So Much More Than A Class

First, let me preface this with a disclaimer:   I’ve always enjoyed school.  Not in the kindergarten-everything-is-happy-kinda way that you grow out of when you hit middle school, but in a much more sincere sense.  I really do like academics and choosing William and Mary as my only choice for a college seems to prove that.  However, I can’t lie, classes aren’t exactly something  I would throw a parade for (I think most students would agree) and while learning is great, nothing beats the feeling of being done with classes for the day.  Now that I have set the tone with this statement, my interest in my history seminar class this semester will show just how different this class is from all the rest!  Up until last semester I was simply an English major with no second major or minor.  But when I looked at my degree evaluation I realized I was only one class shy of a History Minor and figured that having that secondary degree would compliment my English major really well!  I made a last minute declaration of minor with the registrar’s office and it was official.  Basically all that means is that when looking for classes to register for in my final semester, the only specific course I needed was one more upper level history class.  To be honest, I only selected the course I am currently in because I had taken a class with the professor before and had liked him.  I gave little attention to the description of the course, feeling confident that I would manage to make it through the class and simply complete my minor.  The course is titled “Slavery, Myth, and Memory” and I had no idea what I was in for.  The first thing I realized upon walking into the classroom on the first day was that it was not a lecture class but a seminar, meaning there were only about fifteen people in the class and we all sat around a conference table with the professor.  From day one, the discussion was incredible.  There wasn’t one person who sat quietly and just took notes but rather everyone was engaged and participated.  Every class since has been much the same.  The instructer, Professor Allegro, is one of the best in the department and he does such a great job with pushing conversation beyond the text.  While we are expected to have readings completed before we come into class, Professor Allegro doesn’t allow us to get “comfortable” and merely accept the texts without questioning facts, considering different perspectives, and introducing new ideas whether they are complimentary to the readings or contradictory.  In a school where all classes have such an interactive atmosphere it is hard to convey how much this class stands out in my mind.  It changed my perception of what a class should be, to the point that I don’t even think of the 12:30-2:00PM Tuesdays and Thursdays time slot as a class I have to go to.  Its hard to put any other word to it, but it actually feels more like a dinner or lunch party than a required academic course.  Because its such a small group of people, we really get a chance to know each other well and I find myself really looking forward to what others will say or add to the discussion.  I usually go to class with coffee in hand (especially now when the weather is so cold) and feel like I’m spending an hour and a half in a comfy book club.  I know that must sound nerdy, but I really don’t know how else to express how enjoyable this class is and it isn’t even a month into the semester!  What I’ve realized is that I signed up for one of the best classes of my college experience and it was practically by accident!

Categories: Academics, Student Blogs

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