As my time at UIowa winds down I have become very nostalgic reminiscing about the academic course I’ve taken and wanted to make a quick list of my personal favorites organized by year. Working for Orientation Services last summer I was often asked what classes were the best or easiest. I usually did not divulge my opinion. Rather, I remained impartial and directed the student toward course aimed at their specific interests and for the benefit of their personal growth as a student and individual. But, for you, my readers. I am throwing restraint to the wind and imparting my favorite courses in no particular order! Oh, happy day!
Living Religions of the East. This class offered me a glimpse into a topic I know little about: religion. It really opened my eyes to new perspective and concepts that I still remember and utilize in my personal, academic, and professional life. Plus, my professor was so cool. She had the quirkiest clothes and seemed out of this world. She was also SO helpful to answer questions as the material was pretty tricky. Truthfully, I did not excel academically. I took it my first semester at Iowa and had no clue how to study, but regardless I look back on it fondly.
Trauma Throughout the Lifespan. This class that was directly related to one of my minors, human relations, s had so many awesome discussions regarding counseling in hypothetical and real-world settings. The topics covered dealt with sensitive subjects, but I remembered looking forward to learning new material even though it was a 3-hour night course. I really solidified my passion to help other people during this class as a result of the information we were learning, and started volunteering at the Crisis Center of Johnston County. The professor was a doctoral student with many years of clinical and practical experience who was always willing to stay after class and answer questions.
Calligraphy: Foundational Hands. As I approached my senior year I realized that I had never taken a fun course. By this I mean a class that did not fulfill something for my major or minors. I have always taken an interest in my own handwriting — a mesh between cursive and standard script. I was very challenged during this semester artistically. The teacher is a remarkable artist who produces such beautiful pieces, I aspire to be like her one day. I garnered a good grasp of 3 different foundation hands by the end of the semester and I am still practicing!
Psychology Seminar: Numerical Cognition. I despise mathematics. This was one of the reasons I was very nervous to take this course. It provided research about how humans and even animals understand numbers and equations. Primarily a discussion-based class, we discussed multiple rigorous articles twice a week and learned about the underlying mechanism of numerical cognition. This course was an exercise in utilizing flexible thinking.
I can now say I have a new appreciation for mathematics as a study and as a discipline. This was the second class I had taken with Professor Cook and I really found it quite valuable and challenging.
While this list is certainly not comprehensive, it gives a good idea about some of the different courses offered at the university both specific to a certain major and not. If I could do it all over, I would double major and take a wider variety of courses, but that is a story for another post 🙂