Major Monday – Physics

As I look through the past few Major Monday posts, I notice that we haven’t had a science entry in a while!  Mr. Arwe, a Physics teacher at LC, agreed to help us out and answer some questions for us about his major.  Enjoy!

1)  What was your college major and where did you go to school?

I got my BA in Physics at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

Peter B. Lewis Building at Case Western

Peter B. Lewis Building at Case Western

2)  Was this your original major?

Yes, Physics was my original major.

3)  What made you choose your major?

I chose physics because I had loved it in high school, and I had been told it was one of the most versatile of the science majors.

4)  What were your favorite classes in college?

Modern physics (typically a sophomore year class, sometimes called Physics III) was one of my favorites. It covers special and general relativity, as well as the an introduction to quantum mechanics (how tiny tiny particles behave individually) and statistical mechanics (how tiny tiny particles behave in big groups).

I also loved my film classes (I was working towards a minor but couldn’t fit the classes to finish it). I’ve always loved movies and talking about them, and one of the film professors was absolutely fantastic. I took every class of his that I could, and even without finishing the minor it was a great decision.

 

5)  What advice do you have for students interested in the same major?

 

For potential physics majors: It’s great at first, and then there is a slump around sophomore/junior year. This is typical of almost any hard science major – when you finish the introductory classes that cover a massive breadth of topics, you start to go in depth, and that will get very hard, very quickly. Find friends to do the work with and you’ll learn together. Just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean you can’t have fun – it’s hard because it’s advanced, and that means you’re learning some very cool things. Plus, misery loves company.

For anyone who thinks they know what their major will be: There is ZERO reason to declare a major early on. You can sign up for any classes you like; if you think you want to be major xyz, sign up for some typical classes. Plan what courses you are going to enroll in ahead of time. Go ahead and do what a normal freshman with a major in xyz would do. However, none of that means you have to declare a major. A year or two down the road, you will know far more than you ever realized about your potential major, and your opinion may change. It is far easier to declare a major than to change your major. Give yourself time to grow acclimated to college life, learn about all of the knowledge at your fingertips, and only then should you make a decision.

 

Great advice!  Thank you, Mr. Arwe!
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Major Monday – Library and Information Science

This week’s Major Monday post is done with the help of Ms. Vogler, who is Lowell Catholic’s Librarian/Information Technologist.

1. What did you major in in college?  Where did you go to college?

During my undergraduate studies I majored in English at Rhode Island College in Providence, RI. After that, I went to Simmons College in Boston, MA to get my Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science

Simmons College

Simmons College

2. Is this major your original major?  If not, what was your original major?  why did you decide to change?

English wasn’t technically my original major. I started out my college career majoring in Secondary Education for English. I got all the way to the last semester before my student teaching and realized that my heart wasn’t in it. I enjoyed working with students and talking about books but other parts of teaching like grading papers and writing tests just didn’t excite me the way I thought your career should. I figured if this was what I was going to be doing for the rest of my life, I better enjoy everything that came along with it.

3. What made you choose this major?

I chose to focus on English so that I would have a solid background to move on to what I really wanted to do, which was study Library and Information Science. I decided on Library and Information Science for a handful of reasons. While majoring in English in undergrad, I came to love the research process but I felt like learning how to do that was such a huge challenge. I knew that working in a library I would be able to help make the research process easier for people. Mostly though, I have always just loved libraries. I love reading and being around so many books and I love that libraries allow people to find the answers to just about any question they might have whether it be online or in a book. It’s all about access to information.

4. What classes/topics did you enjoy studying the most while in college?

Of course I loved all of my English classes in undergrad but what really surprised me in graduate school was how much I got into my technology courses. Learning how to build web pages and manage databases was something completely new to me coming from an English background but I loved the learning process. I thought that my technology classes were going to be something I “had” to do but they became the highlight of my schedule and I truly looked forward to each new topic we covered.Technology is a huge part of the 21st century library and I find myself grateful every single day for the lessons I learned in my coursework.

5. What advice do you have for students looking to study your major?

I would tell students interested in studying Library and Information Science that it is worth it! When I told people that I wanted to be a librarian a lot of them kind of laughed and told me how hard it would be to find a job. I’m so glad that I didn’t listen to them because I actually have a job that I enjoy just about every aspect of. If you like helping people answer questions, research, reading, recommending books and working with technology then Librarianship really is a rewarding career.

Thank you, Ms. Vogler!

For additional information on Library and Information Science, click here!