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，學生在“購課周“開始體驗不同的課。在每學期初，哈佛的學生可以享 受一周的“購課時間“，在此期間他們想體驗多少課都可以，因此——或者有這樣的理論，配制每個學期最適合自己的課程安排。這段時間很喧鬧，人們進進出出講堂， 手握教學大綱，聽20分種左右就飛快地去聽其他課。在選課期間，校園里充滿了學術活力。
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.
學生首先拿到一張課程表。他們的任務是把自己這學期想上的課填在課程表上。 學生必須仔細考慮他們要選的課，因為他們實際上是在設計自己的教育和人生。這個過程可能很有意思也很讓人激動，但也會很難。因為課程的種類之多是驚人的，學生 可能會迷惑、拿不定主意，不知道該怎么選，該選什么。
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. “
一個學生是這樣描述自己對購課周的感覺的：“草草瀏覽課程目錄，試圖填滿課程 表，這就像口袋里揣著一美元走進一家糖果店一樣。什么看起來都很好，我想每種都嘗 一下，但我只有一美元。我要如何覺得呢？謝天謝地，哈佛給了我品嘗所有糖果（或至少還算可以的一部分）的機會，然后再決定我真地想要哪些。每門課在固定時間上，我們可以想去聽多少節就去聽多少節。具體 實施起來就是，如果我最終決定選擇了一 門課，在接下來的一整個學期，我都要為我在購課周所做的決定負責。另一方面，如果我覺得目錄上的某個課聽起來很不錯，然后我去了，發現那個教授只不過是本·斯坦失散多年的雙胞胎兄弟，我可以逃走，再不用回頭看！這就是購課周的魅力。“