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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCSC chapter.

As winter quarter is rapidly drawing to a close, I find myself reflecting on just how fast time has flown by from my first 8 hour road trip to Santa Cruz to move onto campus as an eager, excited freshman. After many quarters of taking a variety of fun, inspiring, and occasionally painful courses, I’m grateful for all of the memories I have experienced with professors, teaching assistants, and peers. In this article, I’d like to share with you some memorable classes and experiences I’ve taken as an intensive psychology major and computer science minor!

Have you heard of the Stanford Prison experiment?

What if I told you that Professor Craig Haney was an experimenter from the Stanford Prison experiment! I was lucky an upperclassmen friend told me about Psych 147A/147B with Professor Haney because I would have never known and planned my schedule accordingly to take his course. Professor Haney challenged our perception of the criminal system and delved into the ways media portrayal of people who commit crimes look like and behave like. It was definitely an eye-opening course to learn about the intersection of law and psychology. 

Will you join the CSE160 Coding Hall of Fame?

Fall quarter I enrolled into an introduction to computer graphics course (CSE 160/L) taught by Professor James Davis. As someone who can barely manage coding, the idea of computer graphics was pretty intimidating, but the generous amount of room for creativity really allowed students the ability to create anything as long as their projects met certain requirements. While I recreated part of my mural from the Merrill Moat and an Animal-Crossing-like virtual world, my classmates were popping off with fancy Soviet llama dance parties, Minecraft animals, Pokemon, personal creations, and more. It was really inspiring to see everyone’s projects and how supportive my classmates were of each other’s work. CSE 160/L is definitely my favorite computer science class and if you take it, I hope you’ll feel the same!

Have a Nice Sunday :)

When you send an email, adding a closer wishing your recipient a good day is a nice gesture. I always like to end my emails with an upbeat “have a nice day” or “have a good weekend” without any expectation for a response, but Professor Luca de Alfaro from my Web Applications course (CSE 183) actually responded to one Sunday email exchange and it kind of made my day. “All the best for your Sunday too! Mine is going very well, cooking my first focaccia ever.” It was funny and wholesome to learn what my professor was up to one Sunday morning and that he was happily sharing the news with me. I believe Professor Luca’s class is one of the few I was actually awake for during the 8am lecture as he likes to add flavor to his lectures and crack subtle jokes.

Computer Science GOAT

My list would not be complete without including Professor Patrick Tantalo who is well-known for his generous programming assignment extensions. Professor Tantalo really is the GOAT and even said once that as long as one person asks for an extension and has the bravery to raise their hand (this was in-person), he’d honor their request. Speaking from my experience, his class is tough and assignment heavy but his flexibility with allowing students more time was really nice and helpful, especially as someone who was always working up until the deadline scrambling from MSI session to MSI session.

Good Morning Doctors!

One of my favorite psychology classes is Clinical Psychology with Professor Ralph Quinn (Psych 167). Though he is now retired from teaching at UC Santa Cruz, he’d always greet his students with a cheerful smile, giddy laugh, and exclaim, “Good morning doctors!”. Unlike any psychology class I’d been in, for our case study assignments we were told that we were actually going to meet patients and have the opportunity to practice performing a counselling session and offer a diagnosis. I watched three volunteers stand at the front while Professor Quinn left the room to receive the patient. There was a buzz of excitement and curiosity in the air, which was broken when the door opened and it was none other than Professor Quinn who had assumed his acting role of a patient with a little jacket over his head. He guided the three brave doctors through the conversation as we all witnessed what an actual session as a clinical psychologist would look like.


When you reflect on the quarter(s) you’ve been here at UC Santa Cruz, I hope there is a class, a professor, or a moment that stands out to you. Maybe your Math 19B professor is actually having you write a paper in a math class, maybe your biology professor has a song about otters and pollution on Spotify,  or your discrete math professor will teach you math via pokemons, or maybe even your professor will notice you first and wave at you (internal screaming)…whatever that moment is, cherish it and look for the many more to come!    

Vivian is a fourth year student majoring in intensive psychology and minoring in computer science. She is a proud student athlete on the UC Santa Cruz Women's Tennis team and a driven student leader. Vivian is passionate about building community, fostering meaningful relationships, and helping others. In her free time she enjoys reading web novels, spending time with her cat Charlie, and doing fun arts & crafts. As a member of Her Campus she hopes to get into more personal, pleasure writing and reading :)