It's definitely nice being on this side of calc III... I finished summer classes, which included calc 3 and creative writing, last week and have finally had what I could call a "real" summer vacation. Calc 3 was a pretty nasty hurdle and I actually questioned IB Honors towards the end of the class... if I wanted to go to a good graduate school, wouldn't a better GPA help more than a mediocre grade in advanced calculus? Why was I stressing myself out learning about Green's Theorem, triple integrals, and partial derivative chain rules if I wanted to work with conservation in the future? In theory, taking all these hard classes would make us smarter but in reality, wasn't it just another hoop to jump through?
Having finished Calc 3, I'm a lot more ambivalent about its inclusion in the IBH curriculum. Sure, it was stressful, but education is about broadening your horizons and better understanding the world, and learning all about calculations with multiple variables does that... right? At any rate, maybe I'll be using something similar in the future. I was dead-set on being an English major from when I was nine until senior year in high school, and now I'm on the pre-graduate path for science. If I had never taken AP Bio in high school, there's a good chance I wouldn't have discovered that I love biology. Take a chance, then... maybe you'll find something you wouldn't have otherwise.
I do have one suggestion for the IBH curriculum, though. Instead of automatically gearing towards receiving a chemistry minor, it would be cool if students could have a choice between two or three different "minor concentrations" they could choose. For example, I find astrobiology fascinating. Having the opportunity to IBH minor in physics or astronomy, I may have preferred choosing that over chemistry. Chemistry is probably the most practical and relevant to biology, but if IBH stresses that it prepares students for any field (according to the program description), wouldn't it be cool if students had a little more say in how they handled this education given to them? Just a thought.
My dog is whining at me so I'm going to walk her now. See you all in a week!
IBH students travel the world, publish research papers, and do all sorts of amazing things