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9 Classes You Should Take in Spring 2018

November 12, 2017

9 Classes You Should Take in Spring 2018
by The Forum

Class registration for the spring semester starts Tuesday this week! Don't know which classes to take yet? Let the Forum's Editorial Board help you decide. These are some of our favorites:

Connor Bloom '19: BIOL156L Genomics and Bioinformatics Professor Findely Findseth

To satisfy the science part of my Science Management major, last spring I took Genomics and Bioinformatics with Professor Findley Findseth. If you’re interested in genetics or CS as it applies to biology, this course is definitely for you. In weekly paper discussions, Professor Findseth asks students to explore everything from the ethical implications of sequencing an entire population’s genes to cutting-edge science literature. The course is the most practical I’ve taken in that instead of doing homework or traditional exams, the course is based more around a CS lab approach wherein students actually learn how to sift through genomic data sets and possibly make some novel discoveries along the way. You don’t need to have taken CS for the class (I hadn’t, though an interest in CS probably helps), and a background in genetics is also helpful.

Jake Hudson-Humphreys '19: EA 134 PZ-01 Sustainable Place Studio Lance Neckar

If you haven’t taken an EA class, this one is a fun and engaging way to learn about principles of sustainable design. It is a studio class, so the class meets once a week to work on two large design projects. When I took the class, we came up with sustainable plans for the new Metro station in Claremont and for the CUC Pit just east of the campuses.

AND PE 073 JP-01 Intro to Meditation Ana Maria Dorrance

This PE teaches you basic meditation and mindfulness techniques, as well as provides a time and space to practice. Ana Maria Dorrance is wonderful and has a lot of wisdom to share.

Eric Millman '18: GOV 100 Public Policy Data Analysis/Lab Professors Zachary Courser and Shanna Rose

This class, taught by Professors Courser and Rose next semester, provides students with the opportunity to conduct real-world policy research for think tanks in Washington, D.C. Last semester, we partnered with the Bipartisan Policy Center’s healthcare team as the organization seeks to increase coordination between Medicare (a federally-run program primarily for senior citizens) and Medicaid (a state and federal initiative for low-income individuals). In addition, we also worked with the RAND Corporation to determine the efficacy of Multi-District Litigation (MDL) panels. I’m currently a Lab Manager for this semester’s class, so please reach out if you have any questions about the course!

Malea Martin '19: LIT 058 British Writers II Professor Nicholas Warner

As a Literature major, a class that I thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend — whether you’re looking to fulfill your Lit GE or just want to experience what Lit classes are all about — is British Writers II with Professor Warner. You do not need to have taken British Writers I to take this course— I took British Writer II first. Starting with Neoclassic writers such as Dryden and Pope, dabbling in Romantics like Wordsworth, and ending with my all-time favorite poet T.S. Eliot and other Modernists of the like, the class covers an impressive amount for one semester without feeling overwhelming or impossible. Professor Warner is passionate about the material he teaches, and I have never had a professor who takes as much care in grading as he does. This class will make you a better writer and provide you with a nicely balanced survey of early to late modern British literature; maybe you’ll even find a new favorite poet!

Bhavika Anandpura '19: HIST128 U.S. Gay and Lesbian History Professor Diana Selig

I took Professor Selig’s class last semester, and it made me laugh, cry, get angry, love, and learn. We were fully engaged in the lives and stories of real people while asking big questions about desire, behavior, and identity. The classroom was an open place to discuss, ask, and counter, and by the end we were all friends. Professor Selig is an amazing professor, and some of my favorite college memories are from sitting in her office trying to grapple with the material and its very real, very relevant implications. There is quite a bit of reading, but for the most part it has accessible language and easy flow. We have a lot of freedom to pursue our interests in the essays, which makes it a particularly personal course. I took it as a History GE, and came out deciding to take the Gender and Sexuality Studies Sequence!

Vera Laski-Armus '18: ANTH002 SC-01 Intro Sociocultural Anthropology Professor Lara Deeb

I highly recommend taking Intro to Sociocultural Anthropology with Professor Lara Deeb at Scripps. Randomly deciding to sign-up my freshman Spring semester, it was this class that led me to pursue a major in anthro. Throughout the class, Prof Deeb prompted me to think about culture and society in a completely new and different way; even though it’s corny, I pretty much every day came out of class mind-blown. Deeb herself is also an incredibly engaging prof and will make even the drier material engaging. Although the class itself focuses on the basic theories, methods, and concepts of anthropology, there’s significant room to capitalize on a particular interest (for example, my final project was an ethnography on breakfast culture).

Even if you have no plans to major in anthropology, this class will dramatically advance your analytical skills.

Christina Yoh '18: GOV142 International Political Feature Writing Terril Jones

Not only is Terril (not Professor Jones) one of the best people on campus, but his class on international political journalism is also engaging and diverse. Your knowledge of AP Style and journalistic practices is put to use as you write in-depth articles on international topics on a weekly basis. The class keeps you on top of current events, so you can even outsmart your friends in your other gov and/or international relations courses. In addition, Terril provides extensive feedback on your work as a former writer on Reuters, AP, and LA Times. By the end of the course, you’ll feel like a capable Journalist, with a capital J.

Alice Chen '19: HIST084 Science from Islam to the West Professor Glen Cooper

This class, titled Science from Islam to the West, explores exactly that. Professor Cooper, known affectionately as just ‘Glen,’ traces the scientific tradition from the Graeco-Roman period through the Islamic civilization, all the while discussing the social factors and larger historical practices that impacted the practice of science. Never have I ever taken a class with a professor so passionate about what he/she teaches, while the course is more lecture-based than discussion-based, Professor Cooper comes to every class with new insight about the topic and students cannot help but become enthralled by his lectures. 

In terms of workload, Cooper assigns weekly readings but you can definitely get by missing some of them because he does a fantastic job in class debriefing them. There are several assignments here and there, including a really interesting and interactive Trial of Galileo Debate, but you’ll never feel overwhelmed by the work he assigns or tight deadlines. He’s a very flexible guy who’s willing to work the class schedule around based on students’ preferences. Take Glen!!!

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