{shortcode-3743ef1bd28a2823b0d36409c72d255325ff5901}Shopping week is upon us, and the lovely Harvard faculty have spent the entire summer preparing, editing syllabi, and learning how to screen-share. It’s too bad, then, that the classes you’re looking at still have weekly p-sets and a one-mile-long reading list. Here is a quick test to see if the class you’re looking at reflects a caring, supportive professor who can soothe your soul during the trials and tribulations presented by an online Fall 2020.

What does the canvas site look like?

A. There’s a list of changes the course staff has made to adjust to online learning

B. A reassuring video and the professor says they’re open to suggestions

C. Literally the same as last year (it says Fall 2018 in some places)

Are there office hours throughout the day to account for other time zones?

A. Yes, thank goodness I won’t have to stay up till 3 a.m. for section!

B. No, but the professor/TFs are available by email

C. Not too many office hours, but at least the lectures are recorded

Can you easily find shopping material and the syllabus?

A. Yes, it’s compiled right on the home page!

B. I dug through the Files tab, so no worries

C. The site isn’t up yet

What do the assignments look like?

A. The professor seems to have made some readings optional/the p-sets shorter

B. There are now projects, which could be fun if I get a good group

C. Honestly, this workload will burn me out by the end of week 2

Let’s talk about finals week.

A. I have one last short assignment or midterm, since they were evenly spaced during the term

B. The professor hasn’t taken a call on that yet, but everything will be fine

C. I will have a 3-hour final which is 80 percent of my grade but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it


Mostly As: Congratulations! You have stumbled upon a guardian angel who has your best interests, learning and otherwise, at heart. Go register for that lottery if enrollment is limited, otherwise sit back and enjoy the rest of your summer vacation!

Mostly Bs: I’m not completely sure this class will not be the bane of your existence. Your professor is probably a good person deep down, and who knows, maybe the class may not be as demanding as it sounds once you get into the rhythm. Proceed with caution and note down the add/drop date (October 5!).

Mostly Cs: My regrets and condolences, but you might be teaching yourself this semester. If this class is a requirement then there is nothing to be done, but try to reach out for help (ARC, TFs, p-set buddies) if you will think you will need it and buffer your schedule with courses that might not be as demanding. Good luck!