Monday, June 11, 2007

The Best College Classes

Yesterday's list was about the worst classes I took in college. Today, the great classes. :)

Far and away the best class I jumped into in college was English 495: Language, Technology, and Culture. This class taught me to be a better writer, a better reader, and introduced me to blogging. I was a science geek, and an undergrad, and on a whim, I tossed myself into this mostly graduate-level English class. The class had all sorts of different students in it, and we each brought something very special to the class--and even more, we recognized that in each other. I made friends in there. Not just classmates, but people I actually stop and talk to, people I remember things about, people I inquire about and keep up with. Oh, and the professor was incredible! She challenged us, pushed us to get things out in words, and allowed us independence in our writing. I haven't felt more at home in any other class. ENG495 was just... special.

BI301: Human Impacts on Ecosystems made me *think* about the world around me. I remember a great deal from the class, and I've applied much of the lessons to my life. Crop rotation, pesticide use, better farming practices... I'm not a farmer, but I learned many things that I can take to my own garden. This class should be required for graduation.

History 201, 202, and 203, US History. I am not a fan of history unless it's about my own country. Yeah, yeah, I know, you hate it. But the subject matter wasn't as important as how the professor explained it. He went through history as a cause and effect story. Few big names, no specific dates... more like Theme A caused Theme B, which resulted in Event C and with Person D killing Person E, Theme F began. Every lecture was an adventure. I didn't study for most of my classes, but I know I studied days for my history classes.

Pharmacy 210: Health Science Terminology. Sounds boring, right? It was boring. The whole curriculum was memorizing some insane number of Latin terms. Memorize and regurgitate, memorize and regurgitate. But because I'd taken Anatomy and Physiology and Genetics in high school, and because I remember stupid facts forever, I did very well memorizing the Latin. AND all that Latin paid off with my science classes. I pick up on stuff most people wouldn't care to know.

English 323: English Composition. I took this instead of Communications (apparently I had the only degree without that being required). ENG323 taught me to show a story instead of telling it. I grew miles with my voice through this class, and I figured out how to be honest without sounding like a cliché. My blog voice emerged here, solidified here.

More than anything else, the one thing these classes all have in common is a knowledgeable, passionate, challenging professor. These classes could have been terrible, but they helped me more than any others. I learned about the kind of teacher I want to be. I learned a lot about hard work, long papers, late nights, cramming for tests...

...and I became a blogger.

1 comment:

elle said...

Your history prof taught the subject the way it was meant to be taught! Of course I may be somewhat biased because that is also the way I teach the subject.
I loved all of my classes in history,most of my psych courses and some of my geography classes. Butmy all time favorite university classes was a Forensic Psychology course, the professor was fun, full of relevant anecdotes and stories of unusual inmates he had met while conducting research in the prison system.
The tie for worst class ever had to be Literacy in Education (which had the potential to be awesome..but fell glaringly short) and Introductory Spanish. I think the professor might have been the offspring of some South American dictator. She was a tiny woman....BUT SCARY!