7 Quick Takes (1/14/11)

School has begun so, for this week’s Quick Takes, I’m listing the classes I’ll be taking this semester.  I’m also in the Yale Daily News with a column on the value of shop classes (woodworking, glassblowing, etc).


The first class (and the only normal undergraduate class I’m taking) is Oratory in Statecraft.  The class is a mix of the history of oratory (starting with the Illiad) and a practical workshop in writing and delivering speeches.  I’m so excited; I’ve wanted to take the class since I was a freshman.


This is also the semester I need to write my senior thesis in political science.  I’m still firming up my thesis, but here’s the basic topic: I want to look at how new opportunities to engage in political speech and activism online impact general political culture and rhetoric.  The shift from activism as protests/marches/sit-in/letters to activism as destructive assaults on websites (DDoS attacks) isn’t good for political discourse.


And that’s all the courses I’m taking at the undergraduate level.  The coolest class I’m taking for my Masters in Public Health is definitely Public Health Surveillance.  The class is focused on designing tools and networks to monitor the spread of disease (like Google Flu Trends).



My next public health course, Principles of Epidemiology II, is exactly what it sounds like.  We learn about proper design of epidemiological studies.  Total fun!  I love the problem solving challenge of the whole thing.


Data Management for Epidemiology is another class where the title says it all.  Luckily, I really like statistical programming and data crunching.



One nice aspect of my program is that there’s a weekly Seminar in Epidemiology of Microbial Disease.  There’s no letter grade or assigned work.  Every week the department just comes together to hear one of the professors talk about their current research.  It’s great to have a sense of what everybody’s working on, something that wasn’t possible in the giant undergrad political science department.



That’s the end of my classes, but I am also auditing Catholicism: The Second Century, which is an undergraduate history lecture.  The professor is a great speaker, and the reading list looks interesting.  We start off with the letters of Abelard and Heloise.


[Seven Quick Takes is a blog carnival run by Jen of Conversion Diary]

About Leah Libresco

Leah Anthony Libresco graduated from Yale in 2011. She works as a statistician for a school in Washington D.C. by day, and by night writes for Patheos about theology, philosophy, and math at www.patheos.com/blogs/unequallyyoked. She was received into the Catholic Church in November 2012."