The coolest class I've ever taken
As I entered my Junior Spring, I realized that I had taken just about all of the classes I would need to take for both of my majors, which opened up the opportunity for me to explore different subjects a bit more. In my search for classes, I wanted to try and take a course with a professor that I had my very first term on campus: Professor Zeiger. She taught my Writing 5 course on T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land, which in and of itself was a really interesting class. I absolutely adored Professor Zeiger, as her teaching style was fun and effective, plus she has the most kind and generous personality. I knew that before my time at Dartmouth comes to a close, that I needed to take another class with her -- and it worked out that she was teaching a class called Garden Politics. Side note -- I got a Western Cultures distributive out of this class!!
It was surprisingly one of the most interesting classes I have taken while at Dartmouth. Outside of classes, I enjoy some light gardening, but nothing too serious, so I wondered how this class would play out. In the end, we ended up learning all about how gardens are inherently political. Most "modern-day" gardening practices stem from the British colonial era and can tell a story of colonization and repression of the conquered territories. We also discussed the ways in which a garden acts as a curatorial space, meaning that gardeners intend for the viewer to feel a particular emotion or sensation. Beyond that, we spoke in-depth about how minorities exist in a space that represents colonization, oppression, and trauma.
All of these topics flowed seamlessly into one another, but over the course of this class, I began to open my mind to gardens and the practice of gardening. This is one of the things that I love about my liberal arts education because despite this class having nothing to do with my majors or research, I was still able to connect these ideas to what I was working on (and even to my roots as an indigenous person!). I am so glad that I was able to take advantage of this opportunity.