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My rollercoaster Engs 12 group

Academically, it took me a while to find my footing in Fall Term. My undergraduate dean, Dean Natalie Hoyt, and academic advisor encouraged me to take courses in the Winter that I had genuine interest in. I landed on SOCY 2, WRIT 5, and ENGS 12. Here's my experience thus far.

SOCY 2: Social Problems 
Coupled with my interest in Psychology, Sociology was always a department that I wanted to explore. This intro class goes beyond the surface and examines why certain social problems have evolved to be defined as such. Much of the class is centered around readings and discussions. We sit at tables in groups of 4-5 people who comprise our discussion groups. The discussion in class is always interesting because everyone comes from different backgrounds. I like being able to gain new perspectives on social issues. Our first unit was Income Inequality and Poverty, before our current topic of Gender Inequality. Intersectionality between the various issues provokes new topics as well. I'm really glad I decided to take this class. It's a stress-free class environment, and the topics are all really interesting to me. I've honestly been thinking about switching my (intended) major!

WRIT 5: Interaction Ritual: Novel to Sociology  
Every first-year student is required to take a writing class and subsequent seminar. We do get to choose the topic though! Section 28, Interaction Ritual: Novel to Sociology, seemed right up my alley. We just finished Pride and Prejudice, with Passing being our current novel. I've loved our discussion throughout both works. I like how we understand the plot through relevant Sociological concepts and literature. W. E. Bois is our focus now, introducing topics of Black culture to our discussion on race and sexuality. Conversations in class are insightful and nuanced. I always feel comfortable talking in class, as all Writing 5 classes are only 16 students. Essays and short prompts make up our written assignments. Peer revision workshops and 1-1 teacher conferences enforce holistic feedback on our writing. I really enjoy how collaborative this class is.

ENGS 12: Design Thinking
ENGS (Engineering) 12 is one of those classes that you take because you've heard so much about it. Everyone who's taken it seems to never stop talking about the class, which, admittedly, might largely be due to the fact that it's such a large time commitment. But, it's a labor of love. Design Thinking involves many hands-on projects, allowing us to learn by doing. The biggest component, though, are the cognitive strategies we gain. This class actively prompts us to conceptualize the world using a different lens. There is much insight to gain from innovative design. My professor Rafe Steinhauer encourages us to think outside the box and tap into our inner creativity. He reminds us that good engineering doesn't have to be serious, but rather purposeful. We even had a class where we did comedy improv to get us more comfortable with being creative in a group setting. 4 out of 6 of the projects for the class are group projects; a lot of importance is placed on our collaborative skills. I appreciate the intentional group activities. It's given me more confidence in group projects. If you ask me to recommend any class at Dartmouth (keep in mind, this is only my second term here), ENGS 12 would be at the top of my list. This class has changed the way I think about learning and collaboration. 

I can't even say I have a favorite class this term. They're all really exciting. I'm glad that I went out of my comfort zone. 

P.S. The cover photo is my group for the rollercoaster project in ENGS 12 :)

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