Monday, May 13, 2013

The Five Days of Finals: Day One - Favorite Courses

    The end is here. Today marked the beginning of the most dreaded week on campus: finals. Grades will be finalized, and the semester will come to a close, and for many seniors, including myself, it marks the last obstacle before commencement on Sunday. I haven’t been good about blogging lately, so I’ve decided to use blogging as a study break this week. Each day this week, I’ll write about a specific part of my college experience, and I’ll attempt to come up with a “top 5 list”. This will be difficult, but I’ll start day one with the best courses I’ve taken at Drake.

1.    Art in Spain – I took this course over the summer between my sophomore and junior years in Madrid. What an amazing course! We learned about some of Spain’s greatest painters in the classroom, then hopped on the subway to check out the masterpieces in person. It really gave me an appreciation for art, an experience I will never forget.
2.    China and the World – I’m still not sure why I decided to take an upper-level politics course for an Area of Inquiry requirement, but I’m glad I did. The content of this course was relevant, interesting, but most of all, this class challenged me like none others. I was forced to critique, analyze, and write about America’s relationship with China, and it was hard. Out of all classes at Drake, my reading and writing skills were improved most in this course.
3.    Advanced Inorganic Chemistry – The hardest class in my major bar none. Inorganic chemistry turned out to be my favorite sub-discipline of chemistry (which surprised me), however the best part of this class was that I was forced to learn how to teach myself. The laboratory component of this course was based off of the primary literature, and I was forced to do a lot of the learning on my own. This class helped me establish independent learning, which has helped me immensely in so many areas of my life.
4.     Quantitative Chemical Analysis – A course that invoked immense amounts of detail! Truly showed me that it’s not worth doing something unless you do it the right way!
5.    Introduction to Philosophy – This course also challenged my reading, critical thinking, and writing skills. I most enjoyed the diverse topics we covered such as the concept of free will and proofs for the existence of God. Some of the concepts we learned about sparked my curiosity to learn more about God, seek truth, and set me on a path to examine my own views and beliefs.

One thing that stands out to me about this list is that only two out of the top five courses were within my majors. I never would have expected this coming to Drake, I’m so thankful that we’re required to take AOIs! They’ve helped me grow as a student and person more than the courses in my major in terms of the skills that I’ll need for the rest of my life (critical thinking, reading, writing).

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