3. Asking for advice on choosing courses

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Hello... are you Professor Van Diezen?
Yes, I am. And who might you be?
Oh! Sorry, my name is Tina. I'm a freshman here.
They told me I should ask you for advice in choosing courses.
Well, that's part of what I'm here for.
Please come in and sit down.
Now, what are your questions?
I, I almost don't know!
Everything is so confusing!
Like what is a specialised course?
Oh, easy. A specialised course is one that is compulsory,
meaning it's a requirement for your major and regular,
so you can't place out by taking a proficiency exam.
That sounds pretty strict.
Then what are all these general courses?
I seem to have to take so many.
Nothing to be alarmed over.
These are courses open to all students and not directly related to your major.
The university offers these general courses to choose
so that you can become more well-rounded individuals.
For example, I see you're a Microbiology major.
So it might be a good idea to take some literature or history courses
so that you can know something besides all science.
You mean these courses are, like, for fun?
That might be one way to look at it,
but don't tell the literature professor such a thing.
Think of a general course as the opposite of a specified course.
A specified course is one that pertains directly to your major.
So can I take any Microbiology course I want?
Let's see.
Oh, those courses used to be open to Microbiology students only.
The good thing is, now it's open to students on a flexible schedule,
so it's not only for full-time students.
So the answer is yes, if you have the instructor's permission.
May I ask you why you chose Microbiology?
Well, I also like plain old Biology, too.
You know, full sized animals.
I might even become a veterinarian.
Could I take some Biology classes?
Well, they are open to full-time students only,
which I believe is what you are.
I don't know how a freshman would get along with Microbiology, though.
I mean, most of the students presently looking into it are from off-campus.
Off-campus?
Yes, you know, people who use it in their work at hospitals, laboratories, even a police detective.
Why did you choose Microbiology, if I may ask?
I don't think you've quite answered that.
Well, eventually I want to be a doctor.
At least my dad tells me so.
If I may say so, young lady, you seem a little uncertain.
Still, I think that might be a good idea for a career.
Of course, if you're thinking about being either a doctor or a vet,
you should take some Medical Science classes before you even think of applying to med school.
Great! What should I take?
There is one small problem.
The new Medical Sciences building is under construction,
so there are no experimental facilities available until next year.
I'm afraid you'll have to wait.
But don't forget to take those courses at the first opportunity!
Oh, bummer.
Is there any other course you'd recommend for someone like me?
Well, since you seem to like animals,
have you ever thought about looking into Environmental Science?
No, I never really thought about it before.
Is it worthwhile?
Quite! In fact, it's the fastest growing subject on this campus.
I'm sorry, I couldn't help noticing the long list of classes you've written out there.
May I have a look?
Oh, sure.
Medical Science, Statistics, Laboratory Techniques,
Medicine, Mathematics, Computing.
My, my, a bit of everything here.
Is it too much?
For your first semester, yes.
What I suggest is starting out by taking the compulsory courses.
Like we said before, the Medical Science can wait.
Consider taking that in your sophomore year.
I think I'd put off Computing, too.
I recommend to all freshmen that I talk to
to get the compulsory Mathematics out of the way as early as possible,
so take that one.
It'll be one less difficult course you have to focus on when the science lab opens next year,
and you have to catch up on classes like Laboratory Techniques.
Your major also requires Statistics so you have to balance two Math classes,
and no doubt you should take that.
Otherwise, get your required Medicine course out of the way by taking something theory-based.
Oh, of course and your Environmental Science class if you're interested.
The others can wait, though I think Computing is definitely a good idea,
even though it's not required.
I see too, on your paper there, you seem to have had high marks on the entrance exam.
Uhhh, yeah. I guess so.
Don't be shy! Have you thought about applying for a scholarship?
Do they have any?
I mean, my dad is always complaining about how much money it costs him.
In your department, there are actually three full scholarships available.
They cover tuition and provide $1,500 cash.
$1,500 cash?! Party!
Please, Miss. The money is intended more as a textbook allowance, not party money.
If you promise to behave, I'll show you how to apply.
Great, and thanks!
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