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2015-12-17    ????:??E    ?? ??     


At Harvard, students get to sample classes during “Shopping Week”. At the beginning of every term Harvard students enjoy a one-week “shopping period,” during which they can sample as many courses as they like and thus-or so the theory goes-concoct the most appropriate schedule for their semesters. There is a boisterous quality to this stretch??as people pop in and out of lecture halls, grabbing syllabi and listening for twenty minutes or so before darting away  to other classes. During the shopping period the campus bubbles with academic energy.
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There is reason to call it “shopping week”. Shopping week, in a sense, is really like picking and choosing goods in the supermarket. Customers choose items in supermarket to prepare for their daily life. Similarly, students choose classes to prepare for their own education. If customers don’t like the goods they chose, they can put them back on the shelf. Similarly, if students don’t like a class??they can shift.
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Students get a schedule paper first. Their task is to fill the schedule slots with classes they would like to take in the semester. Students must think hard about which classes they are going to choose, because they are actually designing their education and life. The process may be very interesting and exciting, but it will also be difficult. As the class variety will be amazing, students may be confused, hesitated, and halting between options, and can’t decide how to choose and which to choose.
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One student describes his feeling about shopping week in this way: “Flipping through the course catalog to try to fill those schedule slots is like walking into a candy store with only $1 in my pocket. Everything looks so good, and I’d like to try it all, but I’ve only got a buck to spend. How do I decide? Thankfully, Harvard allows me the opportunity to sample all the candy (or at least a reasonable portion of it) before deciding which ones I really want.Classes meet at their regular times, and we're able to attend as many (or as few) as we want. The way it works is if I ultimately decide to take a course, I’ll be held responsible for any decision that was made during Shopping Week in the following whole semester. On the other hand, if I visit a class that sounded great in the catalog only to find that the professor is Ben Stein??s long-lost twin, I can run away and never look back! That’s the beauty of Shopping Week. ”
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