Our Favorite Classes This Semester
Paige Moskowitz: Revolutionary Concepts in Biology
I needed to take a science class with a lab this semester to fulfill a Foundations requirement. High-school-me wanted to be a doctor, but college-me realized that this dream was not feasible due to my mediocre math and science skills. However, I genuinely enjoy learning about biological processes and the human body. Rather than take the usual intro level bio class, Biology 1500: Introduction to Organismal Biology, I opted to take a bio class that was a little more my speed: Revolutionary Concepts in Biology (affectionately referred to by students as “baby bio"). This class was paced a little slower and didn’t go as in depth as higher level courses, but covered some fun biological concepts. There was also a hands-on lab component with simple experiments to help students better understand the class material. It’s an accessible class for people who want a refresher course in biology before taking Biology 1500, or for people like me, who want to pretend to be Meredith Grey for a semester.
Willa Smith: Medieval Intellectual Life: 1050-1300
Although I’m a history major, I have never been particularly interested in medieval history and I have had little exposure to religious history. But I ended up learning a lot from this course, and have learned TONS about religious history, which is super important to my major and my concentration in European history. I read a lot of unique texts I never would’ve otherwise, and feel like I have a stronger basis in Medieval history than before. Some books we read were: The Letters of Abelard and Heloise, Paradiso by Dante, The Book of the City of Ladies by Christine de Pizan, and some selections from Thomas Aquinas and other medieval writers. This class was definitely outside my comfort zone, but has been a really rewarding and worthwhile experience!
Hagir Elzin: Educational Foundations
I have always been interested in education - particularly higher education - and since Barnard has a phenomenal education department, I figured I would take an introductory course this semester. This class has broadened my perspective on the purposes of education, as well as highlighted the sociological and systemic effects of providing accessible education. The course is structured around a philosophical layout of the foundations of education, and Professor Throop facilitated thought-provoking discussions through daily group tasks, collaborative assignments, interactive video clips, and lively discussion sections. The last section of the class focused on inequalities within education, particularly through the intersectional lenses of race, gender, sex, and ability. On the last day of class, Professor Throop provided us with a substantive amount of time to collectively envision the true purposes of education as well as the means in which to speak it into existence, which was perhaps one of the most powerful and illuminating discussions I’ve had within a classroom setting. I would highly recommend taking this class because discussions of the course material frequently continued outside the classroom! I had never considered majoring/minoring in education before, but now I am considering the option because of this incredible course!