free elective, philosophy or photography?

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youngnflyy

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according to my schools curriculum, I've got one free elective course to take before I graduate. So with that in mind, I really wanted to take something relatively easy going. I'm trying to decide between phliosophy, and something artsy like photography. Does anyone have experience with either class, and if so what was your experience like?
 

MonkeyNuts!

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Both are fun, but photography you first need a kickass camera and also artistic sense. Philosophy you just need mary jane.
 

youngnflyy

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Philosophy is definitely a go then!:thumbup: Funny you should say that though, a friend of mine who is pre-law took the class, and did an inclass presentation on marijuana use. He then asked the class if anyone smoked, and the teacher proudly exclaimed that she did!
 

Wanna_B_Scutty

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Both are fun, but photography you first need a kickass camera and also artistic sense. Philosophy you just need mary jane.

Ah, beloved MJ. Why must our med school responsibilities rip us from the sweet, sweet bosoms of those we hold so dear? :(
 

Green Pirate

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I took photo to fulfill the core req for art and philosophy for some other core req (need straight sciences imo! :(). Photo was definitely more fun. I suppose it also depends on what Phil class you're in too though. Something like Ethics will be the biggest blow off class you could possibly take, although Ethics of Medicine looks good on your transcript.

Ethics of Healthcare is also a very interesting class. I'm in it right now, and I really like it... partly because our professor is full of delicious wit and has a perfect British accent.
 

baylormed

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I can't tell you which one to take since I don't know exactly what kind of work you like best, but I can sum the main characteristics of each for you.

Photography: artsy skills required, expensive in terms of material, can be very time consuming and maybe some of the homework requires leaving your apartment and finding interesting stuff to photograph. Grading is subjective since what is art for you might not be art for your professor.

Philosophy: You may skim the books, pay some attention in class, get the general idea of what you're supposed to know, and very possibly BS your way through every essay and every exam. I have done this for every philosophy class I've ever taken (w/ very different professors, too). All you need is some good Built-In-BS-Generator and you're good to go. I'm taking Bioethics right now and it is very interesting, as a matter of fact, and I'm sure some of it will come in handy later on. However, it need not be medically related, just pick one you like.
 

searun

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Both are fun, but photography you first need a kickass camera and also artistic sense. Philosophy you just need mary jane.

Setting aside all the techinical stuff, Mary might influence your artistic vision. Of course, we are all stupid the next day. Well, I vote for the photography class. I was a biochemistry/molecular biology major. I took an acting class my junior year and sang in an acapella choir as a soloist and had a hell of a good time, acting and singing and hanging out with the birds. So get as far away from the lab as you can.
 

youngnflyy

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It's an intro to philosphy class, so I'm guessing it's probably fairly wide in terms of subject matter. Supposedly it's a fairly controversial class as many students drop, or walk out of the class because they disagree with whats taught. Seems like my kinda class! ha
 

bodhisattva

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I was a phil major and am a photographer. I would say it depends on the course content. A class like analytic philosophy can be difficult. If the phil class you're looking at is an intro course, I would say take phil over photo if you've got a busy semester. Photography can take up a lot (more like A LOT) of time, especially if you're using fiber paper instead of RC paper. For fiber paper, it takes 6.5 minutes just to get one print done. This time is the time in the chemistry. There's also the time spent at the enlarger, and then there's time doing a test strip before you do your full print. If the print ends up not the way you want it to look, you have to go back and redo the print. There have been days I've spent over 4 hours in the darkroom and only ended up with 3 workable prints to show for it. Although that's more like what a bad day is. Good days, I can get 6 prints in 2 hours. In addition to darkroom time, there's shooting time to account for and film developing time. If you've never developed film before, it's going take you at least a couple of times doing it before you get the hang of it, which means initially more time out of your schedule. In phil if you've got a good lecturer, you could probably get by without doing some assigned readings and you'll probably have two exams for the semester and one or two papers, which is not bad at all. And since you said it was an intro course, it should be quite easy. When you start getting into the obscure stuff taught in upper level courses, then it can be murder. With all that in mind, take the class you're interested in more. Don't let the time consumption scare you off photography. After all the hard work, good results are very rewarding. For me, being in the darkroom is relaxing. It's dark and quiet, and with water running in the wash in the background, it's very calming. It's a form of stress relief for a lot of people I know.

Edit: Contrary to popular belief, you do not need expensive equipment for photography. A camera is just a box with a hole in it to let light in. I've gotten some pretty fun prints with my cheap $20 Holga as well as my $1000 Canon. And since everyone is going digital and selling all their film cameras and film developing equipment (pretty stupid if you ask me), you can get some great used film cameras for dirt cheap. The late 70s and early 80s is a great era for film cameras. If you take care of your camera, it'll last you forever. Although, a warning: Do not buy off eBay. You might get cheated and end up buying a camera that has problems with the shutter or something else, and there won't be anyone in town who has the equipment to fix it. If anything that's expensive in photography, it'll be the paper and film. With film, you should be shooting at least 2 rolls a week if you want good choices with which to print. Fiber paper is more expensive than RC, and the bigger the paper, the higher the cost. Fiber at 8x10, the size you'll usually start off with, is about $1 or $2 a sheet, depending on how good of a supplier you've got.
 

apoptosisisfun

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Down with buying cameras, up with pinholes!
 

