I took some great classes during my freshman year! Even though I am decided on my major, Journalism & Media Studies, some of my favorite classes expanded my interests and filled up some of my core requirements! None of my favorites particularly filled a bunch of core, but they were beyond interesting and filled some of the harder ones for me.
1. Our World: Social Justice and the Environment (01:195:220) fills CCD and AHo, Honors Section, with Professor Marcone
Our World was my favorite class during my second semester! The class mainly explores environmentalism as a movement in fourth world countries but also focuses on the West’s history with the environment, human and animal relations, and climate change. This class was reading heavy but there are no exams, only 3 papers based on the reading and a few forum posts! The class is four credits and has a lecture/recitation format. Participation is important but not difficult.
Although it is officially a Comparative Literature class, I believe it applies to practically any major. Also, a huge bonus is that if you take the H1 recitation section it counts as an Honors course! This means that it will fill one of your honors requirements for a seminar course!
Overall, I got a completely new perspective on the environment and why our actions matter, as well as how corporations should be held accountable. Also, Professor Marcone was a great professor who was always willing to help anyone with questions.
2. Writing for Media (04:567:200) fills WCr, with Professor Fitzpatrick
I needed to take this class for my major but later found out that it filled a core! This class focuses on writing in different journalistic styles, such as broadcast, print, web, etc. There are a few professors who teach this course but, in general, most of the course focuses on your major assignments for each style of writing. There are also short online quizzes and shorter assignments. I took this class with Professor Fitzpatrick, but I know that a lot of professors, including him, have drafts before the final assignments and in-class, ungraded assignments. Attendance is definitely important for this class, mostly because of the in-class assignments.
I’d definitely recommend this class because the work was manageable and there were a lot of “practice” drafts before each final graded assignment. There is also no final exam for this class, just a final project! Additionally, I feel like this class would be great for someone who isn’t that interested in writing because there are no essays and you are taught each style of writing in class! (And if you get a chance to take it with Professor Fitzpatrick, do it! His teaching style and feedback are extremely effective!)
3. Astronomy (01:750:110) fills NS, with Professor Jha
I’m not really a science person so this class was perfect for me! It does only fill one core (now I know that there are other science classes which do fill more than one!) but if you only need one NS, this class was intriguing and pretty easy (and there was practically no math either!) You’ll need to read the textbook but there’s essentially no graded homework and all lecture participation is based on clicker questions. There is a midterm and a final but both are short and definitely based on lecture slides and the readings.
The reason why I’d recommend this class is because of how interesting it was. Like I said before, science isn’t really my thing. But even though some lectures felt a little slow, the actual topics we were covering were amazing. I’ve never really learned anything about astronomy before so absorbing all this new information was exactly what I wanted to get out of my first college science class. And Professor Jha is very passionate and knowledgable about all things astronomy (and did a good job of including exciting and easy to understand demonstrations too!)
I know deciding what classes to take can be confusing if you have a lot of interests (and a lot of core to fill) but I hope I helped you find something exciting to take next semester!