Winter Term Mania!

Ever get the feeling that Winter Term registration sneaks up on you every year?  I got that exact sensation today after I received an e-mail from the Registrar’s Office kindly informing me that registration starts next Monday, Nov. 2!  Maybe you were caught equally unawares and, as I type, are kicking and clawing your way to Forest West to get a hard copy of the J-Term catalog. (Relax: it’s also posted online.)

In any event, here’s a no-fail plan for your course registration zero hour:

A. If possible, pick a course outside of your major.

Yes, I know you love WAGS, or economics, or whatever it is that you’re into.  But don’t you want to try something new and refreshing for a change?  No?  Well, I tried.

On a serious note, if you’re doing the math and realizing that taking, say, a history course over J-Term will save you from taking two or three in a single semester, I’d go this route.  Beware- some majors require certain courses, and some disciplines don’t count Winter Term credit toward a major or minor at all.

B. To college write or not to college write?

Hint: most courses at Middlebury involve a lot of writing anyway.  You might as well get it over with.  On the other hand, you might find yourself unwittingly taking two college writing courses if one is already required for your major.  This is rare, although if you don’t look into this sort of thing, it will happen to you.

C.  Copy and paste that CRN [Course Registration Number!]

Oh, the folly of thinking that tarrying and registering at 7:01 am will allow you entry into a 12-person course!  When you refresh your internet browser at 7:00 am (like the prudent person that you are) you will have a few fleeting seconds to type in the five-digit CRN before the class fills up.

Also, beware the corollary of CRNs, who are identified by an identical acronym: Course Registration Ninjas.  These ninjas typically wake up at 4:00 in the morning, go for an extended run, eat a hearty breakfast, and are back at their laptops by 6:59 to deny you a spot in your much-coveted J-Term course.  The only way to beat these CRNs is to use their tactics against them.

D. Have a back-up option.  For that matter, have several.

Not all people copy and paste equally.  Also, BannerWeb has a tendency to crash when you most need it.

E. Get on the wait list.  Now.

If you e-mail a Winter Term professor, he/she will put you on the wait list for his/her course.  This will allow you to gain entry to the course if you are not able to do so on the day of registration and spots happen to open up.

For the indecisive, paranoid, or misanthropic, feel free to get on the wait list for every J-Term course.

F. Find out when you can register.

This may seem like an obvious one, but the Winter Term catalog is unclear on this point.  For example, it reads, “Nov. 2, Monday: WT registration begins for students who have earned 8-16 credits by the end of WT ’09.”  Instead, this should read “WT ’10,” as you will find once you view your BannerWeb time-ticket.

MiddBlog wants to know: Do you have any advice for would-be J-Term students?

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3 thoughts on “Winter Term Mania!

  1. I’m going to put my two cents in: apply to take Sustainable TV (http://blogs.middlebury.edu/sustainabletv/) with Prof. Mittell. For those of you who have heard good things about the TV and American culture class, it’s the same professor. The winter term class is project based.

    Yes, you have to apply to get approval for the course. But really it’s to weed out the lazy people who don’t want to fill out their name and three questions.

  2. One bit of advice from the faculty perspective – check any prereqs or approval requirements days before that 7 am BannerWeb session. Many of us are willing to waive such requirements if you give us fair warning, but we’re not likely to let you into a full class because you forgot to ask in time!

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