searun

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I was a phil major and am a photographer. I would say it depends on the course content. A class like analytic philosophy can be difficult. If the phil class you're looking at is an intro course, I would say take phil over photo if you've got a busy semester. Photography can take up a lot (more like A LOT) of time, especially if you're using fiber paper instead of RC paper. For fiber paper, it takes 6.5 minutes just to get one print done. This time is the time in the chemistry. There's also the time spent at the enlarger, and then there's time doing a test strip before you do your full print. If the print ends up not the way you want it to look, you have to go back and redo the print. There have been days I've spent over 4 hours in the darkroom and only ended up with 3 workable prints to show for it. Although that's more like what a bad day is. Good days, I can get 6 prints in 2 hours. In addition to darkroom time, there's shooting time to account for and film developing time. If you've never developed film before, it's going take you at least a couple of times doing it before you get the hang of it, which means initially more time out of your schedule. In phil if you've got a good lecturer, you could probably get by without doing some assigned readings and you'll probably have two exams for the semester and one or two papers, which is not bad at all. And since you said it was an intro course, it should be quite easy. When you start getting into the obscure stuff taught in upper level courses, then it can be murder. With all that in mind, take the class you're interested in more. Don't let the time consumption scare you off photography. After all the hard work, good results are very rewarding. For me, being in the darkroom is relaxing. It's dark and quiet, and with water running in the wash in the background, it's very calming. It's a form of stress relief for a lot of people I know.

Edit: Contrary to popular belief, you do not need expensive equipment for photography. A camera is just a box with a hole in it to let light in. I've gotten some pretty fun prints with my cheap $20 Holga as well as my $1000 Canon. And since everyone is going digital and selling all their film cameras and film developing equipment (pretty stupid if you ask me), you can get some great used film cameras for dirt cheap. The late 70s and early 80s is a great era for film cameras. If you take care of your camera, it'll last you forever. Although, a warning: Do not buy off eBay. You might get cheated and end up buying a camera that has problems with the shutter or something else, and there won't be anyone in town who has the equipment to fix it. If anything that's expensive in photography, it'll be the paper and film. With film, you should be shooting at least 2 rolls a week if you want good choices with which to print. Fiber paper is more expensive than RC, and the bigger the paper, the higher the cost. Fiber at 8x10, the size you'll usually start off with, is about $1 or $2 a sheet, depending on how good of a supplier you've got.

I was not a philosophy major. I just took one course. But reading those German philosophers and trying to analyze each dense paragraph - organic chemistry is cake compared to philosophy.
 

sheepunite

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I was not a philosophy major. I just took one course. But reading those German philosophers and trying to analyze each dense paragraph - organic chemistry is cake compared to philosophy.

not to mention the danes!

"A human being is spirit. But what is spirit? Spirit is the self. But what is the self? The self is a relation that relates itself to itself or is the relation's relating itself to itself in the relation; the self is not the relation but is the relation's relating itself to itself."
 

searun

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not to mention the danes!

"A human being is spirit. But what is spirit? Spirit is the self. But what is the self? The self is a relation that relates itself to itself or is the relation's relating itself to itself in the relation; the self is not the relation but is the relation's relating itself to itself."

Exactly, that is why philosophy is hard and orgo is easy. Is this Kirkegard? Yes, no? Not that I know much about Kirkegard, but have you seen the painting "The Scream!" Also, dark and Scandanavian, probably because the winters are so dark that far North...and the Vikings, burning and pillaging the coasts of medieval Europe....so lets move south to Greece and sunshine and olives and wine and, well, Socrates and Plato and Aristotle, and Athens, and the Parthenon, perfection, what is more beautiful that the Parthenon, other that Michelangelo's David.
 

bodhisattva

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Down with buying cameras, up with pinholes!

Yes! I made mine with an old paint can that was once filled with black paint, and my mother thought it was just an old paint can and threw it away! Now I have to make another. :mad:

I was not a philosophy major. I just took one course. But reading those German philosophers and trying to analyze each dense paragraph - organic chemistry is cake compared to philosophy.

I didn't say phil was easy. Just that an intro course should be an easy one because, well, it's an introduction to philosophy. Professors generally give you time to adjust before they boggle you. I suggested phil over photo because of that and because most people aren't aware of how much photography can eat up your time. You think it's just a rinky dink art course until you've actually been in it for a couple of weeks. As a phil major I sometimes got so confused going through my readings that getting to my organic homework would feel like a relief. That is, until I got past the first 15 or so problems. :laugh:

I think what makes a course difficult is what kind of talents it asks of you and whether you have those talents and know how to use them. What might be hard for some is easy for others and vice versa.

Actually, OP, I would suggest that if you have the time, you should take both because college will be the last time for a long time that you can take such classes. If you're mathematically inclined and tend to think syllogistically, you might enjoy symbolic logic. There might be pre-requisites for it though.

not to mention the danes!

"A human being is spirit. But what is spirit? Spirit is the self. But what is the self? The self is a relation that relates itself to itself or is the relation's relating itself to itself in the relation; the self is not the relation but is the relation's relating itself to itself."

Yes, that's Kierkegaard, searun.
 

gary5

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Definitely photography. That was one of the best classes I took in undergrad. Take it the last semester so the grade doesn't matter as much.
 
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