Saturday, November 21, 2009

UW-Stout transfer student orientation

Yesterday I was in Menomonie for transfer student orientation at UW-Stout. This was not the first time I have attended a new college student orientation. My previous orientations have been long boring affairs filled with information I did not need. Speaker after motivational speaker drones on and on about how fortunate we are to be in collage, how important it is that we devote ourselves fully to our studies, how much fun we are destined to have, and lots of other crap that nobody wants to listen to. An additional hour or two is spent discussing every possible facet of the upcoming college experience on the off chance that one person in the room may need that info. So it was with great sense of apprehension that I approached yesterday’s orientation. I need not have worried.

Transfer student orientation at UW-Stout is a streamlined and painless affair. There was only one speaker and she only discussed topics that were relevant and necessary for everyone. She told us how to access our online student accounts, how to get a student ID card, and how to register for classes. We signed up for laptop pick-up times, and we received info about textbook rental. (Tuition includes fees for laptop and textbook rental. More about that after the semester starts.) Rather than addressing every possible concern that a new student might have she gave us a form listing the most common concerns and the departments to speak to about them. We were in and out in just a little over one hour.

After the speaker finished I had ninety minutes to kill before my appointment with my advisor. I had my photo taken for my ID card, ate my lunch, and wandered around campus. I was thrilled to see the campus has a disc golf course, but the holes seem awfully close together. I will need to play the course a few times before I can decide if it is any good. I was surprised by how few squirrels I saw around campus. Stout does not have a culinary arts department, so I do not know where all the squirrels have gone. Squirrels are an integral part of any college campus. I will start feeding the squirrels after classes begin in an effort to help bolster their numbers.
Two thirty finally rolled around and I met with my advisor to discuss what classes I will take next semester. I am transferring in with more than 60 credits, and not one of those credits is in apparel design. I am able to apply some of those credits to most of my out of major requirements, so I may be able to finish in three years instead of four. My speech, economics, math, history, and lab science requirements are already fulfilled as are most of my general education credit requirements.

After meeting with my advisor I went to register for classes. I will have a full class load – five classes for 15 credits. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday will be busy days. I will have class from nine to two thirty with an hour off for lunch. Tuesdays and Thursdays are easy with a three hour block of classes in the afternoon.

I registered for three apparel design classes and two out of major requirements. I will be taking the following classes:

APRL 145 – Interior Decorating/Design Textiles This is the same as APRL140 – Textiles, but I could not fit that section of the class into my schedule. Interior design students come to the apparel design department to learn about textiles. The Interior Design department requires its students to take classes with “interior design” in the title. The Apparel Design department understands that it is the content of a class, not its name that matters.

APRL166 – Apparel Construction This is the introductory sewing class. We will learn about machine use, various types of seams, and sewing terminology. We finish by making a tailored shirt. I could have tested out of this class, but I think I will benefit from taking it.

APRL274 – Fashion Industry This class is about the fashion industry. It is recommended for third semester apparel design students, but it has no prerequisites and I could fit it in my schedule, so I decided to take it now. My hope is that this class will help me decide what specifically I want to do in the apparel/fashion industry so that I can structure my future classes around that decision.

SOC110 – Introductory Sociology This class is required for my major. I am not looking forward to it but there is no avoiding it. I will get it out of the way as quickly as possible.

ENG101 – Freshman English-Composition This is another unfortunate requirement that I must take. I am not able to register for this class yet. I must first prove that I posses basic English language skills either with a recent ACT score or by passing a placement test. I took the SAT in 1992, but Stout demands an ACT taken within the past three years. So 12 days from now I head back to Menomonie to take the placement test. Me ain’t frettin’ none. Me does rite english goodly.

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