Fall 2009. JCOM 1130-Beginning Newswriting for Mass Media. Grade: C+
This was one of my first JCOM classes at Utah State. It was taught by the one and only Jay Wamsley. The AP Style Book became our bible and the daily quizzes were kind of a biotch. I had it with a few people who eventually would become my college friends. The AP Style Book came in handy when I joined the USU Statesman newspaper staff and learned things like "Wal-Mart Stores Inc. when referring to the corporation, and Wal-Mart for an individual store." and "Capitalize fashion week in an official name: New York Fashion Week or London Fashion Week." I remember having to be current on the daily news and I usually failed miserably. Jay was one of those professors that you never really knew where you stood in the class. he's a nice guy...does that mean I'm passing? Harsh quiz score...does he grade on a curve? Let's just say that C+ was a surprise at the end of the semester. It also goes to show that grades aren't a reflection of what you learned because I learned a heck of a lot!
Fall 2011. GNDR 4630- History of Sex in America. Grade: B
This class sounds as interesting as the name implies. It was my first semester after I transferred to the University of Utah. Since I had transferred so late I couldn't get into many Comm department classes. Instead I took high level courses to fulfill other requirements. This was one of them. The first day of class we wrote every dirty word and or sex word the class could think of on the board. From blow job to vagina and everything in between. Things you heard in the Jr. High halls wouldn't have been as inappropriate as the things we had written on the board. I left that day feeling a little dirty and wondering if I should morally take the class. I have standards, but I also have a desire to learn. In the end I'm glad I stayed.
The professor was a lesbian liberal with very interesting views. My eyes were opened to a new way of looking at things. I appreciated these classes throughout my education because they tested my own beliefs...and made them stronger. I came out of this class with a full knowledge of the history of gay sex and prostitutes and in the end I still believed the things I believed going into the class.
One of the notes she made on my quizzes was that I needed to speak up more in class. I didn't speak much because I didn't feel like I had anything valuable to add to the discussions. I remember there was a 60 something year old man in that class. I appreciated his presence and his desire to learn a few things too!
Here is a post I wrote about a few things I had learned that week in school...
Spring 2010. ENGL 4200-Linguistic Structures. Grade: A
If I had a top 10 list this class would be on it (Maybe at the end of this college thing I will make that list). Linguistics was one of the most fascinating topics. I learned that babies' brains are designed to pick up as many languages that they are exposed to. I learned the phonetic alphabet. We talked about the importance of language in general. The reason I wanted to take this class was because of my love for language. My love for writing. I felt that if I understood language at a deeper level it would make me a better writer. I don't know if that's what happened, but it was fascinating either way.
Other than criminology, linguistics was the other topic I would consider majoring in if I did it all over again. I thought this class was going to teach me how to diagram sentences and explain why diagramming sentences matters. And I think we spent some time on that. But the thing I remember most about this class is realizing how incredible language is. Every civilization has a language. Some are different from what we are familiar with. But everyone communicates. Everyone.