Mountains, Dartmouth, Simon Ellis
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What has been your favorite class at Dartmouth?

A: Simon headshot

With course selection for the upcoming Winter term bearing down on students, a lot of my friends have been asking each other what cool classes they should take, what upcoming distributive requirements they can fulfill, and talking about how they are about to finish their majors and or minors. Luckily for me, I have gone through more than 20 classes here and am finishing up all of my requirements but have had so many great experiences that I am happy to help people figure out their schedules and reminisce on some of my favorite classes. This week, I wanted to share how a couple of those classes have gone and give you all a window into the kinds of classes you can take at Dartmouth!

So as a Government and Philosophy double major and Environmental Studies minor, the last thing I expected to take in college was an art class. At Dartmouth, you have to fulfill a requirement that has some aspect of performance or art, allowing you to show your creative side and contribute to your education in a different way. To fulfill my distributive requirement, I decided to take a class called "Borderlands Art and Theory", a class that was cross-listed between Art History and Latin Studies. The class examined how borders, both real and imagined so-called "cultural borders," inspire and create art. Not only did we get to learn about the basics of art and art history, but we actually took a class field trip to New York to examine some of the art we looked at in class! We also had guest speakers who work in border art come and speak to us and went to the Hood Museum to handle pieces of art firsthand and learn from them directly. The classroom was an entirely different and inclusive experience for me, and it was all because of just one distributive requirement I had to fill. 

The next class I love to brag to people about is a class I actually took this term called "Media and Advertising in Political Campaigns." In addition to studying from readings and lectures, the entire class also functioned as a fully-fledged campaign simulation in which we worked in groups to try and market successful campaigns  based on what we had discussed from our readings. We got to create a candidate and develop ads, marketing material, and respond to realistic campaign stimuli like controversial statements, national emergencies, and press releases.  Even though our candidate didn't win, it added a totally new dimension to how I studied government by actually being in it, and the simulation definitely helped me cap off the end of a fantastic major. 

I could talk about how every class I have taken at Dartmouth has been fantastic or changed my learning because they all really have! We have such a wide variety of course offerings and so many incentivized changes to take classes outside of your comfort zone, so reach out to students and make sure to ask them about their favorite classes.

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