Oberlin Blogs

Designer Babies and other possibilities.

December 6, 2009

Karl Orozco ’13

First-Year Seminars are classes introducing us wee-little first-years with "the introductions to liberal arts learning." These seminars are meant to hone our writing skills and teach us to think critically and creatively. In addition, class size is pretty small (about 14 students) and discussions are heavily encouraged.

I can hear you yawning. I agree that retelling funny anecdotes that happen throughout the week is way more fun than writing about First-Year Seminars, but they're really not as boring as that dull first paragraph made them sound. There are so many seminars that cover such interesting topics and I had a difficult time picking just one.

My First-Year Seminar is titled Designer Babies and Other Possibilities, taught by the ever-cool Yolanda Cruz. Class consists of us discussing the assigned reading material, which is often fascinating and even unsettling. The course material concerns the different uses for reproductive genetics and the ethical considerations. We look at several hypothetical situations in the perhaps-near future, like eradicating harmful hereditary diseases from a genome and altering a child's skin color or intelligence before he or she is born.

This class has gotten me to think differently about the prospect of genetic modification (and I am not saying this because I'm being paid to do so). Class has been highly thought-provoking and has caused shifts in my ways of thinking (I am not paid to say that either!).

Not only is Professor Cruz a total badass, she's also a spectacular baker! She feeds us quite well, bringing in snacks and goodies at least once a week. Professor Cruz can bake some pretty mean blondies and an equally yummy lemon cake. Her baking alone is worth taking this class next year.

On a very, very unrelated note, Oberlin Musical Theater Association's presentation of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee was unbelievable! At Oberlin, I've witnessed so many talented actors, actresses, singers and musicians, and Putnam County Spelling Bee did not fail to deliver. Sarah, you were awesome! And Phil Wong, wherever you are, you are way too funny. I've still got "Magic Foot" stuck in my head, and I probably had the best ab workout of my life while watching you guys! Which is wonderful, because now I can skip my daily 8-Minute Abs routine for tonight.

(Just kidding. Me + ab workouts? Funny.)

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