GY115: Oceanography, taught by Paul Myrow, is an entirely in-person class located in Palmer Hall

Two hours before the first meeting for my Block 5 art history course, I was still thinking about Paul Myrow’s Oceanography class. I had first heard about the class from a high school acquaintance who took it a few years prior, when he began his time at Colorado College. I excitedly put GY115: Oceanography on my schedule in banner but underestimated how many other people would do the same. When results for spring courses were released, I was disheartened to find myself on the waitlist—in position 18!

I remained on the waitlist for months, and a few days before the start of Block 5 I had moved up, but only to position 10. The night before the first day of class, I went to bed with the reluctant acceptance that I would have to wait until next year to learn about the oceans and the related geological, biological, and chemical processes.

When I woke up the next day, I spontaneously decided to check the course schedule on banner. What if someone had dropped the course last minute, and there was an open spot? I thought it was unlikely so I wasn’t super hopeful, but I was shocked to discover that there were two potential spots! I jumped to email the professor, Paul Myrow, to see if there really was space in the class. He responded quickly, and I realized several things at once: the class was completely in-person, it was starting at 9 am in Palmer, and there was no guarantee I would have a spot in the class; I had only a little time to dash across campus and show up for a class I was not yet enrolled in.

With only a few minutes before I was supposed to arrive, I skipped my morning coffee and ran to my bike which was parked by Loomis. I hadn’t planned on biking but it would be the fastest way for me to get to this in-person class. Unfortunately, my heeled boots, wide-legged pants, and large tote bag purse did not agree with the pedals, gears, and front wheel of the bike, but I made it to Palmer in one piece, only slightly late.

Palmer’s west entrance is covered in COVID-19 safety guideline posters

When I got there, I was faced with a puzzle: how to get in! Since this was my first in-person class ever at CC, I had no idea which door to use. After finding all of the front doors locked, I ran to the right side of the building only to find those doors locked as well. Still in questionable foot attire, I dashed to the other side of the building, where I noted an accessible entrance with a visible gold card scanner. In a lucky turn of events, I had gold card access, and suddenly I was in a strange hall that housed several offices and lots of framed images of rocks. I followed a loud voice into the main hall, where I stumbled upon a classroom with people in it.

I made it just in time for our review of the class expectations and syllabus, and in less than 24 hours I was officially enrolled in the course.

Published by Veronica

Hello! I am a first year from Chicago! I took a gap year after high school and worked as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Cheyenne, Wyoming. I haven't decided on a major but I'm looking forward to examining the intersections between history, politics and the environment, perhaps through an IDM. I am a Bonner Fellow and in training to become a consultant at the writing center! When I am not busy staying up too late to finish assignments I should have started earlier, I love starting conversations with random people I see on campus, making very specific Spotify playlists, adding books to my shelf and to-read list, taking photos digitally (and sometimes on film), telling my friends to watch the first season of Westworld, trying experimental makeup looks, facetiming my sister, and enjoying the CO sunshine over Pikes Peak. Email me at v_gibson@coloradocollege to connect about absolutely anything!