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.
在哈佛，学生在“购课周“开始体验不同的课。在每学期初，哈佛的学生可以享 受一周的“购课时间“，在此期间他们想体验多少课都可以，因此——或者有这样的理论，配制每个学期最适合自己的课程安排。这段时间很喧闹，人们进进出出讲堂， 手握教学大纲，听20分种左右就飞快地去听其他课。在选课期间，校园里充满了学术活力。
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.
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.
学生首先拿到一张课程表。他们的任务是把自己这学期想上的课填在课程表上。 学生必须仔细考虑他们要选的课，因为他们实际上是在设计自己的教育和人生。这个过程可能很有意思也很让人激动，但也会很难。因为课程的种类之多是惊人的，学生 可能会迷惑、拿不定主意，不知道该怎么选，该选什么。
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. “
一个学生是这样描述自己对购课周的感觉的：“草草浏览课程目录，试图填满课程 表，这就像口袋里揣着一美元走进一家糖果店一样。什么看起来都很好，我想每种都尝 一下，但我只有一美元。我要如何觉得呢？谢天谢地，哈佛给了我品尝所有糖果（或至少还算可以的一部分）的机会，然后再决定我真地想要哪些。每门课在固定时间上，我们可以想去听多少节就去听多少节。具体 实施起来就是，如果我最终决定选择了一 门课，在接下来的一整个学期，我都要为我在购课周所做的决定负责。另一方面，如果我觉得目录上的某个课听起来很不错，然后我去了，发现那个教授只不过是本·斯坦失散多年的双胞胎兄弟，我可以逃走，再不用回头看！这就是购课周的魅力。“