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Thread: Useful college course

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Tom R's avatar
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    Useful college course

    "Useful college course" is not an oxymoron. I had three that were thge most useful in my professional career:

    1. English (composition, mainly. Probably the most useful all around)

    2. Cartography (Back in the Leroy days, a lot of emphasis on design. GIS was "computer cartography" done from scratch with Fortran)
    AND, perhaps the most useful class was

    3. SOILS! (That's right, ladies and gentlemen. The basic soils knowledge and the ability to make sense out of a soil survey has been very useful.)
    Last edited by Tom R; 26 Apr 2005 at 5:22 PM. Reason: typo
    WALSTIB

  2. #2
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tom R
    "Useful college course" is not an oxymoron. I had three that were thge most useful in my professional career:

    1. English (composition, mainly. Probably the most useful all around)

    2. Cartography (Back in the Leroy days, a lot of emphasis on design. GIS was "computer cartography" done from scratch with Fortran)
    AND, perhaps the most useful class was

    3. SOILS! (That's right, ladies and gentlemen. The basic soils knowledge and the ability to make sense out of a soil surver has been very useful.)
    Even though I graduated in 2000 with my BA. I have:

    1. English - check me write good, very.

    2. Cartography, yep. anyone can make a map, but that class taught me how to make it pretty. awwww..

    3. I got the dirt under my nails to prove it. It helped me understand vegetation habitats, erosion, build zones, etc much much much better. lets.. see. the O layer is about 14 inches thick here.. A layer....E....

    Also, a computer science class in the mix is helpful. Applied classes were of the most benefit at developing job skills.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    English? Never been to England, not planning on going, so don't need it.

    I did take downhill skiing though.

    Seriously, my most useful was probably
    College Research Paper: A semester-long research and composition class. Helps with ever-so-elegant staff reports.
    Urban Goegraphy Helped more than my planning classes.
    Geography Majors: Senior Seminar Where I did semester-long reasearch on urban renewal and its impacts. Useful becuase you had to take the course to graduate.

    Wonder what The One's were....
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  4. #4
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Human anatomy and human physiology have time and time again proved useful for me.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    Human anatomy and human physiology have time and time again proved useful for me.
    I was going to say that the sex ed class I took was useful. But then I remembered that my first child arrived 7 years ahead of schedule. So maybe not.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Tom R's avatar
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    class

    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    Human anatomy and human physiology have time and time again proved useful for me.
    Independent study? Pass fail?
    WALSTIB

  7. #7
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by boiker
    Even though I graduated in 2000 with my BA. I have:

    1. English - check me write good, very.

    2. Cartography, yep. anyone can make a map, but that class taught me how to make it pretty. awwww..

    3. I got the dirt under my nails to prove it. It helped me understand vegetation habitats, erosion, build zones, etc much much much better. lets.. see. the O layer is about 14 inches thick here.. A layer....E....
    Oh yes. Gotta agree with you there.

    1. English - went a step beyond college composition and took a course in technical writing that really got me ready for doing the real-world report writing. It taught me how to write for different audiences--from professors to 5th graders.

    2. Mapmaker Mapmaker make me a map! Find me a CAD... (to the tune of Matchmaker from Fiddler on the Roof). I never took a true cart class, but took two GIS courses that also incorporated principles of cartography.

    3. I took physical geography, which was known as "the dirt class". I remember students at the river looking at me like I was crazy down there getting soil samples from the bottom of the river. I also took two courses of geology, although I was surprised to find out that they were not "rocks for jocks" classes like at other schools. Though extremely painful, I pulled a B in each class.

    Some I'll add to the stack:

    1. Water Resources Management - I have used so much out of this class, espcially doing floodplain & drainage management. It's done wonders for me in communicating with engineers working on their drainage facility designs.

    2. Statistics - this class has helped me to mislead so many people... Seriously, it has taught me never to take stats at face value and how to use them effectively.

    3. Public Finance - Not only did I learn how to write budget requests, it introduced more useful tools for capital improvements planning. It also helped me familiarize myself with tax policies and their different uses. I also learned how to do my income taxes BY HAND in this class.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  8. #8
    Cyburbian chasqui's avatar
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    Useful Classes

    Quote Originally posted by boiker
    2. Cartography, yep. anyone can make a map...
    You would be surprised...

