What is my Favorite Class this Term?
One of the reasons why I truly enjoy Dartmouth College's liberal arts curriculum is that we're exposed to a myriad of academic subjects before graduation. Within just two terms, I've taken a course within the Anthropology, Chemistry, Art History, Classics, English, and Physics departments, which is amazing and rewarding to think about. Amongst those classes, I wanted to discuss which class I regard as my favorite as well as my supporting rationale!
Undoubtedly, my most enjoyable course so far has been my first-year seminar, "ARTH 07.05: Pompeii & Antique"—sadly, my last in-person class for this course is this coming Tuesday. As a high school student, I had no opportunity to traverse subjects outside of the "core," with Art History being one of them. Therefore, entering this course, I was pleasantly surprised at just how much I enjoyed analyzing art.
Hence the title, the course focused on the once active city Pompeii in Rome, and how its people and culture were prior to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. What was truly beneficial for me was the fact that we weren't strictly evaluated based on our readings—books, articles, and journals. Instead, while the readings were required, they were simply discussed in-class without too much of a focus on them. Therefore, I was able to read in a more enjoyable manner, without constantly attempting to overly absorb information. This transcended onto the classroom environment, as Professor Kangas' lecture and discussions became genuinely intriguing and thought-provoking.
I also loved that our writing assignments, which were mainly artwork analyses, gave us freedom. There was no specific direction or focus really; rather, we were able to creatively formulate our own writing structures and claim. Art is inevitably subjective, which allows for no true "wrong answers." The elements learned from in-class readings were also crucial in assisting us with determining different details within the artworks.
For future Dartmouth students, if you get a chance to, I'd suggest you try out this course!
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