When studying goes oh-so right
by Reflector Staff
Students know that feverish university research begins long before you set yourself down into a blue plastic chair in September. In the early years of post-secondary school, you may have spent hours scrolling through the MRU Calendar PDF, full of piss, vinegar and optimism about what you’ll learn in the hallowed halls of Mount Royal University. But if you’re moving into your final year, that wide-eyed optimism may have been replaced with the drive to just find something bearable so that you can graduate.
A good course description can go a long way towards luring students in. Yet great joy comes from enrolling in an unexpectedly amazing course. These are some of the best courses we’ve taken at Mount Royal, either thanks to content or how a great prof delivered that content. Have you taken a class worth chatting about? Comment online at thereflector.ca or Tweet us @reflectthis.
History of Art 1920-Now
Claire, Arts — The best class I ever took was History of Art 1920 to Now. Artwork from the likes of René Magritte, Salvador Dalí, Edward Hopper, and Max Ernst were discussed to great lengths. It was three hours of pure delight for me. Plus the class was personal (only about a dozen people) and filled with fascinating class discussions.
Justine, Layout — Romance Studies was my favourite class that I have taken in the six years I have been at Mount Royal. It was one of the best transition classes when coming straight out of high school to college life. The workload was steady, but relatively easy as far as expending oneself goes.
The best part was getting to learn about three romance language cultures and at the end of each culture segment, we went out to experience the food and music of that specific region. A great choice if you need a light elective to finish a degree, or love travelling, culture, and eating!
Europe to 1500
Kevin, Web — After a summer spent slaying dragons, drinking flagons of ale and engaging in courtly love, my sword — now a lonely soul — rests against my battle weary armor. As I wet my lips with the first tankard of Liberty Lounge mead, my mind wanders — not to thoughts of Crusades — but to my favourite class, Europe to 1500 as taught by Lesley Morden. But here thee! Rumours abound that thou will be learning about death, famine and Saxons. Alas, I must away to my tower where dusty tomes await.
Intro to Teaching I
Josh, Photo — My best class ever was about the difference between learning and schooling. It was an Education class (EDUC 2231) in my first semester, back when I thought I was going to be an English teacher. The prof, Stefan Sikora, had this idea that the more you know, you know you don’t know anything. This, at the time, seemed like a strange way to educate future educators.
Now, a few years and classes later, it just makes sense.
Mapping & Jazz History
Catherine, News — GEOG 1105 with Pam MacQuarrie and MUSC 1234 with Tyler Hornby tied as my favourite classes.Mapping, GIS and Remote Sensing is an introductory class, but previous mapping knowledge is a bonus. The lectures set the basis for the four projects that students create using ArcGIS — an in- class mapping software.
Jazz History is challenging — probably because I’m not a music major — but the term project — transcribe a jazz piece and perform it on your instrument of choice — gave me the opportunity to pick up my saxophone again.
Performing Arts in Pop Culture
Aaron, Features — The 1960s was an amazing time in history. The period gave us timeless music, classic movies and was a turning point in the human rights movement. I love every part of it. Would I prefer to have lived through it? Heck no. I love my Xbox too much. Instead, I enjoyed experiencing it through my ‘60s Pop Culture class. In what other course could I spend an hour just listening to music from the era? Or watching Easy Rider? Or making a speech about the greatest thing to come out of the sixties – Spider-Man.
Best. Class. Ever.
Intro to Primatology
Zoey, Publishing — I enrolled in Intro to Primatology and Human Evolution for the same reason that everyone else does: you’ve got to finish your general education requirements if you want to graduate. The course outline, written by Christine Giancarlo, promised that the course would change our entire outlook on human existence.
Not only did I learn volumes of information and take a field trip to the zoo to observe primates, but Christine made every class something to look forward with home movies featuring Japanese Macaques and complaining that the textbook writers were hedging on primate classification so as not to offend people who don’t want any relation to chimps.