That [Survey Course] Kid

You may know that kid from the first row of Principles of Econ, or from the Canvas page for Social Psychology. Having trouble spotting him? Look for a glint in his eyes when he talks about Environmental Studies or Neuroscience. That [Survey Course] Kids are everywhere.

Survey courses have the potential to induce this fervor and enthusiasm  in any and all students, especially when we’re feeling uninspired — trolling for a passion. And as indecisive American college students, we’re always ready to hop on the bandwagon of the next big thing. Trust me. I read the Social Psychology textbook cover to cover last year and proceeded to tout it as my second concentration. I now actively insert terms like “cognitive dissonance” into my everyday conversations. It’s infectious.

Here are some course offerings that tend to ignite such enthusiasm. Keep them in mind as you take a look at what you’ve just pre-registered for. Any of the mentioned courses could be just what you (underclassmen) are looking for in a new direction:

Humans, Nature, and the Environment: Addressing Environmental Change in the 21st Century (ENVS0110): First you’ll start recycling. Then you’ll purchase a bike on Craigslist. And before you know it, you’ll be making your own granola every week. This introduction to Environmental Studies offers a perfectly relevant platform for an invigorating academic obsession. With discussion section in Brown’s quaint University Environmental Laboratory — where one finds him/herself surrounded by a kitchen and an organic garden while discussing sustainability on the reg — it’s hard not to feel the cool factor of this area of interest. Everyone who passes through this building seems to have the passion that you seek. It’s tempting. Continue Reading

Neuro 1 midterm triggers (petrif)action potential among students

As the week commences, students enrolled in Neuro 1 (Intro to Neuroscience) have their brains focused on one thing and one thing only: the ominous cloud of a midterm that looms above Professor Stein’s big head.

Perhaps it is the 204 pages of dense text or 30 pages of diagrams covered on the exam that’s unsettling to the 416 students enrolled in the class.  Or maybe it is the fact that this midterm counts for 25% of your final grade.  In any event, Brunonians all over campus seem to be pulling their hair out.   Continue Reading

Oh no you didn’t…

According to a recent feature in The Daily Beast, Brown’s “Eco-Shakespeare” and “Techniques of Surveillance” are two of the “hot[test] college courses” this year.  To the hordes of angry NEUR0010 students: you can direct your hate mail to