What were your favorite classes in college?

  1. Astronomy. I’ve always been fascinated by astronomy. This course was very rigorous, taught by a visiting professor. There was almost 100% turnout for the optional nighttime lab sessions. This class filled a liberal arts requirement in science.

2 American History: From Colonial times until the Civil War. I enrolled in the class only because it was taught once a week on Wednesday nights. This professor was brilliant, including many areas of European history into the class.

  1. English: Writing about current events. The second semester of the basic freshman English course structure allowed me to pick a class in which we would write several papers, in response to an editorial. I wish I could remember the name of this wonderful grad student who taught this class. She encouraged us to write lengthy responses.

**Architecture. **It was my first major. I think my biggest regret in life was not continuing. I would have made a damn fine architect.

**Logic/Symbolic Logic. **I think college is too late to study logic. It should be mandatory in all high schools.

**Color Theory. **I took this twice, from two very different instructors. There’s a whole lot that most people don’t know about color, and it’s indispensable for anyone in the visual arts.

**Personality Theory. **I took several Psych courses and loved them all. This course covered quite a few theories of how personalities develop.

**Art History I. **This course covered the history of Western art, from prehistoric times through the Renaissance. Fascinating.

Music Theory courses were probably my favorite. Dr. Dillon was great.

Ancient Greek History from the Persian wars to Alexander. Two classes. Mortimer Chambers was the professor. I learned more in those classes about decency, politics and scholarship than the rest of my four years combined. There is a man. http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/history/chambers/

Varsity Hockey a phy Ed credit and a great experience doing something I love.

Calculus a subject that came pretty easy to me but was finally presented in a way that I finally understood why it is so useful.

Economics it was enlightening and eye opening to learn that most anything boils down to supply and demand, and that we are all consumers even when don’t realize it.

My philosophy classes. Especially my philosophy of religion class. Not much real-world career use but intellectually stimulating and very engaging.

Contemporary Issues in Bioethics Seminar - content selected by the students and we covered some hot button issues.

Cytogenetics Lab - learning to use some old-school techniques. I think it was our profs swan song for teaching and this is what he loved so it really showed through. And since he didn’t really give a damn about rules and regulations we had some fun labs. Polyploid Punch and all.

Intro to Meteorology - we had an professor who oozed enthusiasm and a TA who really worked to make it interesting

Philosophy - prof walked in, introduced herself saying “I am Professor <HER NAME>, radical lesbian feminist.” Then started. By the second lecture probably two thirds of the male students had dropped the course. They missed out. Was a great class and never was the slightest indication of any political agenda on the part of the prof.

and on the flip side… Worst course:

Calculus I - prof walked into huge lecture hall on day one, said “I haven’t had to teach freshman calculus in 18 years” and then proceeded to turn his back to the class for the rest of the hour and talked in a monotone drone while filling the six chalkboards. TA didn’t speak English well and could not understand the word problems to properly set up the equations.

Way back in the 90’s:

Target Archery - fulfilled a PE requirement, I was really good at it, and my partner for the class was HAWT!

Visual Thinking - it was like advanced kindergarten. Our final project was to build a working Rube Goldberg device that could be brought to class, and we gave ourselves whatever grade we thought we deserved.

Ornamental Plants I and II - these were in my major and I really enjoyed them. It was all about plant identification. Every class, we walked around campus as a group and the instructor would stop at each plant that was on the agenda for the day. I rocked the exams too.

I’m actually back in college now to finish the degree I fell short on back then. I’ve changed my major from Horticulture to Nutrition, and I’ve taken 2 classes over the summer. My new favorite class of all time is:

Intro to Food Science - there were demos almost every day to show the different scientific principles that were being discussed. On Caramelization and Maillard Reaction day we made pancakes with caramel sauce. And then ate them. One day we made sushi. On the first day they stir-fried mealworms with vegetables. Another day we sampled the effects of Miracle Fruit. I learned so much and had so much fun. I hope to have more classes that are as engaging as it was.

There were classes in college?

Modern European History – The History department at the college was a good one, and I was fascinated about what was going on from around 1880 to World War II.

Russian Political System – mostly for the professor, who was amazing.

I never took any Architecture classes, but that’s definitely one of my “do over” possibilities.

This is going to sound ultra-nerdy, but I really liked Quantum Mechanics (especially in grad school where I had the best professor I ever encountered) and a class we all took concerning Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences. Those were in my major, but for classes not in my major: East Asian History and Life Drawing. I can copy another person’s drawing pretty well, but really struggle when it comes to drawing real life objects, and that helped me a lot.

