Oberlin Blogs

Course Round-Up

January 10, 2024

Kate Magnacca ’26

The summer before my first year, I browsed course catalogs obsessively. I was so excited to get a feel for specific courses and what I might be taking. But it can be hard to truly get a grasp from catalogs alone, so I’m here to give you a round-up of my courses this semester and what they were like. This will probably end up a series-- so stay tuned for retrospectives of semesters one and two!

GSFS 305-- Feminist Research Methodologies

This is one of my favorite courses I’ve taken at Oberlin. I chose it because I knew and liked the professor from my first year seminar, and because I had an interest in the GSFS (gender, sexuality, and feminist studies) minor. It ended up solidifying that interest, to the point that I am now ready to declare a GSFS minor! The course itself was full of thoughtful dialogue and eye-opening readings. I was actually sort of surprised at how much I enjoyed the assigned readings-- oftentimes, I’m so busy I just want to get readings over with and move on with my day. But this class’s assignments were my favorite, and I always saved them for last to look forward to. Speaking of readings, a big component of ours was Sarah Ahmed’s Living a Feminist Life, which is how I discovered a new favorite author.

PSYC 200-- Research Methods

I have to be totally honest with you here-- this is my least favorite class I have ever taken in college. It’s kind of ironic how much I hated it, considering I’m a psychology major and this was my one psychology class this semester, but I’m not actually that surprised. I knew going into it that it might be rough, because I truly detest statistics. I’m in the psych field to become a counselor, and I’m much more interested in talking about humanism than about numbers and computer programs. I’d also heard a rumor that this was the “weeding out” course for the major, which wasn’t wrong. My advice? Utilize the TA-- they are there to help! The TA for my section got countless panicked 2am emails with the subject line “please help.” And they did! Our TA made all the difference in my maintaining both my GPA and my sanity.

THEA 200-- Acting II

On a totally different note, Acting II was an absolute blast. I took a brief hiatus from most things theater this past year, and ended up returning to acting with this class. It was a complete delight, and a highlight of the semester. Professor Wright is truly one of the best professors I’ve ever had, and such a joy to learn from. At the end of the semester, he even hosted the whole class for a little soirée/“cookie rager” at his cottage. He baked the most amazing lemon bars and brownies known to man.

ENGL 227-- Jane Austen and Co.: Romantics and Their Revolutionaries

This class really pushed me to develop my writing skills in the academic setting. The challenge ended up being a lot of fun, especially since I love all things Austen. I went in expecting more Austen content than there actually was, but the other authors we studied were also interesting. This was my first course in the English department, and hopefully not my last.

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