Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Favorite Classes

As I approach graduation in April, I can't help but think about the hundreds of hours I've spent sitting at desks. Some of these hours were better spent than others. By the end of this semester, I will have taken a total of 52 university classes. I was talking to my husband tonight about the classes we enjoyed the most as BYU undergrads, and I thought I'd make a list here of mine.

Philosophy 205: Deductive Logic, Dr. Codell Carter
I took this class the 2nd semester of my Freshman year. I actually added it at the last minute when I decided to take it instead of American Heritage and when I was still considering a Philosophy major. This class was the first time I studied something that I not only enjoyed, but was really, really good at. I had never really considered myself analytically-minded before, but when I realized how easily the subject material in this class came to me, I thought of my brain and the world in which it existed entirely differently. I've been a TA for this class for 5 semesters now.

Religion 122: Book of Mormon II, Drs. Kay and Earl Stice
Since I thought it would be a good idea to get all of my religion credits out of the way my Freshman and Sophomore years (wrong), I didn't get a chance to find the "good" religion professors. I picked religion classes based on who got the highest ratings on ratemyprofessor.com (wrong again). But luckily I fell into this class. The Stice brothers are accounting professors and Bishops, and they co-taught this class. I loved it because they actually taught the Book of Mormon according to the Book of Mormon. Not the Book of Mormon according to [religion professor] or [obscure/not-so-obscure GA].

Women's Studies 222: Into to Women's Studies, Sharee Bench
This was the very first class I ever sat down in at BYU. I loved the discussion, the book, and the topics. I feel like it gave me a great springboard to study specific topics in Women's Studies and Feminist theory throughout my career as a student.

Philosophy 300: Philosophical Writing, Dr. Codell Carter
So I'm probably biased because this is the professor I work for, but this was the only class I've taken which actually taught me to be a better writer without following some tired formula. Most of the "work" was done outside of class to be turned in, and the in-class portion was comprised of discussions about anything and everything related to writing. I've reviewed my writing before this class and after this class, and there is definitely a marked difference in the quality.

Biology 100: Principles of Biology, Dr. St. Sinclaire
I'm going to be honest: I took this class twice. The first time I made a C in it and wanted to replace my grade. That first time, the class was taught like you would imagine a biology class being taught: a thick textbook with small print and weird graphs, boring lectures, and an is-this-over-yet lab. But the 2nd time I took it I discovered they completely changed the curriculum. The class focused on general scientific literacy rather than specific topics in biology. We read a biography on Charles Darwin, a book on contemporary neuroscience, and a book about the discovery of DNA, among others. It was fascinating the 2nd time around. I loved that the biology department realized the need for university students to become more scientifically literate, a very practical skill that is on it's way of being eradicated in modern society, against the backdrop of issues in biology.

Statistics 121: Principles of Statistics, [I don't remember the professor...]
Like Biology, I thought this was one of the more practical classes I've taken at BYU. I think that factor, along with it's analytically-based intellectual challenge, is what made me like it so much. I feel like it goes right along with the importance of scientific literacy: knowing how to understand the quantitative analysis of research is so important to making decisions based on the results of social and scientific studies.

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