European History - I liked the first class so much that I changed my minor to Euro and have been teaching the subject at the high school level for the last 20 years.

Two etymology classes: Latin and Greek roots in modern science terms. Now, practically all medical and biological words are understandable the first time I see or hear them.

I think it’s interesting that US colleges have PE requirements. Those stop at high school (or Cégep) up in Canada.

So, favourite classes…across two degrees, there were a few.

I really enjoyed all of my Organic Chemistry classes (which is why I did 9 of them!). It’s a fascinating science and learning it struck me a little like learning a language. The analytical and spectoscopy techniques were also really cool to learn about. I also liked the last of the three Analytical Chemistry courses I took - there were only 14 students in that class (my smallest class ever was 7 students in Organic Reactivity) - and the prof was hilarious. So much fun to learn from him. Honourable mentions go to the Enzymology and Toxicity courses - the only “biochemistry” courses I liked, as my interest was much more on the organic side. Alas, when it came to working in these fields, I was bored… much more fun in theory than in practice!

I’m one of the few people who actually liked Ordinary differential equations, and even though it was a near impossible course, Partial Diffs was fun too. I felt like I could really begin to see how we could solve or understand anything of significance in engineering (which is why I roll my eyes at people who complain about not having enough real life examples in high school math…real life is so complex!). I sucked at it, but I liked my dynamics of systems course too - I just think my school should have spread it out over a few more courses, as it was too much to learn too quickly. That one course has already helped me in my job, and I hope to learn more professionally. And, of course, Larry’s mechanics courses: deformable solids, mechanics of composites and design with composite materials. I like structural and stress engineering, and so was really fascinated by these topics!

Contemporary Moral Problems: Was a great class to express your personal beliefs. The prof was great because the only wrong answer was a poorly defended stance. It more than any other class strengthened my confidence in my own belief system. (aka moral compass)

Contracts I/II (Law School): I don’t practice law, but this year long course has helped me in so many different areas of my life.

For my undergraduate degree, I was a Computer Science major (81-85). Some favorite non-computer classes were:
Astronomy - Loved astronomy growing up in the 70s, with the various planet flybys and landings, so naturally I took an Astronomy course. It turned out to be harder than I thought it would be, with trying to remember the difference between Venus and Jupiter and other things, but we got to see slides and videos of the various planets and things, so I really loved it

A Literature class where we studied Dante’s Divine Comedy - the first time I actually read the full story, so I was fascinated by all the characters and who they were supposed to represent at the time. The professor was actually Italian and I really liked him. I actually considered taking Italian because of him (though I never actually did it)

A Chemistry series that consisted of various 1 credit classes that you could take and get pass/fail credit simply for showing up. What I remember taking was Chemistry and Advertising, and some sort of thing on DNA (which in the early 80s was not well known to the public)

For my masters degree, one of my favorite courses was called Seminar in Software Engineering. Each student basically wrote a paper on a Software Engineering topic and presented it in class for the class to debate on. There were a lot of very interesting topics and discussion.

Russian history, taught by a professor from the Naval Academy in Annapolis. Wish I could remember his name. He was so enthused about his topic! We went from Igor and Rurik at Kiev Rus up through Brezhnev (stopping there cuz he was still in power at the end of the course.)

Basic Astrophysics for non-physics majors, taught by Prof. Art Davidson, one of the guys behind the Space Telescope. Hardly any calculus at all, and he showed us Jupiter and its Galilean moons with the University telescope (vintage 1890) one evening.

Sex and Money, taught by Dr. John Money, Human Sexuality expert. I got to meet female to male transexuals, and candidly open folks with a wide variety of paraphilias back in the 1970’s, long before there was anything like significant social acceptance or tolerance for folks with their situations.

English literature and art history. Brilliant professors and fascinating subjects.

I totally have to go with Astronomy, History and English.

Symphony with Professor Armstrong. I was totally behind the curve on this one–never played an instrument, didn’t listen to classical music growing up. But Armstrong was enthusiastic, approachable and willing to bring me along. The B+ I pulled meant more to me than any A in my major.

**Sociology of Death and Dying **(aka Death) with Professor Geib. He spent a good deal of time working with the NYPD and the NYC coroner’s office. Many classes featured slide shows of dead bodies as they were found and as they were autopsied. Sounds totally gruesome, but he interwove the gore with his take on class, race, motivation, sanity, tattoos, humanity and . . . it was entirely fascinating.

Worst class was Human Sexuality (aka Sex) which I had right after Geib’s. My college-aged self was amused to ask: Is there sex after death? Yes, every Tuesday and Thursday at 2:15