Friday Favorites: Our Favorite Classes
For today’s Friday Favorites post, we’re talking about our favorite classes we’ve taken throughout grade school and beyond. Read on to bring up some nostalgic memories of your own, or discover some classes you can try out today!
Amy, Crafter of Strategic Communication
For me, one of my favorites classes was during junior year of college about working class women’s literature that was really interesting. The professor was very into recognizing literature and art from people who don’t normally get recognized. She was a working class writer herself so she was able to give her personal story and opened up a lot of dialogue that doesn’t usually happen, so that was very cool. Two more that I really enjoyed were Racial Stereotypes in the Media and Gendered Violence in the Media, which we just talked about a lot of things that are normalized that shouldn’t be normalized and talked through ways to fix them.
John, Web Development & Production Artist
My favorite class in college overall was probably a class I took my freshmen year and it was an ISS (Integrated Studies in Social Science) class that was basically a required elective. I can’t think of the name, but it was basically on the sociology of all the different stages of human development through evolution, like early hominids and things like that. It was really interesting and it was my first big lecture hall, old school kind of class, and I really enjoyed it. It probably had about 300 students. My favorite class for my actual major was the capstone class, Advertising 486, which was one big advertising project. You get assigned into mini ad agencies with creative and management people and it’s for a real client and the professor was my favorite of college. The people in my group were really good, so it can go either way — if you have a bad group it’s a horrible class.
Haley, Organizer of Words & People
It’s tough to nail down a few favorites, but what first comes to mind is my Advanced Placement Language Arts class from my Junior year of high school. My teacher, Ms. Brady, definitely elevated the quality of the class and made it challenging and fun. The class really set the base for my knowledge of analytical writing and viewing written works with a critical eye and from multiple perspectives. I was also introduced to my favorite book in that class, 1984 by George Orwell. I also greatly enjoyed my AP Stats course my senior year of high school and I still apply a lot of the critical thinking and quantitative reasoning skills I learned today — plus learning about probability and applying statistics is cool! One of my favorite classes in college was Politics and Markets, which was part of my Political Economy minor and the course ended with a two week study abroad in London. The class Immigration, Minorities, and American pluralism was cool because we read lots of books I probably wouldn’t have been exposed to otherwise about immigrants achieving the ‘American Dream’ and overcoming barriers. Lastly, I’ll end with a science elective I took in college called Pests, Society and the Environment where we learned all about bugs, and especially the importance of bees — cool in my mind, probably gross to everyone else!
Amelia, Communications Specialist
My favorite class was one of my introductory classes for my major. Tt was called Identity and Community and it was a year long class and it was cool because I had the same professor all year too and I really liked that professor. In the second semester we focused on the 1960s in America and the Civil Rights Movement a lot and we we’re able to pretty much write about whatever we wanted that was relevant so that was awesome. I did my final research paper on Students for a Democratic Society, which was a really big student organization in the 1960s that started in Michigan near Ann Arbor and I wrote about women’s representations within the organization so that was really cool because you could really dive in and make it your own. I really liked that class.
Ryan, Director of Change
I put down a bunch. I really enjoyed Political Economy in college. We had themes at Grand Valley so you had to take five themed classes and that was one that I took. We read this really great book: Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy that was really fascinating. In law school I took administrative law, which sounds really boring, but was really fascinating about how the rules that govern our life are created after something becomes law. Also in law school I took a class called Women, Power, Law and Leadership that was super eye opening about representation. It wasn’t just about women, but also underrepresented communities and also about some of the tactics to hopefully fix representation issues. I also took Urban Economics in undergrad which was about what I think are really cool issues. My favorite class ever was my undergraduate economics capstone called Econometrics because; one, it was the basis of a lot of the data science stuff that I do today; but two, there was this professor who was really great at Grand Valley (so great that I don’t remember his name) and he said “this class is going to be harder than any classes you’ve ever taken here, a lot of people have kid gloves and don’t try to push people, people might fail this class but at least you’ll learn something.” He was very meritorious and a big accountability person and that class took more hours than all of my other classes combined but I truly learned a lot and I still use a lot of what I learned today.
Campbell, Visual Composer
My favorite class was technically three classes, but it was kind of all one class during my study abroad in South Africa and we were studying arts and culture in like museum studies so it was really awesome because we basically just went to museums everyday and would go through them and talk about it later. It was really interesting to get a super in-depth look at the civil rights movement struggles that have gone on there because they’re similar here, but also vastly different and just like learning about apartheid in that way, but also how museums help with social change and what their role in society is. It was really awesome!
Kalli, Creative Director
My favorite class in college was a Communications class that I took that was called Internet, Society and the Law. It was taught by a really awesome woman who had worked as a lawyer before becoming a professor. We went through a bunch of court cases that kind of define the media landscape as we know it today and how we live our lives with the internet. We talked about net neutrality, intellectual property, and creative commons – lots of concepts that cross over between media and creativity. She was a great professor and I learned a lot about how the law works and how it completely impacts our lives. My favorite class in the school of Art and Design at U of M was Typography because it was the most applicable class I ever took. I had a great professor and that class is where I learned a lot of basic design concepts that shape the way I do things today.
Abhishek, Multimedia Advertising Specialist
Of all my favorite classes, one was from undergrad. It was Advanced Photography and the professor was really cool. He knew a lot of things like in the abstract world of photography, so I ended up making a three dimensional head of myself that I could actually wear out of photo paper and paste it together. So that was really cool, I learned how to make little planets and stuff out of a panorama. So yeah a bunch of cool stuff that he taught and that’s when I got into abstract photography after that. Second one was Media Innovation in my graduate program at Michigan State and that was different because it told you everything about the future of advertising rather than what has been happening or case studies, it was much different and we talked about the world going to AR VR, smartwatches coming up and smart shoes coming up and how it’s going to change the advertising world, cars and all of the things that are going on in the future. I thought it was really interesting and I’m a big technology guy so I loved that class.
Amanda, Chief Results Officer
For my favorite classes in college, first one that comes to mind is Politics of the Holocaust with Amy Elman and I just remember it being very eye opening and a really deep dive into a lot of the issues that brought about the Holocaust and it was a really interesting dive into oppression and I learned a lot. My other favorite class was Intro to American Government because I liked all the classes with Jerry Mayer that I took at Kalamazoo College, but that was the class that was the reason why I decided to be a Political Science major, so it kind of opened my eyes to my interest there. Another favorite class is Ceramics at the East Lansing Hannah Community Center, I take that periodically.
Carly, Associate Art Director
For me, I took this class called Memory Aging and Expressive Arts and it was cool because we got to collaborate with older adults with dementia and memory loss and create like an artistic project with them. So for mine I ended up making and writing an audio piece with the person I was with so that was really cool. Secondly, probably my Writing and Art and Design class because we learned about grant writing, and how to conduct research in the art and design field.
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