Top Classes for First Years

Unfortunately, typing this into the search function won’t help you find cool classes. But that’s what we’re here for.

The blog of The Daily Princetonian, The Prox, has compiled a list of Princeton’s “Must-take courses for spring 2013.” In that spirit, we at The Thrill have compiled some of the top course offering at Kenyon next semester — aimed specifically at first years, since it’s too late for the rest of you. And while we may not offer some of the cool courses that America’s most clashing university has, like Motorcycle Repair Seminar and Bob Dylan Studies, these recommendations from the Thrill staff are just as good.

Stuart Giles ’14 recommends MUSC 102, Musical Style, with Associate Professor of Music Reggie Sanders. “All first years should take Musical Style with Prof. Sanders because he is a wonderful man and a good teacher,” Stuart says. “And his voice is more soothing than a feather pillow.” Scheduled for TR 9:40-11:00, currently showing 17/25 seats filled.

Becca Hafter ’14 recommends SOCY 249, Knowledge of the Other, with Assistant Professor of Sociology Anna Sun. Becca gushes that “Prof. Sun effortlessly distills complex social theory into easy-to-digest metaphors and diagrams. Once, I saw her  change a philosophy major’s opinion of Hegel using only a whiteboard marker. Knowledge of the Other explains and examines the role of outsiders (or “others”) to hegemonic Western culture. No one should be allowed to talk about politics without taking this class first. But the class isn’t all theory! Multiple movies are on the syllabus and student selected YouTube clips are welcomed during class. Also, Prof. Sun cooked us a duck.” Our sources tell us that this class is where the phrase “Orientalist Bullshit” (OBS) originated. Scheduled for R 7:00-10:00, and requires completion of a 100-level sociology course or permission of the instructor. Only offered every other year!

Chief music correspondent Dan Rasch ’14 offers an enthusiastic endorsement of PHIL 240, Philosophy of Religion, with Associate Professor of Philosophy Juan DePascuale. “The man leads a class discussion like no other. Every philosophy class has that one dude or chick who just will not shut up about such and such awesome reading they did outside of the syllabus, or that one time when they had a truly spiritual experience on shrooms – how rarely do you find a prof who can not only endure barrages of ego-serving monologues, but actually manage to steer the discussion in a constructive direction afterwards?!  As for the actual class, you get exposed to a mind-bogglingly diverse array of views and opinions on the question of religion. I walked away from this course with my mind blown wide open.” Offered TR 2:40-400. With no prerequisites and only available every other year, no wonder this class is already fully enrolled at 20/20 — but maybe if you ask really nicely?

If you’re not in Quest for Justice but are still considering a political science major, David Hoyt ’14 recommends breaking into the department early by trying to get into PSCI 200D, Liberal Democracy in America, with Associate Professor of Political Science Tom Karako. Several seats are still open for this MWF 2:10-3:00 course, but first years wanting to enroll will require permission of the instructor. David says, “It’s a great introduction to the field and specifically American politics, from the Federalist Papers through Tocqueville through modern works on Congress and the presidency.” Another good option is PSCI 240, Modern Democracies, with Associate Professor of Political Science Pam Camerra-Rowe, offered in two sections, MWF 10:10-11:00 and 11:10-12:00. It’s another great intro to poli sci, but focuses on comparative politics. A few seats are still open, but this course is also PI for first years.

Word on the first-year street from Thrill intern Eamon Levesque ’16 is that ENGL 213.02, Texting: Reading Like an English Major, taught by Professor of English Ted Mason, is “in high demand.” ENGL 103 or 104 is required, and the course, currently wide open at 5/20, is recommended for all potential English majors. Unsurprisingly, DRAM 220, The Actor, with Assistant Professor of Drama Ben Viccellio, is also “coveted as all hell.” DRAM 111 is a pre-req and The Actor requires permission of the instructor, but it’s also offered every semester.

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