We all have to take electives – through high school, and also in university. In high school, electives are the fun courses; the ones everyone wants to take: Home Economics, Wood Shop, Art class, Drama, etc. If you’re like me, and are a person of the artsy persuasion, oftentimes, it felt like those electives should have been the essential courses, and math and science should have taken a back seat.

In university, I am in a program where every single course I have will eventually lead me toward my ultimate goal, which is to be successful in some theatre-related field. So I no longer feel the same futility which I once experienced trying to wrap my head around quadratic functions, and the chemical processes of photosynthesis. I can understand what I am doing, and I feel a sense of purpose in all of my courses. And so now, my situation has suddenly reversed. I have to take and pass three electives to graduate. My performance in my first semester elective was not stellar, which means if I want to bring up my GPA, I will have to take four electives. And I’m fine with that. But unfortunately, the attractiveness of the “Lower Liberal Arts Classes” that we have to choose from is… well… not stellar. Let’s say that.

The popular courses, which in my school appear to be the Pop Culture class, and the Philosophy of Beauty course, fill up lightning-fast once registration opens up. So if you don’t want to be stuck in a course that one might equate to high school math, you have to be faster than lightning.

I wasn’t.

One of my peers told me that we didn’t have to take an elective this semester because we had an added-on safety course, so our schedules were full. Today, I learned this to be untrue. So during my morning lecture on theatre management, I had to hastily scroll through the forty-two elective courses offered at Ryerson and pick one that didn’t conflict with my schedule and wasn’t completely full. I found one: “Masterpieces of Literature in Film” – a course that studies film adaptions of famous books. It sounded interesting, but wasn’t what I had wanted, which was Spanish.

I had been planning on signing up for the level one Spanish back in December, but then my well-meaning friend informed me that we didn’t get electives second semester. So you can imagine my disappointment.

But I went to the class today, and discovered that it is actually pretty cool. We get to read books, then watch movies and discuss the differences. Not bad at all, eh? I think I’m really going to enjoy it. And since I have two more electives to fill, I can always try for Spanish later.

So there are a couple morals here, I suppose:

  1. Sign up for your electives right away.
  2. Don’t listen to your peers. And double-check everything you hear.
  3. If you find yourself elective-less at the beginning of a new semester, sign up for the first thing you see with some spaces left and pray for the best. 😉

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