Well, it’s happened: I’ve finished my final week of classes as an undergraduate student. After this week, all that will be left is reading period, final exams, and graduation. It’s times like these when I find myself, as I'm pretty sure we all do, reminiscing about my time here. In that spirit, I’ve compiled here a list of the five best classes I’ve taken in college. Whether because I simply loved being in them or because they taught me an incredible amount, these are the classes that truly made college everything it could be for me.
1. The Tempest: Interpretations: This class wasn’t necessarily the most entertaining, but I think it gave me the best understanding of how literature and literary criticism have changed through the centuries. Beginning with Shakespeare’s The Tempest, the class covered everything from Ancient Roman influences on the text to 20th-century Caribbean responses to and adaptations of it. It gave me an incredibly deep understanding of just what has changed over the years, and I loved it.
2. The Screenwriter’s Craft: If I ever wanted a perfect example of how an engaging subject, an incredibly invested professor, and the ability to write creatively for the final essay could come together to make me love a class, this was it. Honestly, a class that included Star Wars on the syllabus while also allowing me to write creatively for credit was always going to feature here. But what really brought it all together was how dedicated the professor was. She always felt at least as excited as we were to be studying films, found new and exciting ways to get us thinking every lecture, and was incredibly insightful about creating real characters. She served as a shining beacon of just how a devoted, passionate teacher can really transform a classroom.
3. Performing American Literature: The study of the humanities changed drastically with the introduction of computers, and up until my senior year, I had no idea. That all changed with Performing American Literature, in which the professor challenged us to complete a final project that wasn’t simply a paper, and that stretched our understanding of how one could analyze a text. The project I ended up doing, involving mapping software and multimedia, opened my eyes to the ways digital and visual tools could transform how we study works of literature. This class taught me just how much I didn’t know about studying texts, and for that, it deserves a spot on this list.
4. Perspectives on Human Nature: This is a class that I think everyone should take a version of if they can in college. Blending philosophy and psychology, it attempted to answer one of philosophy’s oldest questions: just what are humans like deep down? Not only did it cover an incredible amount of influential philosophy, which I believe all people should have a working knowledge of, it presented an vast array of interesting ideas about what makes us human, which has stayed with me since.
5. Literature For Young People: The reasons this made it on to the list are very similar to why I’ve included The Screenwriter’s Craft. It boasted a wonderfully fun reading list, including Neil Gaiman, J.K. Rowling, and Ursula K Leguin, among others. It allowed me to produce a creative work for my final project, which was incredibly fun. The professor was clearly engaged and incredibly knowledgable, which made the syllabus even more engaging. More than anything, though, this class deserves a spot here because it showed me just how rich and interesting children’s literature could be, opening my eyes to just how much this genre was deserving of study.
What were/are your best memories from college courses? Let me know in the comments!
With excitement and optimism,