January term, otherwise known as J-term, is starting up at Luther. J-term serves as a gap between winter break and spring semester. During this period, some students stay on campus and study one subject for the whole month of January, while others take the opportunity to study abroad. When it comes to J-term, some love it; some hate it. You could say that I'm somewhere in between.
The class I'm taking is "the power of water," which delves into how water affects the geography, biology, economics, politics, and nearly everything else in our world. Apart from the science of water, we are also learning about the symbolism of water in literature and film. To be honest, this wasn't my first choice: all of the other classes filled up too quickly to join. My choices narrowed down to either the study of water or dance laboratory: and trust me; you don't want to see me dance. Needless to say, I chose water.
Coming into the class, I was expecting it to be dull. Thankfully, however, I have been pleasantly surprised. The content is insightful and engaging, and I have a few friends in the class, which is always nice. I wasn't saying this two weeks ago, but I'm glad that things worked out the way that they did.
On the other hand, however, J-term is a lot of work. Because you are learning a whole semester's worth of material in three weeks, homework can pile up fast. In my first week, for example, I had a paper to write on the second day of class, followed by a 20-minute group presentation the next day. This rigorous schedule exists because each day of J-term represents a whole week of class (if it were a semester long).
Aside from the many hours of studying, I am thoroughly enjoying J-term at Luther. I appreciate it not only for the academic merit of the coursework but also because it takes the strain off of the spring semester because it allows me to knock off a few credit hours before the second semester. Although you're not required to take a J-term class as an upperclassman, I suspect that I will be taking a J-term all four years here at Luther.