood films would often breeze over the brutality of the Holocaust and to make it seem less bad. The course was super interesting and it was eye-opening to learn about all the history.”

– Ratio-Television-Film (RTF), 2nd Year

Note: This class can only be taken by 1st year students.

8. Media Law (J350F) – Amy Sanders

“Media Law is an 8am class with dense reading materials so people think I’m crazy for loving it so much. However, I felt like I learned the most from this class and felt most engaged with professor Sanders. To be honest, law is really interesting! I loved using laws and cases that I had learned to structure an argument in this class. “

– Journalism and Chinese, 3rd Year

Note: You must have upper-division standing to take this course.

9. General Microbiology (BIO326R) – Peter King

“I really enjoyed this class because of my professor and the content. I especially liked it because of the circumstances we are in now. It’s really cool getting to have a better understanding of the “whys” of the ways certain things happen rather than just memorizing definitions. I enjoyed how Professor King’s lectures were almost like stories. It makes them more engaging.”

-Biology, 2nd Year

Note: In order to take this course, you must have credit with a grade of at least C- or registration for Biology 325 or 325H, and Chemistry 302 or 302H with a grade of at least C-.

10. Psychology of Advertising (ADV319) – Lee Ann Kahlor

“This class was super interesting and approachable even with no prior knowledge of psychology or advertising. I learned something in every lecture. There were no “buffer” or “filler” classes. Professor Kahlor is a great teacher. She’s funny, engaging, and cares deeply about her students and the subject.”

– Journalism, 2nd Year

TX VOTES: KEEPING UT VOTERS REGISTERED AND EDUCATED

You’ve probably seen them in your classrooms and if you haven’t, then you’ve definitely seen them tabling on Speedway. TX Votes is a non-partisan student organization that not only hopes to get students educated and registered to vote but works hard to do so.

By visiting over 100 classrooms this spring semester alone, there’s no question that they’ve made a recognizable name for themselves.  

Photo Courtesy of Kassie Phebillo

“I think as an organization, we have grown, which means that our outreach has grown ” Kassie Phebillo, Program Coordinator said.

Phebillo, who’s been with TX votes since that last general election, attributes the increased number of students they’ve registered to their in-class initiative that they started in 2018.

 “We’ve registered probably 5,000 students this school year since the beginning of fall,” Phebillo said.

Their efforts to register students before the deadline at the beginning of February contribute to the steady increase of student voter registration on campus. The National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement saw a 3,948 increase in voter registrations on campus between 2016 and 2018, so it’s no doubt that TX Votes’ work contributes to the positive growth of engaged and registered voters at UT.

And while TX Votes may be one of the most notable student organizations in the political-sphere – they attribute their recent successes and increases in student activity to the rest of the Civic Engagement Alliance. Without whom they couldn’t have hosted their Last Day to Register to Vote Celebration.

Now that the registration deadline has passed, the next goal for TX Votes includes getting students ready for the polls. With Early Voting and Super Tuesday dates coming up quickly, one-way TX Votes prepares for the hopeful flood of student voters is by ordering and distributing voting guides provided by the League of Women Voters.

“It’s basically a little newsletter with all these races. So, it’s like here’s a statement from this candidate and then their picture, and another one and their background for like all the races,” TX Votes President Anthony Zhang explained.

Photo by Evelyn Garcia

These portable voting guides work to ease first-time voters or any voter who may be put off by the process. TX Votes hopes to distribute these guides to students to ensure no one is misinformed or uneducated before stepping into the polls for what may be the first time.

“I feel like one of the main reasons that people will say that they aren’t engaged with politics, or nervous, or vibe, or like don’t want to is because they don’t know about a lot of stuff. So, there’s like a huge learning curve too,” Zhang said.

Along with helping educate voters, the guides distributed by TX Votes will prevent students from using their phones to remember or look up who to vote for, an action that may seem benign but in reality, comes with legal consequences. “We also provide them with what they need when they go in to vote. So, they’re not accidentally breaking the law.” Phebillo said.

With the national attention to the primary drama in Iowa, TX Votes combats any nerves voters may feel ahead of the Texas primary with accurate information, student-to-student engagement, and space where students can ask any questions regarding the civic engagement process.

See below for important info:

Early Voting in Texas:  Check out the FAC & PCL from 7 am-7 pm to vote! 

–    February 18th-28th, 2020

Primary Election Day (Super Tuesday): Check out the FAC & PCL from 7 am-7 pm to vote! 

–    March 3rd, 2020

Featured image by Evelyn Garcia