    I have to agree that the carto class was very useful. I also believe there was a wonderful component on deceiving with maps. Or am I making that up? In any case, that should be taught.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Tom R's avatar
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    Ot

    OT: This thread took only three posts to enter the gutter. Not bad!.
    WALSTIB

  10. #10
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    My useful courses were:

    PLAN 100 - Intro to Planning (got me interested in the field, as at BSU, you didn't declare your major until after a 1st year program of basic design studios)
    POLS 237 - State and Local Politics
    PLAN 452 - Planning Law
    PLAN 501/502 - Thesis
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  11. #11
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    yup....

    I'd say that looks like a fine sandy loam with slate intrusions at about 36"
    Break out the BAR men (back when I was in shape and could BAR through solid granite if need be......ah brings me back to the wide open fields about to be developed with hundreds of single family homes on 3 acre lots on well and septic.....

    Most useful classes:

    Planning Studio I & II- Importance of employing an appropriately comprehensive viewpoint with all things planning related.
    Planning Law- Graduate Class
    Real Estate Development- Graduate Class

    Zman: I had some great regional geography classes with the "old guard" (all but Collins are gone now) at UNC, but they haven't much helped me in planning related issues.....same goes for my CU environmental classes (emphasis) since I've been doing a lot of current / long range planning lately.... If I could make the same income and be an environmental planner, I would.....
    Skilled Adoxographer

  12. #12
    Cyburbian
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    Planning law

    Design studio

    A class called City Dollars. Helped me understand the whole budget process.

    Statistics

    Geographical Analysis

    Drafting 101

  13. #13
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Planning in History
    Planning Law
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    ....I wish I could remember some of that stuff, it might come in handy some day.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    My B.A. in English has provided me with a slight edge over my peers. I'm usually dubbed "The Writer" on project teams, so I have the honor of editing 95% of the text for reports, plans, etc.

    Other useful courses that I taken in undergrad and grad are:

    Statistics
    Economics
    Population
    Planning Law
    GIS (I forgot the course name)
    Planning Methods
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  15. #15
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tom R
    Independent study? Pass fail?
    My doctoral dissertation was on 'what it takes to git your freak on with a Real Playa'. Which involved a somewhat dry analysis of various coital positioning and longitudinal study of different unorthodox techiniques successfully proven to initiate the aforementioned activities. Pretty dull stuff. I wouldn't expect it to draw much interest here.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    My doctoral dissertation was on 'what it takes to git your freak on with a Real Playa'. Which involved a somewhat dry analysis of various coital positioning and longitudinal study of different unorthodox techiniques successfully proven to initiate the aforementioned activities. Pretty dull stuff. I wouldn't expect it to draw much interest here.
    That is so yesterday. Haven't you heard of the Kama Sutra? Get a life, Maister.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Plus
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    1) Aerial Photo Interpretation.
    2) Regional Resource Management - Pre GIS - Havard School of Design grid/overstrike method.
    3) Ditto on hand drafted Cartography.
    4) Site Design and Analysis - 3 quarters of studio 3X / week.
    Oddball
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    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
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    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
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  18. #18
    Spanish: It helped on many travels to Mexico. I just wish I could remember it better.

    Water Safety Instructor: Led to two summer jobs in Alaska where I later moved. One of the swim instructor jobs was teaching in two Native villages on the lower Yukon. This experience led to my first professional position with the State working in rural community development. I was told that I was the only person interviewed who had been to a Native village before.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian sisterceleste's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tom R
    "Useful college course" is not an oxymoron. I had three that were thge most useful in my professional career:

    3. SOILS! (That's right, ladies and gentlemen. The basic soils knowledge and the ability to make sense out of a soil survey has been very useful.)
    I'll agree on the soils course. One of the most interesting classes I took. Joined the soil judging team. Learned how to read environmental maps from this course.
    You darn tootin', I like fig newtons!

  20. #20
    Cyburbian JNL's avatar
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    Useful college courses?

    First year:

    1. English literature - enjoyed all the reading but most useful for allowing me to realise that I did not want to pursue it as a major. I'd rather enjoy reading as a pastime than critically analyse what I'm reading right down to the last semicolon.

    2. 1st year law - really useful for showing me that it was not what I thought and definitely not the right career path for me

    3. Statistics - learnt just enough to be able to understand what all the psychology research papers were on about.

    so then I continued with:

    4. Psychology - learned how to write lab reports, critically analyse research results, bits and pieces about group dynamics and memory tricks and the influence of environment on behaviour.

    5. Criminology - taught us to think critically and question the basis for statistics. Critical examination of all angles of criminal justice systems. How to analyse trends over time and evaluate the impact of different policies. Lots of different stuff, that is both specific to the study of crime and policing, and also useful in general.

    And as a result, here I am working for a local authority, specialising in Crime Prevention through Environmental Design

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