Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I can't decide...

I need some help.

I have to choose my classes for next semester. I definitely have to take the second half of the introductory biology course I took this semester, which makes 1/2 of the decision making easy. But, I need to choose a second course.

My employer allows me to take 15 credits for free each year. I've taken 8 so far and the bio course will be another 4. So, I have 3 free credits.

I can either take a statistics course...basic statistical methods, or I can take another geology course...basically mineralogy.

The stat course is 3 credits, so it would be totally free. The geology course is 4 credits, so if I take that course, I pay for 1 credit, which is $460. The $460 will come out of grant money but it will still be less money in my pocket at a time when I'm pretty strapped for cash (post to follow).

Also, if I take the geology course, that will give me another semester with 2 lab courses, which are a lot of work, on top of my full-time job. Stats will likely be much less work. And because the stats class meets only three hours a week versus the geology's six hours a week, I wouldn't have to go to work at 7 am (instead of 8) every morning if I took stats.

But...I really really love geology. And if I don't take the geology course now, I will have to take it when I'm full-time next fall. It's a required course that is only offered in the spring and stats is offered every semester. Also, once I go full-time, I'll be taking four or five lab courses every semester, since I already took the fluff courses during my last degree. It would be nice to take stats during a full-time semester in place of geology so that I'd at least have some variation in the courses.

I don't' know...this is probably not an end-of-the-world decision, but it feels like one. Any suggestions?


ScottE said...

Eh. I'd go with the geology.

Minerals! Everyone loves minerals!

Or wait a year. Minerals can wait. They are very patient.

Disclaimer: I never finished college, so any advice I offer should be regarded with absolute salt, if not suspicion.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. said...

When was the last time you took chemistry? I would always suggest taking mineralogy pretty soon after having taken chemistry, since inorganic chem makes up a sizable fraction of what you have to do in mineralogy.

dwj-65 said...

While I certainly agree with Mr. Holtz's comments above about inorganic chemistry, there is another subject with even broader applications especially in light of your desire to pursue paleontology. For better or worse, statistics are far more applicable than chemistry to paleontology. The other high point, of course, is that you can get it paid for.