Managing Time with Travel (Part 2)

Balancing school with travel can be difficult, but Karsten has hit his learning curve! Check out his latest blog for his insights and tips.

Friday, September 27, 2019 | Written by Karsten

Last Wednesday, I had my first true exam of the semester. Next Wednesday, I have my second. In between, I’ve had thermodynamics evaluations which are like miniature exams and need to be prepared for in a similar manner. Even so, I’ve been traveling (as evidenced by my travel-related posts). Here’s how I’ve managed to travel and try my best to keep up with school and the blog.



My first class of the week is French. This is the class that has its first exam next Wednesday. I’m not prepared for it yet, but thankfully one of the people I’m traveling with this weekend is also in French, so we can practice on the way back. Madame Sonia Serafin gives a very fair amount of homework during the Monday class so that she doesn’t have to give us any (except practice) on the Wednesday class and subsequently the weekend. I feel like I’ve learned a pretty good amount from class, but then when I’m out and about in French-speaking places, I understand absolutely nothing that’s being said.

Probability and Statistics

Probability and Statistics is immediately after French. This class’s first exam was last Wednesday, and though I didn’t do amazing, I did well enough. I think I learned how to be better prepared for the next one, which is an important takeaway from any class’s first exam. For this class, the best way to stay caught up is to pay attention, and therefore go to all of the classes and doing the homework. I’m good with the latter, but I definitely need to work on the prior.



My only Tuesday/Thursday class is Thermodynamics. We’ve already had three evaluation periods and five available points, of which I think I’ve gotten three. That doesn’t sound great, but since we get to make attempts each week, I’m pretty close to on track (and I’d be in good shape if I hadn’t made a dumb mistake during the evaluation period yesterday). To stay caught up with this class, it is necessary to watch all of the video lectures that are posted as well as to practice with problems that’ll be attempted during the next evaluation period.


Science, Technology, and the Modern World

To prepare for this class on Tuesdays, I usually read the readings that are posted while I’m traveling. In fact, I’m going to read this week’s readings after I finish writing this. The other part of the reading is posting thoughts on it and replying to other’s thoughts which are posted on Canvas. Doing this helps us be ready for the discussion that occurs in class, which makes it my most interactive class.


Instrum and Electronics Lab

To prepare for lab on Wednesday, my lab partner, Jake, and I print out and read the lab for the week we’re on as well as glancing at the prior week’s lab. Looking through both labs allows us to be ready for the lab quiz, which happens every week. Other than the lab quiz, we must complete the labs, but so far we’ve been able to get those done in lab and haven’t had to go in outside of our class time and hopefully it stays that way.



Keeping up with the blog hasn’t been as easy as I would’ve expected, though I’m still glad I’m doing it. Having ideas for what to write about has proved to be moderately difficult and staying on top of editing the pictures I take has always been a struggle of mine. However, working on the blog while traveling is another productive way to spend my train and plane rides.


I think the biggest thing I’ve taken away from this semester is how important it is to pay attention in class, as that saves so much time outside of class. Being at home on the weekend means I can catch up on what I missed during that week, but I don’t want to be trying to catch up on school while I’m traveling on the weekends, as I might miss a once in a lifetime opportunity to see places I’ve never seen before and may never see again.