The TeleGraham

Bates College through the eyes of a junior returning from abroad

Best Classes (Hardest Semester)

Hello all,

It has been a long time since my last blog post. To recap, let me just say that taking five classes in one semester is a very BAD idea. The work load is almost entirely unmanageable, even if you love all of your classes as I did.

Of all of the classes I have had at Bates, two have stood out from the rest. The first was Philosophy of Law, which I took in the winter of my sophomore year. Philosophy of Law, though the name may not grab you, is one of the most popular classes at Bates. Simply, it breaks down into three parts that are weaved together throughout the semester: 1) What is law? 2) How ought we to read the US Constitutions? 3) Analysis and critiques of famous US Supreme Court rulings. The class attracts a diverse range of students, half of which probably intend to go to law school sometime after graduation. Yet, even for students like me, who don’t want to go on to law school, it is one of the most practically informative classes and has changed the way I think and feel about the Constitution.

But the second best class I took was this past semester. It is a 100 level Geology course but it is based on field studies. It is with a really cool professor who prefers you to call him by his first name (Dyk, nobody knows who you are talking about when you say Professor Eusden) and you get to see a lot of the Maine countryside. I bring this up because I think it would be a prefect class to take if you were coming to Bates in the fall as a new Freshmen (or “First Year”, as they college officially calls them).  I think all of the First Years thought the class was cool for three main reasns. 1) It is small for a 100 level class (25 students or so). 2) It is an easy way to see some of the highlights of Maine, like Acadia National Park, Vinalhaven Island, and Baxter State Park. And 3) Though the class was a 100 level introductory course, it wasn’t structured around generic broad Power Point presentation that resulted in arduous multiple choice tests at the end of the semester. Rather, the class was focused on case studies in the field and therefore the grades were based on group projects like map making and posters on the mechanics of a particular magma chambers. 

Field Studies in Geology is no “rocks for jocks” kind of class. I took it for fun and it ended up dominating the end of my semester, along with my other four classes (two of which were upper level seminars), and so I never got around to updating my blog. But now I am back.

-Graham

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January 7, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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